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Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding My Way

If you met me in person you would probably never guess that I was a middle school counselor. Maybe a Kindergarten teacher or elementary counselor but not middle school. My voice, my personality, and everything about me screams I love arts and craft, the smell of crayons and glue sticks, and saying things are "special!" Haha...funny but true. But can I say that I SO love middle school!!! I do miss elementary at times but I am enjoying middle school way more than I thought! I mean talking to these kiddos is amazing because it's on a whole new level and having conversations about their academic future is just so stinkin' cool!!! So I would have to say that I am finding my way. I have so very much to learn this year and I am going with it and just hittin' the ground running the best I can all while taking notes for next year of how I can make things better!

In the first 3 weeks of school we have already celebrated College Week and we had a blast! Here's a couple of things I planned for college week!!!

1. The Ever So Classic Door Decorating Contest
 Last year at my elementary school, my principal let me give the winner of the door decorating contest an opportunity to order items for their classroom. My new principal was awesome enough to do the same! Here are some pictures of some of the doors! The teachers did a great job and got creative!! I love how they let the kids do it and be involved. The winning class will get a donut party!!!

2. Guess that Grad Display
I thought it would be fun to get teachers to send in college pics and display them for the students to try to guess who they are. The staff seemed to enjoy this too!
3. College Signing
I also made poster sized sheets with college names for students to sign their intent during lunches and passing periods. They signed what school they hoped to attend in the future!

4. College Trivia Announcements
This was probably my favorite activity. Each day on announcements I would feature a "secret college." I would say what the mascot was, how far in terms of driving it was from our campus, what city it was in, and about 3 to 4 fun, interesting facts. The students could then come between classes or after school to drop off their guess and I drew a name and if it had the correct guess, they won a college themed goodie bag with pencils, stickers, etc. I was surprised by how many kids participated and I loved seeing them excited about trying to guess. I even had some students stop by to ask me about the colleges I featured!!
Of course we also sent out activities for teachers to do in the classrooms and had themed days to dress up. Examples are:
*College shirts
*College colors
*High school shirts to the high school we feed into
*I tried to tie in being college and career ready: dress as the profession you want to be
One of our cute little teachers sportin' her scrubs!
It was fun and there are things I will use again and do different next year but overall it was a lot of fun. If the students were even somewhat engaged or thinking about their future....that is what matters to me!!!

I also wanted to show you a super easy bulletin board that was inspired by Danielle's over at School Counselor Blog. Her version is much fancier than mine because I was super short on time but I loved the idea of it and hopefully next year I can make one more like hers!

I saw Danielle's idea and just tweaked it to fit my 10 minutes that I had to create on my computer!

I also am excited because I am working on a teachers pay teachers unit that will have printable games, bulletin board displays/starters and much more that is all Fall themed. I am hoping to have it up by next week and of course I will also post plenty of freebies!!!

We have been busy packing up our house so I feel like I have been missing. I have loved reading up on fellow counselor blogs and getting new ideas!!! It is such a blessing being part of such a neat, supportive community of counseling bloggers!! I think it has truly saved me the past two years with job changes and adapting....and also reader comments....so THANK YOU!!!

I had a great weekend celebrating our son's 6th birthday!! I can't believe how big he is! My hubby and I could not be prouder of the little guy he has become!

I hope you all have a great week full of new learning experiences! Please remember YOU make a difference on your campus!!!!