Saturday, September 7, 2013

Classroom Guidance

I do a Classroom Guidance lesson at the beginning of the year with each of the 3 classes I'm in charge of; 8th, 9th, and 10th. During this lesson I go over what my main responsibilities are as a School Counselor; scheduling, testing, and counseling. When I talk about counseling with my students I always go into what are the three things that I have to report. I find it is a good way to open the door to that conversation, it also allows me to remind students of that conversation if and/or when they come down to talk to me. "Remember when I was in your classroom at the beginning of the year and I told you there were three things that I have to report?"
Then I go into my conversation about our two types of diplomas, credits, verified credits, yadda yadda. It's amazing how many times you can over something and students still forget.
I also give each student an "information sheet" to fill out and give back to me. My goal is to meet with each student individually to talk about what they want to take class wise, career wise, college wise, etc. During that time I find it will be helpful for me to have their information sheets to help me guide them. It also has some information to allow me to pick out students who might be in need of a little more attention counseling wise. Below is the information sheet.
Before I finish my lesson, I give each student a checklist. I created these checklists, but I added them below to share with you :) I tell students that whether they are college bound or not, these sheets will help them graduate.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My office

I love to see posts on other School Counselor's blogs about their offices. I get some great ideas from them, so here is mine :) I know it can be difficult to decorate an office as a high school counselor because you can't use as cutesy decorations as an elementary school counselor.
Here are some pictures of my office. It's basically a rectangle, it's a good size, (although smaller than the office at my last job) and holds a small couch and two chairs.

Here is a view from the door. I LOVE having windows!! My previous office didn't have a window. I knew I would love having one and I was right!  

Here is my desk. I never move the calendar off of my desk. It's how I survive. The desk is one of my least favorite things in the office...(next to the horrid painted border) I think it's ugly.... but in good time I'll do something with it... paint it? Sand it? I'm sure Pinterest will give me some good ideas ;)

Here's the side of my office next to my window. The plant, flowers, and card are all from my previous coworkers. Aren't they sweet?! It's nice to have a piece of them in my new office. The bag is one of my favorite items. It's from Initials, Inc and is so functional! I literally have probably 6 of these... one for each of my children, our bathroom, our snacks in the kitchen, at work... everywhere really. This one I use to take in my classrooms. It carries my handouts, extra pens, and any other goodies I need. It's pretty fab and it's cute :)

Here's more of the border... yuck! Along with my adorable husband and beautiful children, who wouldn't want to look at these cute faces all day? :) Also, on a side note, I got the black bins for like $4 at the dollar store for all 3! The cute chevron cups are from Target for a $1. There are two inspirational signs on my shelves. One is from Hallmark and says, "You have to make your future." The other was a gift (because it's soooo me) and it's says, "Let your inner princess shine"

Here is the view from my desk. I sent emails and letters to schools all over asking them to send me goodies to decorate my office with and they were all so generous!! You can see my bulletin board from a previous post hangs in my office. I have a closet in my office, which is really awesome. It can hide some of my junk aka counseling goodies. I was also the lucky recipient of the lovely blue and purple table.... I'm also looking for Pinterest ideas for this... Oh and one more of my favorite items in my office, my zebra rug! It's from Marshalls and was $3 :)

Here is my cork board border covering up the ugly painted one. It's does a nice job of holding up pictures, college swag, school sports stuff, and more. I've gotten a lot of compliments on it.

Annnnd that my friends, is my office :) I'd love to see yours!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Students for Students Raffle

I am also the club sponsor for our school service club, Students for Students. We will be doing a plethora of community service projects this year, along with fundraising, team building, meetings, and hopefully an end of the year trip! I love being helpful to our community so I can't wait to get this year started with our club!
By day I am a school counselor, on the side I'm also a Creative Partner for Initials, Inc. Check out my website here So I donated some items that I had in my stock for a raffle! Tickets are $1 for 1 ticket or $2 for 3 tickets. Drawing to be held September 16th :) Here's our big amazing prize worth over $250! Hopefully we raise lots of money!!
Want to get a ticket? Message me :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Staff Back to School Treat

I like to treat my staff occasionally and what a better time than the beginning of the year! I like to make work a fun place to be and create a happy environment. What is happier than chocolate?! I made these out of kit kat bars, ribbon, and cute little treat bags. I found everything I needed at Walmart, except the ribbon I already had it due to a previous scrapbooking addiction. I made the labels myself, but they were also Pinterest inspired. You can find the original inspiration here. 

"Hope you enjoyed your BREAK This is just in case you need another! From Your Friendly Guidance Department"

They were a huge hit among my staff!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bulletin Boards 2013-2014

It has been my experience that Secondary Schools lack the enthusiastic nature of an Elementary School. However, as a School Counselor I take on the challenge to try to create that enthusiasm with in my staff and my building! One of the ways I like to encourage this is decorating creatively or as us in education call it, Bulletin Boards! Some people hate them, I love them!  There aren’t as many fun ideas for Secondary Schools because it has to be considered “cool” by teenagers. So Dr. Seuss out? We’ll see what the year brings lol For now, I have been lucky enough to adopt FOUR bulletin boards at my new school. I’m not sure if that’s a good sign that they already love me and trust me to decorate the school or if that means no one else wanted them haha either way, I win!

Without further ado (or adieu? Where’s an English teacher when you need them?!) here are my bulletin boards!

This one is in my office. It is Pinterest inspired! Check out the original here. I found the US map on ebay and bought it for like 12 bucks. My husband, a history teacher, tells me I could have found one cheaper at Walmart, but I never did.... I emailed my new staff and asked them where they graduated from in undergrad. Then I made Stars with each of the colleges and hand wrote the names of the staff on the stars. Then I found each city that the colleges were in and put a push pin in the map. I have already gotten a lot of compliments from parents, students, and staff!

This board is right outside of our office. It will contain information about scholarships, PSAT's, SATS, etc. (I'm going to be working on the "Guidance" title for any other school counselors out there who see this.)

 Student of the Month is a student recognition program that I ran at my last school. It was so successful and I'm excited to start one here! This bulletin board is directly outside of the main office. It will soon be filled with winners of Student of the Month!

 Students for Students is a Community Service club at my school that I have proudly and excitedly inherited. Soon the middle of this board will have pictures in the middle of my club members working in the community. :) This board was also Pinterest inspired. As seen here.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Secondary School Counselor

Hi! My name is Brittany and I'm a licensed School Counselor in rural Virginia. I have spent 5 years working in an 8/9 school and this year will be my first year in an 8-12 high school. I hope to document my experiences, ideas, and ahhh ha moments.