Monday, June 24, 2013

Being flexible

Today I went to school to get my keys, discuss a couple of things with the supt., and meet the new principal. I was told he'd be there this afternoon since he had some things to wrap up at his previous school in the morning. The previous counselor was going to do some cleaning (last week before her vacation this week) and get her things out of the office so that I could start moving my things in this week. I guess we're all on summer schedule :) because the principal had been there and gone by the time I got there. He was there this morning not this afternoon. The supt. wasn't there at all today. I couldn't arrange any of my things in my office in the high school building because the previous counselor hadn't taken anything of hers out yet. Since the supt. wasn't there I couldn't get my keys and the elementary principal is on vacation so I can't get my keys to that building or start moving into that office either (which I knew all of this about the elementary principal and building). All I could do was laugh and say, "Oh well." I faxed a couple of things while there and took in the three boxes I'd loaded up. That's just the way it is, might as well go with the flow, right? Over the weekend I made an introduction board to use at the beginning of the school year in the elementary. Those students are not used to having a counselor and therefore, probably don't know what to expect. I read through a couple of blogs, picked out some things I liked and put them together on this board.
I really liked what jyjcounselor had done with her Prezi so I modified it to work on the board. The center is my picture surrounded by pictures of my family, hobbies and interests outside of school. Outside of that are clues to what I'll be doing around school and in the classrooms. It's just a great visual to have while introducing myself and what to expect. Of course, I couldn't pass up the "Happy, Happy, Happy!" (which I placed on the board after I snapped a picture) reference to Duck Dynasty. In this part of the US nearly everyone can relate to that! I plan on going back later this week to (hopefully) accomplish a little more than today.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's Old Is New Again

Today I have been going through my school and office things that have been packed away here and there for so long. I've had so much fun rediscovering things I haven't seen in a while, finding pictures of former students that have brought back many memories. I've got several things for the upcoming year in my calendar already (Red Ribbon Week, Anti-Bullying Week, No Name Calling Week, National School Counseling Week, etc.) and am gathering ideas to go along with them. While at my previous school I noticed that a teacher had a bubblegum machine on her desk full of erasers. I loved the idea so I stole it! Isn't that the best form of flattery, someone stealing (using) your idea, copy catting you or something you did? I think it is! I found this bubblegum machine at a flea market or trade days event somewhere. Now I'm trying to fill it with erasers! I've discovered that Wal-Mart is the cheapest place (really) to get them. After buying quite a few packages I've decided I need to wait for back to school sales to finish it. I think it will make a great addition to my elementary office. That building is Pre-K through 6th grade. I also discovered a supply of pencils I forgot I had. I am still going strong thinking of bulletin board ideas for the hallways of the two buildings for various times of the year. Creativity is in full force here as I think of ways to begin interacting with students, help make new students comfortable and try to learn the processes of a new school myself.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Contract signed!

Yesterday I went to school and signed the contract for my new job/school. I intended to go, sign the contract, visit with the superintendent about a few things and leave to run errands in town and spend some time with my new grandbaby. Well, the day didn't quite go like that, though I count it all good. When I got to school, the elementary principal (who I hadn't yet met) was in the supt.'s office so I visited with the both of them about some things for the upcoming year. The elementary principal is a former counselor. This is going to be so beneficial! The counselor, who is leaving, was there, discussing testing issues (yes, they're still going on) also. I went with her to the office that will soon be mine. This is a school where I did a portion of my student teaching. I remember the principal's and counselor's offices. They were small, dark and in need of a bad update (think dark brown paneling from 1970s). It was remodeled last year! Now it is light and bright, a little larger and I was thrilled to see it. However, it gets better (or worse, depending on how you look at it, I like to think it's better). I'm going to be working in the elementary a couple of days a week, as I mentioned in my previous post, so they're putting an office in place for me there. I joked when I asked about space, asking if it might be a broom closet, a corner in the front office, maybe just a desk at the end of the hall? They're getting me an office set up with a real desk, computer, shelving, etc. I'm thrilled, though this means I will need to gather supplies so that I have my touch and my personality in both locations. I'm thinking primary colors in the elementary office and a general school theme if possible. This office I will be starting from scratch. The high school office will be more colors I am drawn to such as the soft, fern green, brick reds with some yellow/gold in there. Things I already had in place in my old office. I have fabric for curtains in those colors already, a wall hanging and some desk decorations along with pictures. The supt. and principal are very receptive to all my ideas, which I'm thrilled, because I have many, many more! I met a couple of coworkers while there, and they, of course, were great, too. My mind has been spinning with ideas, I've been reading blogs and researching things almost non-stop since last Friday. I know it will be a lot of hard work, being that the buildings are so far apart. I will have to commit to days or mornings/afternoons in just one location and I am it, the only counselor for the entire school. However, it's everything I've done previously and it is closer to home, making it easier to stay late, go in early or even run down on a Saturday morning. I'm feeling very blessed!

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Job

It has been a very long time since I've written a post. Because I didn't work in counseling during the 2012-13 school year, I didn't really feel I had anything related to post. In fact, the only 'job' I held was teaching my cake decorating class at the local technology center, which is one night a week during the school year only. While I've enjoyed the time off (I haven't had a long term break in over 23 years) I have really been 'itching' to go back to work and to put into place things that I have learned and use resources I've acquired. I am excited to post that I have just been offered, as of today, a counseling position at a rural school, 20 minutes from my home. This is a huge improvement over the 45 minute drive (pushing it to make it in 45 minutes) I previously had. The district has two separate locations (one for PK-6 and one for 7-12. There is a short drive between the two. I will be serving both locations, one or two days a week with the lower grades and the rest of the time with the upper grades. Not only will I be doing character education and individual sessions (groups at my choosing I think like at my previous location, not required), but also academic counseling, scholarship searching, enrollment, district testing coordinator, student council and other things as well. I will have my plate just as full in this district as in my previous one. However, it is closer to home which makes it completely doable, lots of hard work, but doable.