This school year I started gathering more data on my small groups to assess how effective my sessions were for students. So far, so good!
I thought I'd share what I've created.
You can view all of my documents here. Enjoy!
Over the past few days, I've posted a bunch of new resources on the website portion of my site. Here are the recent additions:
It's been a huge adjustment for me. Now, I have to walk around my building apologizing to students and staff for cancelling groups, rescheduling sessions, and skipping classroom lessons. I feel like a failure and a disappointment most of the time.
Now is the time for a little perspective. In the grand scheme of things, these tests don't matter. These limitations have been placed on all Ohio schools (and other states dealing with the same tests) and all we can do is take a deep breath and do the best we can with what we've been given. It doesn't mean that we stop fighting for our students - we just have to accept those things we cannot change immediately.
Last week, my school had a Valentine's dance for 4th-6th grade students (no dates, just fun). Before the dance, I was upset about the lack of time I had to be a REAL school counselor and was dealing with the stress of being pulled in too many directions - the last thing I wanted to do was add more to my plate by chaperoning a dance, even though it was my choice to do so. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I went to the dance. It was wonderful seeing my students in a more relaxed setting, dancing like goofballs and smiling like this was the best night of their lives. I was able to enjoy the people they are and not the "data" they represent on paper. This is why I wanted to work with children - they are fun and make my life brighter with their unique perspective on life.
I figured that many of you might be in the same boat, plugging the little holes before you are engulfed in a sea of negativity, stress, and responsibilities. So, here are some reminders about the beauty of our students:
You could also use the self-reflection paper in an individual or small group setting. When students understand their behaviors, they are more likely to control them, rather than be controlled by them.
Whitney, please contact me so I can get your mailing address and banner preference.
As of 9:00 this morning, Elementary School Counseling.org's Facebook page has 3,013 likes! I am amazed! This is one of the best communities to be a part of because everyone is so supportive, generous, and creative - hey, we ARE school counselors after all.
I started this website to offer free resources for school counselors, both new and veteran, so that no one had to feel isolated or overwhelmed by this profession. It's not easy being a school counselor. We carry a lot so that others can take the breathers they need to grow and move forward. I am so grateful for all of you - you make the weight I carry a little lighter.
So, in the spirit of Elementary School Counseling.org, I would like to give back. As an extra "thank you" to my readers, I'm hosting a special giveaway.
A banner of their choice!
1. "Like" my Facebook page.
2. Write your favorite Elementary School Counseling.org idea, resource, or post in the comments section of this post.
I will select the number of winners based on the number of eligible entries I receive. For every 50 entries, I will select 1 winner. For example, if I had 100 entries, there would be 2 winners. If there are fewer than 50, there will still be 1 winner.
All entries must be received by 11:59 pm EST on Feb. 14, 2015.
Erainna's books also include follow-up activities on the last few pages, which is great for the school counselor on-the-go. It's Good to be Me even has an activity built into the story - how perfect is that?!
I would definitely recommend these books for your elementary school counseling programs. I would most likely use them in a small group setting and focus on one book per week. We'd discuss the topic and overall story, then complete a follow-up activity to check for understanding. I think these are great for 3rd-4th grade students, but you may find them beneficial for 5th and 6th graders as well.
Post a comment below to be entered into a drawing for your own autographed Girl Power book set. The deadline is January 16, 2015 and the winner will be selected at random (with a computerized tool). I'd love to hear how you'd use these books in your own school counseling program and/or the types of activities you've tried in your girl groups.
Are you an author? Do you have a book that you would like me to review on my blog? If so, contact me at email@example.com. I'd be happy to check out your work and spread the word to my readers.
It's hard to believe that 3 years ago, Elementary School Counseling.org was born. I am so grateful for the collaboration, support, and enthusiasm from this amazing group of school counselors. This is a beautiful profession that I am lucky to be a part of.
As an extra "thank you" to my readers, I added a Frequently Asked Questions section to provide quick answers for the school counselor on-the-go. Check it out and feel free to contact me with other questions you think should be added to the list.
Happy New Year!