August 7, 2013

Hello Again Blog World!

Hello Blog World!

Wow! I am sorry that it has been FOREVER since I have posted anything on here. I was working 50 hours a week for the end of the semester and summer has been crazy with trying to find a new counseling job and working at summer camp. As you may have read, I was working 10 hours a week as a Title 1 counselor at an elementary school in the area. I worked all summer to find a job. Had a few interviews, made it to a second interview (I didn't get that job and was called a kiddo. Don't even get me started!), then I finally found a job!!

I am officially the K-4 Elementary School Counselor (they call it guidance but we will work on it!) at Park Lawn Elementary School in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

I am very excited to get started in this new role. The school seems like a great fit for me. The staff that I have meet so far seem amazing and I hear they are all great! The principal is great too! I know she can see how school counselors can be of value in the school.

My position is only 60% at first. Which means I work 3 days a week. We are hoping that we will be able to add a day in October and with any luck, move to full time for next fall!

My schedule will mostly consist of classroom lesson at first. I am in each classroom for 30 minutes EVERY WEEK! I am super pumped because classroom work is my favorite part of this job. I will have some time to do some small groups and individual counseling as needed. The hope is that when we add the 4th day, I will have more open time to do some small groups/career cafes/individual counseling.

I can see that I have a lot of work in front of me but I am excited to get started, meeting the students/staff, and getting my program rolling!

I hope you all have a great rest of your summer if you haven't started back yet. If you have already started back, I hope you spend some time doing something for yourself before the kiddos start up!


February 11, 2013

A little of this...a little of that...

Hi Cyberspace!

Well, I have a little bit of everything to talk about today. I hope I can keep it as organized as possible and not get too rambly.  I am going to try to post on here more often.

Last Friday was the school talent show. Silly me, I planned something in the evening without looking at my planner. Duh! So I decided to work a little later so I could stay and watch the dress rehearsal that the students put on for the school. OMG!! I was not able to stay for all the acts but I was so impressed with the acts that I did see. One in particular will probably stick with me for a long, long while. We have a down syndrome student who decided that he wanted to perform. He tried to teach me some of his performance the other day in the hallway so I was really looking forward to seeing his act. When he got up on stage, he did the entire song Gangham Style by PSY. Complete with dance moves and mouthing the words to the song. It was awesome! But what surprised me even more than his spectacular performance was the crowd response. I was SO proud of our students. The second this student's name was called, the students erupted in cheers. They were singing and clapping along with the entire song and after he was done, the students went NUTS! I was so proud of how respectful they were, not just to this student, but to all the students choosing to participate. I know it is not easy for some of them so I was really happy when the observing students were exceptionally respectful to their peers. Sometimes these guys really surprise me, in a good way!

The past few weeks I have been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of students that were signing up to see me. I could spend all of my 10 hours just working on individual issues with students. Luckily, there is a great group of staff here that were more than willing to be the first filter for students needing to see me. Now, I will only see a student if a teacher sends me an email or I have a request from a parent. I am so glad to see so much need amongst the students here because it shows that we really need counselors in all the elementary schools. But I am also a bit relieved to have a few less individual students come to see me so that I can concentrate on the reason I am here which is small groups and students who have been identified as needing my assistance.

Speaking of small groups, I am starting 3 small groups at this school. The first one is a group on changing families which is meant for students whose parents are going through a divorce. I have found a great book that I am splitting up into pieces. I am also using some activities from "the D (divorce) word" Activity and Idea Book written by Julia Cook. Her activities are simple and I think they will be very effective. We shall see. I am currently getting permission slips returned to me and I am hoping to get the groups up and running by the last week in February.

I am also running a girls group from the book Bullying in the Girl's World: A school-wide approach to girl bullying by Diane Senn. I have read a lot of great things online about her book and the small group lesson plans within it. We seem to have a bit of an issue with girl bullying in our 4th grade here. I feel like I am constantly dealing with girl problems so I am hoping to combat this by putting all the 4th grade girls in a group. My hope is that it will at least lessen some of these issues.

I have also started a career cafe here at my school!! It is starting to become a big success! I will write more about it in a specific post because I have a lot to say about it. Needless to say I am really excited that it is taking off and I am hoping that I will be able to stick around here to continue it next year.

I am trying to keep as much data as possible but I am hoping that I can get some testimonies from staff, parents, and students here. I would love to be able to work at this school (or multiple schools in the district) full time next year. Does anyone have experience with having to advocate for your job that could give me some friendly advice? Please feel free to comment below.

I hope you are all having a great Monday and look for my post on my Career Cafe soon!


February 4, 2013

Happy National School Counseling Week!!

Hi fellow school counselors,

Happy  National School Counseling Week!!!

Thanks for all the hard work you do for your students and staff each and every day!!

Much appreciation,


January 14, 2013

My New Counseling Position!

Hi Everyone!

I am sorry it has been such a lapse in time since my last post. I have a few posts in the works to show off my new office as well as talk about some of the things that I am starting at my new school.

Speaking of my new school! I got a job working as the only school counselor at a title 1 elementary school in my hometown!! It is only 10 hours a week but I look at it as 10 is better than 0!

I was super excited to get this job and as you can probably imagine, I put waaaay more than 10 hours in for the first few weeks. My office (really its a classroom) was finally coming along and I was getting my game plan together for the time after break.

Well I had a meeting with my principal who loved all the ideas that I had. But then I got some unsettling news. After they hired me, the paperwork for my position (which was supposed to be funded under title 1) was rejected :-( I was sad but I couldnt be too upset because my principal was supposed to call me over break and tell me not to come back in. Clearly, she realizes how important counselors are to all students, so after agonizing and many sleepless nights (I am soooo appreciative of her for all of this!!) she re-worked the school budget so that she can pay me for my 10 hours a week through the end of March, possibly the end of April. After that, who knows!

I really cannot be too upset because I know she agonized over this for part of the holiday break! I am so thankful she believes in having school counselors in all levels of school and I couldnt be more thankful. My hope is that if she cannot pay me in April or May, that I will volunteer my time to come in and conduct groups/career stuff/transition pieces for that time.

On a positive note, since I am not funded through title 1, that means that the documentation of EVERYTHING I do or say does not have to happen. It was kind of a relief to hear that but I am still documenting everything so that I can go to the school board soon and prove to them with my data and personal testimonials that they need to hire me for full time next year. I would even be willing to go to a couple of different schools but I firmly believe that this district needs to rehire elementary school counselors and I am making it my goal to be the first one!!

That is all for now. I have a busy Monday ahead of me! I will post pictures of my office as well as my game plan for this year sometime this week!