Friday, August 22, 2014

Swimming with the tide

Today has been quite a busy day! I've been working in my office at the desk most of the day. I'm glad it's Friday because I need to move a little more. I have an assembly for Red Ribbon week potentially booked. This is in part thanks to another school up the road that is going to partner with us. We will have the assembly in the morning and they will host it in the afternoon, or vise versa. That way the cost is significantly better due to less travel time and expenses. We might be able to partner with a third, depending on the distance between the schools. I also contacted one of our military branches today. The recruiter for our National Guard came by earlier this week. I contacted him today about doing a Veteran's Day assembly for us. He agreed and I am so glad! That is yet another thing that is mostly off my plate now. I am leaving it up to him as to whether he wants to go to the elementary classrooms or do one full assembly for them and another for our MS/HS combined. Whatever he wants to do will be greatly appreciated. Now I just have to find something for Constitution Week. I didn't know I had to do something for that week, but...SURPRISE, I do! I was also able to get all sophomores and eighth graders loaded up into a document and sent in to ACT for our EXPLORE and PLAN tests later. There will probably be some mistakes in the upload, there always are, but, for the most part it is finished. I found mistakes in two girls' (seniors) transcripts from the previous school year and I have the information being sent to me by our career tech school so corrections can be made early next week. I started gathering elementary teachers' preference for a time when can go to their classrooms for lessons. I am going to try for every other week. I'm also going to try to keep them all on Tues./Thurs. I'm feeling pretty accomplished today! It's Friday, after all, and it's been a very busy week. Right now, I feel as though I'm swimming with the tide instead of already swimming against it. I was able to encourage a fellow counselor in the area. She is new to her district and a first year counselor. I let her know she could call me any time and how friendly the other counselors were in the area. We will meet in a couple of weeks at an area counselors' breakfast. Looking back I remember how I stumbled around so much with so many things I was already aware of in my role as counselor but, not quite sure how to go about completing them (technicalities). After four years I still fumble with some things here and there. I'm glad to help someone else any way I can. I hope you all have a wonderful, restful weekend. I know I will, when I'm not searching for something to do for Constitution Day/Week. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kick off to 2014-15

We have been in school two days (with students) and so far it has been great. Prior to students coming back I decorated the sidewalks and entrances with chalk. Even the high school/middle school students enjoyed seeing it! My goal this year is to help make everyone feel appreciated. Our school lost three teachers (retirement or moving out of state) and no replacements were hired. That means teachers left here had to absorb those classes (English and Science at the high school level and remediation at high school and middle school levels). Instead of teaching some of the electives they've taught for years or subjects they love teaching, they had to be moved into core areas as their certification permitted. Many are unhappy, but chose to come back here anyway. I'm told our budget is tight, tight, tight. So, my goal is to show appreciation and be some encouragement to everyone, staff and students alike. Due to this new avenue I decided to make tiny cupcakes for the entire staff, (bus drivers, maintenance, teachers, secretaries, aides, and administration), and put labels on water bottles. I put notes on everyone's door before I left the day before school. When I got to school the next day, I put the cupcakes and water in the lounge for everyone to pick up as they signed or checked in. It was so much fun! I got the cupcake toppers and the water bottle labels on She did something similar for her staff last year. She was kind enough to update everything and make them available for download (free) this year. I am looking forward to the year and how I make an impact (again) here. I already have Career Cafe in the works and will introduce Lunch Bunch in addition to that. I have a Girls' Night Out planned for one of the elementary grades. When the weather turns colder and students are sitting in the cafeteria (high school and middle school) I plan on breaking out my dry erase boards and hosting some trivia games where tables compete for a small prize (candy). I'm not sure what else I'll be able to squeeze in to the year. I still have a lot of administrative duties on top of any counseling, college and career planning and student services.