Monday, March 9, 2015

Nick News!

Hi everyone!

Right now we are pretty much inundated with preparing for our standardized test, the MAP.  The format is changing from paper/pencil to computer this year!  If you have a similar situation, you can understand how overwhelmed we are feeling.

Well amongst all the craziness of testing prep, we received some GREAT news!  In our school district, our superintendent has a middle school and high school advisory board (separate so the middle schoolers will talk...they get a little intimidated in front of high schoolers).  One of my duties is to drive our two students to the board office and back each time they meet.  While that duty might not sound like something school counselors normally do, I have to tell you that I love this duty!!  The kids are great and we have wonderful and riveting conversations to and from the meetings

You are saying, "What is the good GREAT news of which you speak?"  Here it is:  after a conference call from Nickelodeon concerning INTERNET SAFETY last month, Nickelodeon called our district back, saying that they would like to film them for Nick News as they were very impressed with their maturity in handling the internet.  Yeah!!!  Yippeeeee!!!  Hurrah!  Hurray!!!!

So, guess what my job is tomorrow?  You guessed it!  I will be taking the kids over for their interview at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  I cannot wait to hear what the kids have to tell me!  :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Seize the Day!

This expression comes to mind as my mind spins out of control with thoughts and ideas from the Bright Futures Community Engagement Conference which I just attended...for free!

Let me explain...

In January 2015 I got an email from the Missouri School Counselor Association (MSCA) of which I am a member.  They had a generous donor, allowing them to send 25 school counselors to the conference with FREE registration.  Being a new counselor, I jumped on that one!

I had to drive 4 hours to get to Joplin from my hometown.  A long drive, but made much sweeter by lodging with my old college roommie who is only an hour away from Joplin.  :)

So, on day one I made it past registration and was looking for seating when I spotted my children's former elementary principal (and now assistant superintendent in my school district).  I sat down next to Mr. T and chatted about Bright Futures, an initiative that we just began in my district (like last month!).  After chatting for a bit, Mr. T asked me if I would like to be on the Advisory Council for Bright Futures.  Of course, I asked about time committment and it did not sound like it was too much, so I let him know that I was definitely interested.

Then, I started attending the break out sessions.  I learned that basically the Bright Futures framework brings community and schools together so that students can have their basic needs met and then give back to the community.  My mind was full of amazing stories and my heart filled up as I heard each one.

If you have not heard of Bright Futures...check it out!  Bright Futures USA.

I learned so much about community partnerships from this conference!  I will say that at first, I was a little scared to drive four hours away for a conference where I knew no one.  Now that I've been there and back, I am so glad I did!!!

It just goes to show how important it is to Seize the Day; to try new things.  There is so much out there for us.  We've just got to be ready to take it on!!  Who's with me?  :)