The winner of the Counselors with Character "Gratitude" contest is...
View the winning lesson here!
I recently stumbled upon a new blog called School Counseling Across the Pond: Collecting & Sharing Ideas from a Distance. Blog author, Lauren Seaberg, writes about her work as a school counselor at ACS Hillingdon International School, located in the UK.
While I was reading her first two posts, I have to admit that I was a little jealous. I have always had a strange obsession with historic buildings and the idea of working in one seems surreal; it's like a set for Masterpiece Classic.
Like many school counselors, Charlie absorbs others' pain. He wants to fix their problems, provide a shoulder to lean on, and give them hope for a better tomorrow. In doing this, Charlie sees the cycle of pain, which is hard to ignore; there is always someone experiencing heartache. However, when you open yourself up to this reality, you must be prepared to protect yourself. Don't be the saturated sponge, working to clean up a spill, but only spreading the mess around. We must take care of ourselves in order to take-on the world. Charlie, unfortunately, has not mastered this skill.
When I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I knew I had to blog about it. Watching these thoughtfully-crafted characters experience the world made me think of my students. I have students like Charlie, who need time and support to open up. I have students like Sam, who have experienced some form of trauma and desperately need to connect. I have students like Patrick, who use humor to hide the depth of their struggles.
I also thought about my own experiences in school - those times when I felt completely alone, the times I just wanted to blend into the background. I think when we leave high school, regardless of what that experience was like, we forget how claustrophobic it felt. Life revolved around a petri dish of students, all floating within the barriers of the container. The moment those walls are removed, you finally see the world for all its possibilities. It's the fresh start you thought you'd get in high school, before you realized that your middle school years followed you.
Have you ever had one of those days or weeks when paperwork gathers in piles, student referrals pour out of your mailbox, and the twinkling light of your phone's voicemail blinks with urgency? Wait. Of course you have. You're a school counselor!
On those difficult days, I'll admit that I've closed my office door after dismissal and cried. The build up of emotions, the pressure, the responsibility...it all boils over and once it does, it's hard to stop.
Well, this week was one of those weeks. I spent most of my days in a panic, racing to see all of the students on my list. I knew that it'd be impossible to fit everything in, but somehow, I thought I'd be awarded Hermione's time turner and magically I could do 10 things at once. Unfortunately, J. K. Rowling did not write my school day. Boo.
So, what makes me feel better? I, of course, vent to my husband (poor guy), but I find other outlets that allow me to take that built up energy and use it for something positive. Currently, I'm rehearsing my second play of the season, which has been a wonderful way to express myself. More on that later.
Also, I discovered something pretty amazing: Preschool Gems. As described on her website, "Preschool Gems is a Twitter feed run by Leslie McCollom, a writer and educator living in Portland, Oregon who posts wacky and brilliant quotes from her young students on the internet for your enjoyment."
From the Preschool Gems Twitter feed...
Like most of you, I'm two days into my school's Red Ribbon Week festivities. I wanted to share my first two morning messages from this week. My students have loved hearing from Tim!
Want to know what else I do during Red Ribbon Week?
Check out my RRW page here!
My school has an AMAZING climate committee that focuses on highlighting special events to boost staff morale. They pick random days, like National Pasta Day or Friday the 13th, and decorate our lounge. The staff love it! Here are some pictures from our latest special day: National "Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work" Day!
My name is Marissa Rex and I am an elementary school counselor from Ohio. I hope you enjoy my site!