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Monday, February 24, 2014

Data, data, data!

I don't know about you but a few years ago the word data kind of scared me. When I was a teacher, I felt like data judged me as an educator but now I know that data is my bff. It is my accountability. It helps me to create my counseling program and needs of my students. I saw a video that someone had posted on facebook about how their school used data in their counseling program and oh.my.word. I feel in love with what their counselors were doing. You can watch the video HERE.

I would love to know how you and your school uses data to read your students' needs. So please feel free to share. At my campus, our principal is amazing with data. he has even earned the nickname Dr. Data because everything is backed by data. Any struggling students are monitored and literally no student falls between the cracks., It is quite impressive. I think it works so great at our school because there is a balance of heart and data. Although, everything is tied to data, everything has a lot of care put into it so we don't lose sight of the purpose. I will definitely be looking into ways to implement something like the counselors in the video did. I think as counselors, we need to back up what we do. Of course, we wear many hearts and make a difference in the lives of our students but we need to make sure we have the evidence for our schools, district, and state to show how much we make a difference.

Moving on, I wanted to share my Conversation Starters which you can find HERE for purchase. I love using these in groups and individual counseling. They are also great to use as icebreakers. Just print, laminate, cut out, and put in a cute mason jar or cup and you have a quick and easy resource ready to go!! The topics these cover are self esteem, friendship, and bullying.

Of course, I would never leave you with a freebie. This counselor to do list can either be printed to take notes on of big projects or framed so that you can reuse it with a dry erase marker. I can't wait to frame mine for my desk!!
You can get yours for free HERE. I hope you all have a great week! Please feel your fingers crossed that all goes well with our closing on our new house. We are so excited to get in and settled!! I will post pics soon!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Something exciting!!!!

I usually won't blog this much in a weekend but with School Counseling Week and being on a blogging hiatus for awhile...I have so much to say!!!

First, I am so excited to be hosting an Instagram challenge. I have been joining in similar challenges on Instagram that were non-counseling related so I thought it would be fun to start one to coincide with School Counseling Week.

Here is how it works:
-Just post a pic that goes with the theme for the day (you can find it below). It starts tomorrow so that is Day 1. Then before you upload your pic, don't forget to put #schoolcounselorchallenge

It is a fun way to take a peek into other counselor's lives and get to know each other, so I can't wait!!!
So, speaking of School Counseling Week, here's what we are doing on our campus.

-Morning announcements provided by ASCA, which you can get a copy of here .

-Bulletin Board on "What Counselors Do" which I will try to post a picture of later in the week.

-Certificates for the staff members.
This is my first year at this campus and district, so this year I am just getting a feel for it and I am brainstorming for next year already! I would love to do a theme next year!!!

Another thing I wanted to share is a quick, powerful grief activity. I love this activity because if you have strips of scrap paper readily available...you are ready to go. Basically, students can either write the events of what happened when they found out and their feelings or they can write memories about that person.  I always gauge it by the student and what they are wanting to do.

They can write, draw, or both...whatever works best for their age. I have middle schoolers that like to do both. They can keep the chain or we can get rid of it. One student I had wanted to keep it as a treasured memory and the other wanted to cut it up. Whatever works for the kiddo.

I am also so super excited because my BFF made me a counselor banner for my office. I love it and I just had to show it! I love how she used tulle!!!

I have been so busy getting back into figuring out transition. I created a video for students to watch to go over transition on POWTOON.com which is awesome! It makes videos out of a slideshow type program. You can add your voice, pictures, animations, and text. Super cool! Part of the activity was for students to write any questions on note cards. So I tried to hand write answers to the kiddos. They loved it and one told me they didn't think I would read it so it is definitely something I will continue next year. I just took some home and did some while waiting on things. They did great and had some really good questions!
I was trying to cover up their name.

Before I go, here is a Stylish Spotlight. This leopard scarf will make any school counselor look stylish! It's lightweight and only $18 at Nordstrom. You can get it online here!

Here's what is coming up on the blog

I hope you all have a wonderful School Counseling Week and that you know how valuable you are at your campus and to your students! Hope to see you all on Instagram!!!