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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Haters Gonna' Hate....

Resiliency is something that I feel students are just really struggling with these days. The ability to bounce back...and the coping skills to become stronger. I was thinking long and hard about this the other day because "bless their hearts" my heart breaks for them. I was sitting at my desk after many conversations that day wondering what I could do? How can I help them see that this is only temporary? Why are kids not as resilient as years past?

Then it hit me. These kids deal with a whole ugly side of bullying, judgement, and attacks. They deal with technology. I can't imagine as a kid to deal with drama at school and then have it follow you home 24/7 because that's how long these kids usually have their phones on them on top of whatever is going on at home and with school work.

When I was in school (I know I am officially old for saying that), kids could escape the name calling or the comments at home but now it's on a whole new level. It's funny because when I talk to kids and we work on coping skills, I always tell them..."Haters gonna hate."

The kids give me a super awkward look and then say, "You're so right, Mrs. Acker!" Of course, this is after laughing at me (an old person who is a mommy and watches My Little Pony and Pokemon every night...don't judge)!

One of the things I discuss with students when we discuss coping and building resiliency is that there are negative people out there and we can't change or conform to their opinions about us because some of those negative people will STILL have something rude to say regardless. We use YouTube, online articles, and Instagram as examples. I spoke with a kiddo the other day about the new Taylor Swift video that they loved. We discussed the comments on the video and if they thought there were more negative or positive.

We then talked about how our actions and choices affect what people say. Will it stop all rude comments if we are wise in our decision making? No, not always. But we can find confidence in knowing that we are doing what we can do to make things better for ourselves and there will always be "haters."

I refer to this so much that I made a sign. Is it cheesy. Maybe. Is it a good saying? Oh yes! So for Cyber Monday...I am sharing a freebie with you along with a long story and example. Ha!
 You can get your own HERE

I think it's important to show our students that there are negative people and we can't let them control how we feel about ourselves or the decisions that we make. We can be respectful and show kindness in the face of negativity and after that....it's out of our control. We can't control other people's feelings...we can make an impact but we can't control them.

It's also important for parents to understand the difficulties that our kids face these days by educating them through parent meetings and providing resources.

Here are some helpful resources for you to use: 

Article on Helping Teens Manage Technology:

Article on Building Resiliency in Children:

25 Ideas for Teaching Your Kids Resiliency: (Great for Younger Kids/Toddlers)

Many of you have asked or emailed to see what I have been up to. I just love y'all! I love seeing my counselor friends on Instagram so you can find me there when I don't blog as much! My username is: melroseacker or you can click the icon on the top of this page.

So...what have I been up to? I have been enjoying Thanksgiving break with my sweet family and friends and getting excited for the Christmas season! I was able to attend an awesome counseling conference at the beginning of November and got some amazing ideas from the impressive presenters which I will share in another post! Other than that, I am just being thankful for each day...

Sweet time with sweet kiddos

Fun with friends

Getting ready for Christmas!

Enjoying a little Starbucks before the conference

Thanksgiving with my biggest blessings

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and take time for YOU to relax during this wonderful yet busy time of year!! Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Documenting Students Tutorial and a FREEBIE!!!

Hey y'all! Long time, no blog. I usually give you excuses but hey, I know y'all feel me. School has started and we are super busy. Any spare time I have is spent with family and friends but I do love blogging and networking so here I am!

I have been getting a lot of questions on how I document students and keep up with who I see. So,  I thought I would do a video and a tutorial. I hope it helps and would love to hear how you use it or plan to use it if you have never heard of Google Docs!

Tutorials on How to Create Your Own Google Form:

Hope this helps and please comment how you plan to use it, change it, and if this was helpful!

Also, I have a FREEBIE that you can find HERE. These are large letters that spell COUNSELOR, great for a hallway or above a door! I will also be posting a pack to purchase of encouraging words that you could use for a bulletin board or display somewhere!!!

Next up on the blog: Red Ribbon Week!!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Looking towards the future....

I don't know about you but college week is one of my fav times of year! It comes super quick for us but it is still tons of fun! Most of the things we did this year were similar to the things we did last year! We didn't have as much time to plan but I am definitely going to start collecting ideas and creating things I can ahead of time so I will just need to pull those things out when it comes around next year!!!

Some of the things we did this year were:

-Wear as much college gear as possible/dress in your fav college

-Door decorating contest
My lovely co counselor..haha!

-College trivia (a fight song and clues about the school are read aloud on the announcements and students can drop off their guesses to be entered in a drawing)

-Guess that Grad (teachers submit pictures from college and students LOVE guessing who they are)

-College students from a local university came to speak to our students about college life, things why wish they would have paid attention to in middle school, and about the neat activities to get involved in at college

Chi O's

-High school students came to speak to our students at lunch about important skills for college, what colleges they planned on attending, and visited lunch tables to answer questions

It was so much fun and now my co counselor and I are eager to start planning Red Ribbon Week!I am also posting a letter pack for sayings. If you notice my "Guess the Grad" letters....I am in love with them. I love seeing BIG letters and displays in hallways because with huge, long hallways smaller displays get lost in it all. I am posting some inspirational words and popular headings for displays. It will be in my TPT store TODAY! I am home with a sick kiddo so I finally had time to stop and do a little blogging. I will post the link on facebook.

I would love to hear some of the things you do in your school for college week!!!! Please comment below or share on facebook!!! Next up on the blog....how I use my large inspirational words and a google form that will help you keep track of all the kids you see...I am in LOVE!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Counselor Spotlight: Vantasia

This week has been so super busy, well the last two week.s It has been full of super late nights at work, too much Starbucks, nights of dancing away to Usher and 80's music with my co-counselor who I swear has to be my non-asian sister from another mother...haha!!! Today was so worth it when kids seemed happy and our amazing teachers seemed happy!!! I swear those kids and teachers make it all worth it!!!

Here is a glimpse of my past weeks in the counseling world!!!
Our leadership team doing some team building!

Love this girl!!!!

My little guy started First Grade today...tear!

First Grade and Pre-K!!!

The day I was so delirious....I told everyone it was a Friday....on a Thursday!

Celebrating our amazing principal's birthday!

Trying to be cute at counselor staff development

We made a pro/con list on whether we should eat out or stay in....guess which won?

convocation....so pumped after hearing an awesome speaker

A sweet gesture from Mama Meyers, our 7th grade registrar, it's like having a mom at school! Love her!

Sweet friends and teachers making me feel special!!!
So, that is a little of what has been in my world. Today, I have an EXCITING GUEST post by Vantasia Owens. She is a fashionista, absolutely gorgeous, and has such amazing motivation. She is a school counseling student and is the type of counselor any school would be so blessed to have. She is passionate y'all about counseling. I swear we should be besties because she loves counseling AND fashion. Here's a little info on my new friend......Vantasia!

What school do you attend, what is your classification, and what is your major?
I am currently attending The University of Southern Mississippi where I am a sophomore, Psychology major.

What are your thoughts about fashion?
My thoughts on fashion? I have so many! Fashion is fun, unique, and effortless; it’s YOU! To me I get to express myself through the things that I wear, from accessories, hairstyles, makeup, etc! It’s not just the clothes that you wear or the prices on them. It’s all about how you wear the merchandise! And with a job well done you can inspire others also from a great appearance. The way you present yourself is everything! I always like to keep this quote in my head, “Be your own kind of beautiful.” Define your own style and rock what you love with confidence!

What led you on the path to become a School Counselor?

I knew I wanted to attend college and do something that I loved and was passionate about. Nursing, Social Work, Physical Therapy, Occupational therapy, and so many others were an option for me. I just knew helping people was for me. Friends, family, even strangers would always come to me for advice and I was always there and I enjoyed being there. I started to realize that I am a nurturer, a lover, I’m not judgmental, and I keep secrets. So many wonderful characteristics of a counselor, mentor, and advocate.  My senior year of high school I was given the opportunity to work in the guidance office at my high school and I fell in love, I was able to help the counselors and even a select few students.  My counselor was the best and our relationship was phenomenal, he helped me through a lot my senior year. I’m sure he would’ve been a great help the other three years of my high school career but we never think to actually go to the school counselor. You know?  But that’s one of my goals to actually get students to visit my office, not even when things are going wrong!

What are your career goals as a School Counselor?

I would like to start off as an elementary school counselor and work my way up just so that I can get a taste of all school levels. I know that there are many different circumstances and school counselor duties differ a lot from elementary, middle, and high schools. However, the ultimate goal is still the same for all. I want to build a relationship with each and every one of my students and really impact their lives; I want them to never forget Ms. Owens. I want to help them to be the best that they can be both academically and socially. Working in the guidance office my senior year of high school  I was able to see things that I wanted to change so becoming a school counselor would allow me to be that change that I wish to see. School Counselors are underestimated and I want to be that difference even if we never get the credit that we deserve. I’m all for positivity and empowerment so it would be nice to someday create something where all School Counselors can connect and come together outside of the National School Counselor Association. Hopefully my commitment and determination can lead me into becoming an administrator or school principal someday.

What would be your advice to other college students going into the education/counseling industry?

Passion over everything! Go hard for what you love and believe in. Never give up.  People will always try to kill your dreams and visions, don’t let them. Always remember money is not the main factor it is only the goal, it will come. It’s levels to success!!

 Have a question for Vantasia? Contact her at the info below:

Thanks, Vantasia, for your post and your pictures. You are an absolute gorgeous girl inside and out and we wish you the best of luck as your further your studies!! 

And let me tell you about the Instagram challenge I will have going on this Friday. Take any type of beginning of the year pic. It could be you at your desk, a picture of a bulletin board....anything and write what your goal is this year. You can put @melroseacker to tag me and use the hashtag #counselorsbacktoschool and #stylishschoolcounselor. Can't wait to see your pictures!!!