Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am testing coordinator for our district. Data for testing 9-12 is due tomorrow for spring testing which is something our state does. I finished this afternoon (ahead of time) and I'm so excited I had to post. What is the big deal you ask? There are nearly 300 entries, each entry is a student's first and last name, school #, state testing #, grade, DOB, race, gender, subject tested, format, teacher's name, IEP, and so much more. I started this last week and have worked every non-session moment I had on it. I uploaded it several times and it came back with errors. This is normal, a name was entered as in our system, but it's different in the testing system something like that, usually minor, it just needs to be found and corrected. When there is an error, it just spits back the student number. The error has to be found from that # and corrected (PEARSON if anyone can relate). Anyway, after submitting several times today the upload finally came back 100% successful. Woohoo! I FEEL SO ACCOMPLISHED!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It has been a very productive week. Early in the week I began entering data for Spring testing that is due on the 29th. It's now almost complete, just a little tweaking on Monday and it will be ready for uploading to the testing site. We've had students come in to our school and a few preparing to leave. All of which gathering information either way falls on me.
I was able to read to nearly all my classes this week, hitting one for the first time ever! That makes me feel accomplished. I chose to read two books on bullying this week (different interest levels for different grade levels). I've been getting lots of reports from students on bullying going on in our school lately. So, in addition to all our assemblies and lectures on the subject, I decided to be even more proactive. I read and briefly discussed the subject with the lower grades.
I took the 8th grade class to a Tech Center and Career Expo. I always enjoy that day - getting to interact with the students in a different setting, observing their group dynamics and learning so much from the programs and presenters! So much work goes in to that and it is always well done. This year's expo was a little strange for me, for reasons I won't go in to here. I'm still mentally processing that (which is why I'm up on Friday evening/Saturday morning at 2:30 a.m.) I met with a couple of individual students this week and two different groups of girls to finish off the week. I used a new game in one of the individual sessions, a new 'for girls only' lesson book with one girls' group and prepared Jenga for another individual session next week. There were things left on my desk, undone. Those will have to wait until next week. Several days of coming in early and staying late still didn't get everything accomplished for me this week so I had to tell myself it was all good and call it a week anyway. Next week is another Career Cafe' with a nurse presenter! I can't wait. I'll have to wrap up the testing data and send completed tests off by Wednesday. I have some scholarships to upload onto the counseling corner website for fb as well. I'm off to a Friends of the Library book sale on Saturday (today). I've made my list of books and hope to find some good ones there! I, like the students, am ready for Spring Break. The closer we get the crazier my schedule seems to be. Once we return we will be in full testing mode. I've discovered a site with an activitiy that would benefit our community and help us as a school raise our score with the the state dept. of ed. reporting. However, I don't think I have the time to commit to it, at least not this year. I've also come to realize that our small community might benefit from an evening parenting group. It's something I'd love to develop, but again don't have the time for this year. I'll have to keep these two things 'on the clip board' for next year.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness week

We are in the middle of RAK week and its going well, but not exactly how I anticipated it would. I read to the elementary each week, one time, at an appointed time. This is in lieu of lessons in the classroom. The books I read usually have a lesson in them. I really wanted to try to read to the different grades all on Monday and read one of the Fill Your Bucket books (I have three and all but one grade level only has one teacher).
However, I was tied up with admin. meetings almost all morning. Then in the afternoon I had to deal with issues among students in a particular grade. By the time I finished the day was just about over. I did some reading on Tuesday and used buckets along with some colorful pompoms to demonstrate examples of filling and emptying a bucket. I called students up with me to help. They loved it and the teachers commented how cute it all was. I didn't get to do any reading Tues. afternoon as it was Valentine's Day and parties were going on during my scheduled reading time. In one of the offices while dealing with a student the principal mentioned that it was Random Acts of Kindness week and gave the student some suggestions of things to do to prevent the same type of situation occuring again or to make a relationship better. I was thrilled that she mentioned the week's theme (randomly - ha ha) on her job as well. It was great team work I thought (I was in the meeting as well since it was a student that I'd been meeting with on other issues and there was some comfort in having me there). I love my job. I love interacting with the students. There are some students I do not meet with on a regular basis in all grades. There are even some students I've never met with other than minute meetings, but I am always present should someone need me. I have some difficulty in completing my counseling duties along with the administrative duties of my job, too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


This week was National School Counseling Week. To show the staff, in a small way, how much I appreciate THEM, I passed out some goodies throughout the week. The first treat was a note to let them know they play a huge part in students' success. This is what the notes said: "Teachers, Administrators, and School Counselors work together for student success! In celebration of National School Counseling Week 2012, I would like to thank you for being one of the “3 Musketeers"!" I chose a cute font and placed the phrase on a larger, more colorful note card with a bite sized 3 Musketeer. Wednesday I gave everyone a certificate of appreciation. I just printed them out on regular computer paper. I hand printed our school name and the person'as name in a school style print. I rolled each certificate up and tied them with cute ribbon. The last and final day, Friday, I gave everyone a bag of orange slices with a label on top.
I included an extra note on the back about how they help make my job better and how much I appreciate them. For the past two weeks I've been dealing almost non-stop with student issues. I've been meeting with individual students almost continually and making lots of phone calls to parents inbetween. For the last two weeks I have also been battling a cold. Just when I thought, after 1 1/2 weeks, I was on the upswing and over it, I was knocked flat on my back again for yet another weekend. I finally succumbed and took a day off to rest and try to recover once and for all. I have not been able to focus on important administrative things (CRTs for 5th and 8th great less than two weeks away) due to all the student issues. I have also been going to many meetings with admin. team to learn as much as possible about common core. I see some late/long days in my near future or a couple of Saturdays! Next week I have an ongoing issue to address in a different way and hopefully finally wrap up with the help of admin. There will be a weekly admin. meeting at some point that I'll be a part of and the regular individual meetings for students. It will also be Random Acts of Kindness week. I have three versions of the book "How Full Is Your Bucket" to accomodate various grade levels. I will be reading these during the elementary story/library time instead of books on a variety of topics. I also have small buckets and colorful pompom puffs to use as a visual. I'm still working on coming up with some RAK I can do for others.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

First Career Cafe!

We had our first Career Cafe' yesterday. It was such as success!
The day before I went to the students I intended to invite and gave them their invitations. I told them what I needed them to do different than their usual routine (arranging lunch and being dismissed from class) and how things would work in the CC. I took some before pictures. The zebra theme and color choice was due to the cards I ordered to use as invitations. They're sort of a teal color with zebra stripes on the side. Of course I had to follow through with that.
I even made the center piece ("C" "C" for Career Cafe) and some zebra striped cookies as an extra treat for the students. Our first contributor was the head of the county DHS office.
She was amazing! She gave the students such good information, not just about her job and others in the office, but how students could get some volunteer hours through DHS. She advised students to go for jobs they loved, not just a job that would draw a large paycheck.
She said after 30+ years she still got up every morning, got dressed and looked forward to her job which she still loved! I can't wait until the next one! It will be end of the month with a nurse and a different group of students.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Many students with many problems today. Elementary, middle school and high school students with issues and all needing help. Some subjects were so intense. Kids should NOT be dealing with such things. It was a day in which I literally could have used a revolving door on my office. Before I finished with one student and one issue, another student was knocking or the phone was ringing with another. Upon opening my door several times throughout the day I discovered people had left messages or notes for me to address once finished. As I moved down the hall from one end of the building to another or from one building to another, I was stopped regularly with someone needing something to be addressed or to tell me there was another student in need of assistance. It was 3:00 and I realized I hadn't eaten lunch yet. It was a heavy day. I've had many days like today. These days are a double blessing for me. On the one hand I feel grateful for my job, very much needed and appreciated. I want to make a difference in the students' lives and impact them in a positive way. On the other hand I'm always glad to see days like today come to an end so there can be some relief of the burdens of others. Today just happens to be Wednesday as well. I am always uplifted by the end of the day on Wednesdays due to the church service, no matter what kind of day it's been.