Monday, February 16, 2015

Crunch Time

February is a short month.  This being my 2nd year as a school counselor, I have come to the realization that February is the beginning of crunch time for school counselors.

We start out the month with National School Counseling Week, which fires us up and gets us motivated!  :)

At least in my district, we start enrollment for the upcoming school year at the end of January and beginning of February.  This means we coordinate with the high school our students feed into so that they come out to speak to our students about 9th grade enrollment.  This year the high school counselors came on January 29th and on February 6th we went into 8th grade classrooms to use the enrollment information to help students develop their personal plans of study.  I have to admit, it was a little much at once and we are re-thinking how we do this for next year.  We are thinking of starting with personal plans of study in September so that when high school counselors come out to visit in January, our students will actually have a head's up on some of the information.

Now wait!  8th graders aren't the only ones in our building.  The first week of February brought myself and my colleague into the 6th and 7th grade classrooms, helping those students enroll for next year.

We are one of six middle schools in our district.  20 elementary schools feed into those six middle schools.  My colleague and I visit three elementary schools to speak with the 5th graders on enrollment for 6th grade and what middle school looks like.  We have completed one such visit so far and have two more to go. you can see enrollment is a priority right now, but we are also about to start testing season!  Tomorrow we have meetings about what our state testing will look like this year.  It will be very different...testing is online for us this year.

Now maybe you can see why I entitled this Crunch Time.  This is a time when I write everything in my calendar and check and double check that I am doing all that is required of me.  It's not that it can't be done, but we have to be strategic with our time right now.  

It is also time for most of the 504 plans that I manage to come due so I have to keep up with those and make sure I schedule the meetings in a timely manner.

A good comprehensive calendar is essential for this time of year!  So is self-care.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a school counselor, and I know that this time of year can be stressful with a lot on my plate.  If I work together with my colleague, plan ahead, and take care of myself, I can also continue helping students and staff find their success.  Game on!  :)