Tuesday, November 25, 2014


We have a short week this week, like most other schools, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Today is our last day this week. I am thankful for so many things. Like always, I am thankful to my Savior for the many earthly blessings He continually gives. I am thankful for my family and the support they offer, both regarding my job and with life in general. Last week I stayed home two days and kept my grandbaby due to an emergency at his regular sitter's. After the second day, my husband volunteered to make supper, though he had been sick for several days, telling me that I needed a break after being on baby duty non-stop. My daughter (grandbaby's mom), keeps me on my toes. With her there is never a dull moment. I get bogged down with doing things for school, consumed sometimes even at home, and they pick up where I leave off to run errands or get things finished. I am very thankful for all my coworkers this year. It's no secret I had a very rough year last year professionally. I returned to this school, where I was several years ago and where I began my counseling journey. I am reminded regularly how thankful those around me are at my return. This gratitude toward me causes me to have such appreciation toward everyone. Today, I am allowing students to go to the food pantry and pick out what they would like in their bags to take home. Since we are out longer than a regular weekend, most will be home more and eating/snacking around more.
I found some cute Thanksgiving notes online and managed to get them on all lockers, junior high and high school, after hours yesterday so that they were there when the students came in this morning.
I also found cute water bottle labels and candy wrappers for printing. I left those for all the staff, maintenance, cooks, teachers, aides, administration and office staff, yesterday. I was looking for something very reasonable that I could do for everyone.
I'm big on couponing. I often get cases of water for around $2.00. Two cases are enough for everyone. The bag of chocolate was $10. I have enough chocolate left over to do something another time for everyone. I plan on doing a lot of cooking, a lot of playing with my grandbaby, and a lot of resting over the break. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Veteran's Day

Last week we celebrated Veteran's Day. I'm in charge of the assembly for our school. Though there were some kinks along the way (always), everything turned out great!
Our elementary runs through sixth grade. I wanted them to be a part of our assembly even though it was for all grades PK-12th. Because of our school connections, I was able to obtain real military uniforms from every war and one from someone currently serving in the mountains of Afghanistan. I was in awe of the WWI and WWII uniforms to say the least.
We chose not to use the one from Korea, but went another way instead. I chose 6 sixth graders who usually don't get to do a lot. Those students got to dress in the uniforms. One girl dressed as a nurse in the Korean War instead of a male soldier. She and her mom got her uniform together and it was perfect! I also had two girls from the same grade read various things pertaining to Veteran's Day (the history, what a veteran is/does, a poem, and several introductions). We had the kids walk in carrying the two flags (American and state). Our MS/HS band students played the National Anthem and America the Beautiful. Besides the two girls doing all the reading, the students in uniforms went individually to the mic, introduced themselves and said, "I am a Veteran. I fought in..." Once all six had done this, the band instructor played TAPS. At the end all six students walked to the front of the stage and saluted our veterans who attended the assembly. Those in the audience held up papers to make an overhead flag across the auditorium. This was done once with the elementary kids and again with the JH/HS kids.
The person snapping this picture told me the elementary kids were better at it than the junior high/high school kids. (Go elementary!) I'm so thankful to all veterans throughout history. I have a history of servicemen in my family. I cancelled elementary classroom lessons for the week. Everyone attended the assembly and those teachers covered the day more in their classrooms. I spent the rest of the week in training to prepare for the upcoming testing season and then uploading student data to the testing site. I literally locked myself in my office Friday in order to complete the upload. While waiting on some feedback, I came out once, late in the afternoon, in order to fill pantry bags. When I returned some students had left a cute (and tastey), surprise on my desk.

Friday, November 7, 2014

RRW is over

What a great week it has been. I had lessons in the elementary building using some of the worksheets from my previous post. I separated the dot-to-dot worksheet for the Pre-K and K students so they would just have to complete the one prescription bottle. The other classes we either used a different worksheet or none at all. The lower elementary grades we played a game I saw on another counselor's blog or on pinterest. I'm not sure if it has a name but it used two pumpkins and a variety of products.I showed each product to the students, asking about them and then discussing the product.
After the discussion I asked the classes in which bucket each item should be placed, the orange (STOP) bucket/pumpkin or the green (GO) bucket/pumpkin. For the upper elementary, JH and HS, I put together a slide show about the history of RRW along with slides showing various types of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. I wanted the theme to catch the students' eyes so I put that on each slide with some movement. I gave information on what a natural high was and many, many examples of it. While the slides that pertained to drugs were showing the song, "This Is Your Life" by Switchfoot played. Once it switched over to the natural high slides the song switched to "Because I'm Happy" by Pherrell Williams. We then played the pills vs. candy game online. The JH/HS got to play all three levels of the game. We also saw the youtube video "To This Day". All week we dressed up to show how much fun we could have without drugs. My goodness though, taking down all the posters, banners and ribbons is just like taking down Christmas decorations after Christmas is over. While all this was going on I also helped with scholarship searches in the high school, transcript sending and delivering for seniors, EXPLORE and PLAN make ups and state reporting as part of my administrative duties.
Somehow I managed to put up a bulletin board in the JH/HS hallway, too. I think I'm going to do the iHELP board on my door, but go through Staples to make it permanent.