I'm sure none of us are singing a joyful tune about this time of the year. It's stressful, exhausting, and seemingly never-ending.
I recently read a hilarious blog post about this period of the school year and what you are feeling is known as DEVOLSON, the Dark Evil Vortex of Late September, October, and November.
Once I discovered DEVOLSON, I knew I had to share it with my staff. Here are some pictures and free downloads from this special week.
Here's a quick summary of how I've started the 2014-2015 school year at my building:
Our staff decorated our building with a "Surfing into a New School Year" theme. Here's a sample bulletin board introducing our staff to students and parents.
Very similar to last year's office. Here are some pictures and a video of my space.
I used a LEGO theme to introduce/reintroduce myself to my students. The students loved it, especially because of The LEGO Movie. Check out additional beginning of the year lessons here. Make your custom LEGO icon here.
At my District Leadership Team meeting this evening, we opened with this very entertaining and also VERY enlightening video from TEDx Talks. The presenter, Shawn Achor, discusses how happiness can positively impact our lives, including how successful we feel at work, home, and beyond.
I think this would be a great video to show at a staff meeting or to cut into segments to discuss with older students. I would like to use these concepts to help my 6th graders, in particular, find better ways to deal with stress, disappointment, frustration, and failure. There are some aspects of the talk that may be inappropriate for your intended population, so be sure to view and decide which sections, if any, you'd like to share with those specific individuals.
Just watch. You will be glad you did.
How would you use this video to help your
You may remember learning about my Career Cafe (right) last month. I spoke about my personality inventory called "The Color Quiz," which is how I organize my students into groups for our guest speakers.
I decided to create another video to focus specifically on the quiz to help explain how it works. For more information, go to this classroom-based counseling link.
Also, this year, my colleagues took the survey during our staff meeting and then met as grade level teams to review the results in greater detail. It's been a fun, but educational way to look at how we function as a team.
This table was in our staff lounge. All of the teddy bears received special awards, like "best manicure" or "best dressed." My little friend earned the "best monogram" trophy!
Our fabulous art teacher created teddy bear table decorations to match the theme. The Teddy Grahams were the final, delicious touch.
I like to use bookmarks for my notes because they are cute, inexpensive, and functional.
On the back of the bookmark, I write about something special that I see in them - maybe it's their ability to energize their students or their compassion for others. I want to make my comments as specific as possible (as I do with Counselor Mail) to show each individual how important they are to our school family.
Do you do something similar to boost your staff's morale? If so, leave a comment and share your idea! We'd love to hear it!
When I heard this episode, I knew I had to share it on my blog. As school counselors, we are handed extremely difficult situations and, with other school personnel, must help our students rise up out of their challenges and succeed. "Back to School" offers great information to help with this task. Check it out!
Beginning of the Year Intro Lesson*
As you can see, we accomplished a LOT in one afternoon and decided that we definitely want to continue having Pinterest Parties.
Have you ever hosted an event similar to this one? If so, please let everyone know what you did and how you organized it. As school counselors, we can sometimes feel very alone; we need to collaborate and support one another through this wonderful, but challenging job.
*I apologize that the video is sideways!
My name is Marissa Rex and I am an elementary school counselor from Ohio. I hope you enjoy my site!
Awards And Recognition
Beginning Of The Year
Grade Level Transitions
Guest Blog Post
Positive School Behaviors
School Counseling Office
School Wide Program
Small Group Counseling