Saturday, January 11, 2014

Be more adventurous with Twitter!

Do you have a Twitter account?  One of the most used forms of social media for educators (including school counselors--check out #scchat and #sccrowd) is Twitter.  The fact that you can only post 140 characters at a time makes those who post be succint and concise in their posting.

I have had an account for a few years, but haven't used it much.

Last year my son started playing high school lacrosse and the coach would send out tweets regarding where and when games/practices would be held.  We folled coach to get those tweets, but I must admit my husband did more of the following than I.

Then I started seeing all this # stuff on facebook (my preferred social media).  I had tried Twitter for a little while, but found it hard to figure out.  But the more I was reading blogs, the more I saw the hashtags and the more I felt left out because I didn't tweet.

So, over winter break I played around a little more with my account.  And, I tried my first ever Twitter chat.  WOW!

Twitter chats are super fast paced, but you can always lurk first before actually participating.  Usually the moderators will compose a storify of the chat so you can read all the tweets, in case you missed any.

SCOPE has a great 30 minute video on youtube explaining Twitter SCOPE Twitter video, but if you don't have 30 minutes, I found that Edudemic wrote a good article to get you started:  Edudumic Twitter Article.  You might learn something!

What is your favorite form of social media that keeps you up to date with the counseling world?

Why I Love My Job

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Today I greeted one of the girls I have been working with in the hallway.  I have not seen her since before winter break.  She had a little gift for me that she made over the break.  She learned to sew and she made me a beautiful coaster!  Hand stitched.  Double sided.  I always have a water bottle with me at school and need a coaster to collect the condensation.  What a perfect gift!

The relationships that we build as school counselors are the reason I love my job.!  It isn't that I want gifts, but heartfelt gifts like these are feedback to me.  Feedback that I AM connecting with the student and am making a difference.

Sometimes we don't get that feedback.  We wonder if we are making an impact.  We keep trying, but we may never know.

Feedback can come in all shapes and sizes.  These are some examples of feedback I have gotten:

  • Kids asking to eat lunch with me
  • Emails and phone calls from parents
  • Hugs
  • Shout outs like, "Mrs. Hughes!  I passed my first Algebra test EVER!!!"
  • Notes from students telling me I really understand
  • Smiles
  • Thank yous from administrators, staff, and parents
  • "I feel wanted when I'm in your office."
  • "I could spend all day in your office."
  • Kids who stay after school with me to decorate my office
Not all feedback is positive.  Sometimes I can't make the change that students/parents think I can.  Sometimes I have to say, "We don't make schedule changes because you want a different teacher."  Even in those cases, where the student/parent/staff member does not feel better, I think he/she is learning a lesson about life.

When I taught Spanish, I didn't think of it as teaching a specific subject.  In all reality, I taught kids.  While the subject matter was Spanish, I wanted them to walk away having learned lessons about life.  

As a school counselor, I still feel the educator inside me.  My job is to teach others how to handle what life deals them so that they can grow up to be independent, successful adults.

I LOVE my job!  :)

How about you?