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!