Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Today one of our administrators asked me to schedule a mediation between two sixth grade girls.  I must say it was the most successful mediation I have witnessed.  The girls were so respectful of each other and realized pretty soon that all of their issues were based on unsubstantiated rumors!
Per my administrator, I had each girl follow up with a phone call home to explain how they resolved the conflict.  As they packed up their books to go back to class, one of the girls stopped to give me a hug.  
This was one situation where the girls had met previously and got along famously, but when school started in the fall they were placed on different teams and did not get a chance to really continue that friendship while at school.  They would see each other at school, but only in passing.  Being able to provide the girls with a place to meet, expectations to follow, and time to clear the air was exactly what the girls needed!

Not always do we see the fruit of our efforts, but when we do, it can sure fill our buckets!  :)  This is just another reason why I LOVE my job!  :)

The rapid way rumors were spread and fighting was encouraged by peers lead me to think ahead for classroom guidance lessons for next year.  Do any of you teach a lesson on peer conflict/rumors?  I would love to hear from you!!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Extraordinary School Counselor: Self-Injury & Self-Harm

If you have not found The Extraordinary School Counselor yet, this is a GREAT time to check out this amazing blog!  

The most  recent blog post is an excellent resource with information about self-injury and self-harm.  Check out the blog:  The Extraordinary School Counselor

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Liebster Award

The Middle School Counselor is one of my favorite blogs.  If you do not know Carol Miller, she has an AMAZING internet presence.  She blogs, tweets, creates SMores, pins, and started my favorite Facebook group, Caught in the Middle School Counselors.  She does more than that...AND she is a fantastic school counselor with fabulous ideas!  I have learned so much from her this year!!!  Today, she notified me that she nominated me for the Liebster Award.
What an incredible honor!  Thank you so much Carol Miller!

So, what is the Liebster award?  It is an award that honors new bloggers who have 200 or less followers.  The award promotes the nominee's blog while informing blog readers about the blogger.

Here are the rules associated with the award:

1.  Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2.  Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3.  Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4.  Create 11 questions for your nominees.
5.  Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.

Thank you again Carol Miller!  I truly do feel honored!

Following directions, I will now answer the 11 questions:

1.  What are your favorite blogs?  This is a tough one!  My favorites are:

2.  Why did you decide to begin blogging?  I started blogging because I wanted to journal my first year as a school counselor.  I know too well how time can pass by and my memory does not always serve me as well as a journal would.  :)  I was especially inspired by others who have such amazing blogs.  I wanted to be able to educate others like they did me.

3.  Who do you follow on Pinterest?  I follow some of my friends to get ideas for dinner and such, but most of my Pinterest time is spent on school counseling ideas.  I follow The Helpful CounselorFranciene SabensSchool Counselor CentralBecca LengerLena Sheets (Becca and Lena are good friends and grad school classmates), Julia V. TaylorDanielle Schulz, and Carol Miller.

4.  Do you have a favorite counseling lesson?  I think my favorite lesson is one on anger management.  I have the students think about their anger when it is out of control.  Then, I give them a balloon and we equate uncontrolled anger to a balloon out of control.  I have the students blow up the balloon and hold it (don't tie it shut).  Then, I have them predict where they think the balloon will go.  Next, they release the balloon and try to recreate the movement of the balloon.  Finally, they discuss with a partner what happened when the balloon was realeased and how that is similar to anger that is out of control.  It really helps them visualize how unpredictable their anger can be and how it affects others.

5.  How do you connect with other counselors?  I am blessed to work in a counseling office with two other counselors:  a school counselor and an outreach counselor.  As a new counselor, I consult with them daily.  I work in a rather large school district.  The middle school counselors get together every other month for a breakfast meeting.  It is a great way for us to stay informed.  I also use facebook, twitter, and blogging sites to stay connected with counselors all around the globe.  :)

6.    What technology/apps would make your job more      
difficult if you had to do without?  Our school information system allows us to look up various information on our students.  I don't know what I would do without it!  

7.    What is your favorite thing about being a counselor?  I get to connect with so many different people!  I support students, parents, and other staff members on a daily basis! There is never a dull moment.  :)  After teaching for 19 years, I find it refreshing that I can leave my office at the end of the day and enjoy my family!!  :)

8.    What are 3 things about you most of us don't know?  1--My parents had 3 foreign exchange students from Spain (just for summers), 2--When I was 8 my parents were foster parents to two other children:  Dawn & Danny, 3--I once won a costume contest for dressing up as Carrie from the movie with the same title.

9.    What is your favorite ice cream flavor?  Butter pecan

10.  What do you do in your free time?  Watch my son's lacrosse games!  :)

11.  What is your best piece of advice for a student?  Concentrate on the things you can change.

Now...here are the questions I have for the nominees:

1.  How long have you been in your profession?
2.  What sparked your interest in your current career?
3.  Who was your favorite teacher and why was he/she your favorite?
4.  What inspires you?
5.  What is your favorite social media and what makes it your favorite?
6.  What was the last conference you attended?
7.  If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
8.  How do you practice self care?
9.  Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
10. What is your favorite book?
11. Describe yourself in one word.

In turn, my nominations for the Liebster award are:

Congratulations Bloggers!  I look forward to reading your responses!  :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Transition Activities

I just participated in my 2nd twitter chat, sponsored by #scchat.  The topic was transitions and how school counselors help students and parents with those important transitions.

This is our week for transition activities.  Last night, our incoming 6th graders and theire families were invited to "Get Aquainted Night" at Lange Middle School.  We had a good crowd!  The night started out with an introduction by our principal, who then introduced the staff.  From there, our 8th grade Leadership Class took over.  About 15 students stood on the stage, in front of maybe 150 students and families and introduced each of the 6th grade teachers by telling what each one teaches, what his/her room # is, his/her class expectations and then...for a little humor how each teacher responded to the question, "What does a fox say?"

Once this presentation was finished, students were given a scavenger hunt and a time limit.  We asked that all return to the cafeteria by a certain time.  In the cafeteria (for fun) we had the video "What does a fox say" running.  At the given time, students and families returned to the cafeteria for door prizes and a big thank you for coming.  It was a GREAT night!  :)

As a counselor new to this building, I enjoyed meeting the families back in the cafeteria and just getting to know them a little.  Since we divide our counseling load by alphabet, I was able to introduce myself as the school counselor for last names A-K.  I LOVED how excited the students were who could say, "That's me!  You are my counselor."  :)  Sometimes it is just that simple introduction that eases their fears and offers them someone to turn to.  Oh!  How I LOVE my job!  :)

If I could attach the scavenger hunt to this blog, I would.  I can tell you that I attached it as a file on the "Caught In the Middle School Counselors" Facebook Group.  Feel free to use it!  :)

Middle School has transitions happening at both ends!  How does your school handle transition?