Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friendship Giveaway

Barbara over at The Corner on Character is hosting a giveaway!  She invited Maria Dismondy to guest blog, and she's giving away an autographed copy of her new book.  Check it out!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Staff Motivation

Short weeks can be so stressful!  I don't know what it is, but it seems that the four day weeks are much more hectic and busy than the five day weeks.  Maybe it is because I feel like I need to accomplish five days worth of work in just four days--I just don't know!

I have also noticed, over the years, that my teachers are more stressed in four day weeks as well, and that stress trickles down to the students.  Also, the spring semester brings us ever closer to state testing and meeting NCLB requirements, which is an added source of stress.

I am always looking for cool ideas to help de-stress my teachers, especially in the spring!  I know I am planning on doing a secret santa type program for Friendship Week (I have found that doing it in December is just an added layer of stress!), and I end up spending lots of extra money keeping my teacher candy jar filled in January!

I like some of the ideas in the Alanna Jones books.  I know I have used goofy activities in staff meetings from those for stress relief as well, but having a meeting to do a fun activity can be stressful, too!  I have also found some great ideas for students in these books.

What do you do to keep your staff de-stressed, motivated, and positive?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Calling

I truly feel this job is my calling.  Since I was a junior in high school, I have wanted to be an elementary school counselor.  That's a pretty specific career for a teenager to choose, but I had lots of wonderful influences.

In elementary school I was the textbook definition of the gifted underachiever.  I was fully capable of doing the classwork, but I had absolutely no desire to do work I didn't feel was fun or interesting.  When I was in fifth grade I had a wonderful teacher that saw something in me and gave me some more challenging lessons, and I thrived.  I also started working with the school counselor, and I even had a behavior plan!  I like to tell my students (and their parents) that I am living proof that this "school counseling" stuff can really help.

In middle and high school I was a good student with a flair for the dramatic.  When I realized I was never going to be a famous Broadway star (that light bulb came on when I was cast as a "tree" in a high school production my senior year), I started expanding my interests.  I took a class that included mentoring an elementary school student weekly during lunch.  The school counselors set up the program and that's when I realized what I wanted to do with my life.  My college and teaching experience were all targeted toward the goal of being a counselor.

I taught for three years while I got my counseling degree, and then I went straight into counseling and I've never looked back.  I have worked in urban and suburban districts, and schools with 99% free lunch and schools with 1% free lunch.  I decided my niche was Title 1 schools, with lots of cultural diversity.  I have been at my current school for eight years and I absolutely love my job.

I realize I have no readers yet, as this is only my second post ever, but if you come around later and happen to read this one, what brought you to this blog?  What brought you into counseling as a profession?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I have been an elementary school counselor since 1997.  I love my job, and the daily rewards and challenges it brings.  One thing about my career--every day is different, so it is never boring!  I have been inspired by many other blogs I have seen, and I love the idea of having a place to journal all of my ideas and triumphs, as well as keep a record of cute bulletin boards and other materials I create.

With luck, I will manage to update this blog occasionally, or more often than occasionally if things go well.