As the 2012-2013 school year approaches, I'm beginning to think about the early mornings and late evenings I'll spend working. Even though I love my job, I think we can all agree that school counselors get tired. So, why not prepare for the new school year by entering Elementary School Counseling.org's "Coffee Mug Giveaway!"
Recently, I have been receiving a lot of questions from my readers regarding the start of the school year. Whether you are getting ready for your very first year as a school counselor or are just starting at a new building, it can feel overwhelming. Where do you begin? What should you focus on? Well, here are a few of my ideas:
Without positive relationships with your students, staff, and parents, you will not be able to accomplish much. School counselors are a resource for EVERYONE. Your school family must feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns and should look to you for support.
Organizing Counseling Materials
I have found it helpful to have a routine, especially with my individual and small group counseling sessions. Students know the expectations, but have some freedom to choose how they wish to express themselves. Here are a few of my favorite and most used materials:
Documenting can be one of the most stressful parts of the job, simply because we often must push it aside to handle more pressing concerns. Then, we may let it go until there is a huge pile of paperwork to manage.
Today, School Counselor Blog highlighted the "What You Say In Here, Stays In Here" banner. Since I have a new office for the 2012-2013 school year, I was excited to make this banner for myself.
I'm back from another week at Camp Quality Ohio! As always, I had a wonderful time and felt truly inspired and humbled by the amazing CQ kids.
We had crafts, woodshop, fishing, boating, sailing, "Olympic" games, trivia, balloons, martial arts, a Cleveland Zoo trip, a remembrance celebration (for campers who have died), therapy dogs, teambuilding activities, a talent show, swimming, cake decorating, and MORE! The campers decide how they want to spend the day (based on the schedule of events) and the companions who are paired with them join in the fun.
Camp Quality is a meaningful way to use your summer vacation as a school counselor. I was able to work with kids on social skills, anxiety, depression, and other difficult issues just by being their friend. During the end-of-camp reflection exercise, kids shared that Camp Quality makes their cancer go away and that it's a place where they can truly be themselves.
I feel lucky to have met these children and other volunteer staff. Please consider volunteering at your local CQ. You will be glad you did.
School counselors could use TED-Ed videos and technology to integrate their students' core academic lessons with ASCA standards. Look at the "chemical reactions" example; it lends itself to discussion on what draws us to others or how we make new friends. Certain "rules" speed up chemical reactions, so which "rules" speed up new friendships? How can we use this information to help us in our daily lives? The possibilities are endless!
My name is Marissa Rex and I am a 1st Grade teacher and an elementary school counselor from Ohio. I hope you enjoy my site!