Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chill Out Plan!

How do you help students deal with their anger?


I help students to make a Chill Out Plan (C.O.P).   A C.O.P.  is a proactive way to prepare students to deal with their angry feelings.  Follow these easy steps to make a Chill Out Plan with your students:

  1. Give students a blank piece of paper and ask them to title it "C.O.P". 
  2. Working with the student encourage them to come up with a minium of 10 different things they can do to "chill out" when they are angry.  
  3.  After they have created their list give them an opportunity to decorate it with crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc
  4. If you have access to writing composition books staple their completed C.O.P. to the inside cover. 
  5. Lastly, encourage your student to write in their journal and review their C.O.P. the next time they get angry.
Here are some examples of things students can put in their Chill Out Plans:
    • Take a 5 minute vacation
    • Talk to an adult you trust
    • Break Craft sticks
    • Write in a journal
    • Listen to music
    • Draw
    • Take a walk
    • Count to 10 before speaking
    • Punch a pillow
    • Do something you enjoy
    • Read
What are some things you would put on your C.O.P?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The DANGER zone!

When talking to students about anger try using this play on words to drive the point home:

  • Write the word ANGER on a piece of paper.  Ask student to read the word aloud. 
  • Then add a D in front of the word ANGER to make the new word of DANGER.  Ask student to read the new word aloud. 
  • Say to the student the word ANGER is only one letter away from the word DANGER.  Emphasis that it is a normal feeling to get angry, but you can not let your ANGER take you to the DANGER zone!  
This is also a great introduction or conclusion to a  class lesson about anger management. 

Would you try this with your students?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Inspiration


"Do your very best, with 
the resources and skills 
that you have, ONE DAY 
AT TIME". 

ME :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goal Update

Remember Goal 4 from my Goal Guru post?

Goal 4: Communicate via the internet with parents, staff, and other counselors.




Update #1-I am proud to say that I have been making good use of my school's webpage to get out important information to parents about my program.  I post all letters and flyers that I send home on my website.  Additionally, I post the character word weekly to encourage parents to use this language with their students at home.

Most importantly, I am able to clearly describe the counseling services mission, and explain the components of my comprehensive proactive preventive school counseling program! I have the Peace Pledge and a description of Peace Pals posted for parents to review as well.

Currently, I am working on creating a resource page for parents. I would like to have links to websites, books, and articles that can help parents educate their "whole" child.

How do you use your school website?  Please share your ideas here!

One of Us

One of Us by Peggy Moss is a FANTASTIC book to talk to students about diversity. I'm using this book with my 2nd and 3rd graders this month as a class lesson.  Here is my lesson plan:

Before reading the story ask students to think about things they have in common with other students in their class.  Ask them to think of some things that are different.

After this brief this discussion begin reading One of Us by telling students you are going to read a book about a girl who goes to a new school and is looking to make new friends.

When you have completed the story, check for comprehension by asking the following questions:
  1. What happened to Roberta James on her first day of School?
  2. What were some things that Roberta James had in common with her classmates?
  3. What were somethings that were different?
  4. What group did Roberta fit in to?
  5. What was so great about Roberta's group of friends?

Now its time for an activity! Explain to students that they are to partner up and find two things they have in common and two things that are different between them and their partner.  Give students about 2-3 minutes to do this. Have students switch partners three or four times.

Bring students back to a large group to make a T chart of the similarities and differences they found amongst their classmates. Ideally, it would be a great to do this on a large piece of poster board that can be hung in the classroom after the lesson. Title the poster "We are unique, we are different".

To close the lesson emphasis that we all share things in common, but we also have qualities that make us unique and special.
 
Would you use this lesson with your students? 



The Character Word of the Week

As part of the morning announcement ritual a character word is read, defined, and students are given a "character challenge" associated with the word. Character words are chosen from my 32 piece Character Poster Set and displayed on the "word of the week" bulletin board to serve as a reminder for students. 



Here is an example of this week's character word:
  • The character word for the week of December 12th is SHARE.
  • SHARE means to use or enjoy something with others. 
  • Character Challenge:  SHARE your favorite toy, game, book, movie, or food with a friend.  SHARE your thoughts, feelings, or ideas with someone you trust.  Remember, SHARING shows caring!

The Character Word of the Week is read by a Peace Pal right after the Peace Pledge. Incorporating a weekly character word helps to support my Counseling Services mission to build a "community of peace".  Additionally, parents can view the character word and the character challenge on my Counseling Services website!

Will you be purchasing this fabulous 32 piece character word poster set?  How will you use it at your school?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Howard B. Wigglebottom

Have you met  Howard B. Wigglebottom from The We Do Listen website?  If you have not used this FREE and FABULOUS resource you and your students are missing out.

The We Do Listen foundation provides free animated books, reproducible handouts, music, games, and lessons you can use for your class lessons or small groups. The animated books discuss topics such as listening, bullying, telling the truth, and friendship.



This month I'm using Howard B. Wigglebottom as a class lesson with my K and 1 students.  Here is my lesson plan:


1. Have students watch "Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen".
   
2.  Check for understanding by playing the animated lesson How to be a better listener.

3.  Have students dance to Wiggles & Giggles to expend energy and have fun!

4.  Ask students to go back to their seats to color in the Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen worksheet.

5. Prior to the lesson make a Number 1 Listener Star like Howard receives.  This is very easy to do,      just draw a star, cut it out, and write Number 1 Listener in the middle of the star.

To close the lesson, tell students that they will have a chance to receive a Number 1 Listener Star        like Howard did.  Ask the classroom teacher to award the Number 1 Listener Star to the student that follows all of Howard B. Wigglebottom's listening rules!

This is a fun and easy lesson to do!  Will you try Howard B. Wigglebottom with your students?



Thursday, December 8, 2011

I love Prezi!

Check out this Prezi I used to present my school counseling program to the Board of Education!


It explains that my mission is to serve all students through a comprehensive, proactive, preventive program. 


Thoughts?  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Build Your Relationship with 20 Questions!

When I start working with students it is my first priority to build my relationship with them.  I think it is important to get to know the student, and for the student to get to know me.  One of the ways I do this is to play "20 questions".  I complied a list of 20 non threatening/getting to know you questions and put them on card stock.  Click this link to find a google doc of my 20 questions.

To play the game I put the cards in a circle like so:

Then the student and I take turns picking a card, reading the question, and responding. Here is an example of the opposite side of the card:


Be sure to ask open ended follow up questions when the student answers.  

At the end of the game, be sure to emphasis anything you may have in common.  Students always have fun playing "20 questions", and I always learn valuable information about my student!

Could you play "20 questions" with your students?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bullying Contract

I LOVE to use contracts with students for a few reasons.  First, they tend to take them very seriously especially when you ham it up, and say this is an "official" document.  Secondly, they are GREAT to refer back to if the same student finds themselves in a similar situation for a second time.  You can always say, "hey, you knew the consequences"! Lastly, it is a tangible item you can share with other staff members and families.

Check out the google doc of the Bullying Contract I made to hold students accountable for their actions when they find themselves involved in a bullying situation.  The contract clearly outlines the actions that are not acceptable, and the consequences that will be given if the student demonstrates the aforementioned actions.

I always have the student fill out the contract as part of accepting responsibility for their actions.  Once the contract is signed, I make copies to share with appropriate parties.

What are your thoughts on using contracts with students?




Inspiration

"Don't let what you don't have 


keep you from using what you do have." 


Lou Holtz


Roll the Dice!

I love ice breakers! Here is a fun and quick one I play with students in small groups:

Materials: Dice

Activity: Create six questions to correspond with each number on the die. Ask students to roll the dice and answer the question that corresponds with that number. The questions I use are as follows:

1. What is your favorite color?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What do you want to be when you grow up?
4. What do you like to do when your not at school?
5. What is your favorite thing about school?
6. Who is in your family?

I typically let students roll the dice 3 times before ending the game. I then ask these follow up questions:

1. Did you learn something new about someone in the group you did not know before?
2. What do you have in common with other group members?


I would love for you to share some of your ice breaker activities with me!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Community Resource Binder

I put together a Community Resource Binder in order to have easy access to different resources families can utilize in my school community.


 

I have tabbed the binder into following resource categories:

1. Support groups for parents
2. Support groups for students
3. Mental health providers in the county and their contact information
4. Crisis Counseling Services
5. My School Counseling Services brochure 
6. Extra curricular activities 



I have made copies of the different brochures and flyers showcasing the resources above. When I meet with a parent I always bring my binder with me, so I can send them home with tangible resources to refer back to. 

Keeping all your community resources and contacts in one binder is a great way to stay organized! Do you have a Community Resource Binder?  

Monday, November 14, 2011

My First Prezi!

I have been meaning to post the Prezi I made to review my role as a school counselor.  I used this in my September "Welcome Back" lesson with students and staff. 


Click the link above and tell me what you think!




Friday, November 11, 2011

Students Want to Speak to their School Counselors (duh)!



Did you happen to catch Rachel Simmons author of Odd Girl Out speak on Anderson Cooper? If not, check out this video above.


I LOVE her shout out to school counselors around the 3 minute mark!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Gonna Like Me

I am using Jamie Lee curtis and Laura Cornell's book I'm Gonna Like Me to talk to k-2 students about self esteem. This books is very cute and gives students concrete examples of different things they can like about themselves. I especially like that the authors emphasis you should still like yourself even if you make a mistake, or get picked last in gym.


After I complete the book I ask students to share one thing that they like about themselves. After that students complete this paper to bring home and show their families.  I encourage students to draw at least four different things they like about themselves.

It is never to early to begin talking to kids about self esteem, and using I'm Gonna Like Me is a great conversation starter!

PS-Ask students if it fills their bucket to say things they like about themselves!

PPS-A great follow up lesson is talking about compliments!

Class Meetings

Lately I have been noticing an extreme lack of social skills amongst my student body even in the older grades. Because of this I have decided to change up the format of my class lessons this month. I have been incorporating the concepts from Responsive Classroom into each of lessons. I begin each lesson by having the class get into a circle and read a letter I wrote to them. The letter indicates the things we will be doing in the meeting. The meeting has four parts:

1. Greeting

The greeting in the meeting is so critical and important for students to recognize each other. Just this simple "hello" really can change the whole the dynamic of the classroom. Also, express to students that greeting someone is filling their bucket!

2. Share

Depending on the age of the students I allow them to share whatever they like, or I ask them to share on a specific topic.  For example, this month I am asking my 2nd graders to share what they are thankful for.

3. Message

Here I talk about the "theme" of the meeting. This is where I introduce the topic I will be discussing with the class. This month the theme is listening. I review the 5 steps of being good listener from Naomi Drew's No Kidding About Bullying.

4. Activity

This is the interactive part of the meeting.  To practice the 5 steps of listening the class engages in a game of telephone.

It is my hope that using the "meeting" format will help to increase social skills, and help to build a more "peaceful" classroom environment.  Here's an example of the letter I write to students...



Have you ever used this technique? Was it successful?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bucket Filling Campaign

To kick off my Bucket Filling Campaign this year I teamed up with the art teacher to have her help make the bulletin board below:



Teachers have been asked to reward students by giving them a "I am a Bucket Filler" slip when they see them engaging in bucket filling behavior.  Students are asked to bring those slips home to share with their families. The teacher then notifies me via email that they gave a student an "I am a Bucket Filler" slip and I create a bucket with their name to put on our special "Have You Filled a Bucket Today"  board.

I also read the names of all the students that were Bucket Fillers during the announcements on Monday mornings.  Additionally, I am keeping track of all our Bucket Fillers. The grade with the most Bucket Fillers will receive a special party at the end of the year.

Students, staff, and families have all been supportive of my Bucket Filling Campaign. It is off to a great start!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Peace Pledge Business Cards!

How great are these business card size Peace Pledge cards?  I encourage students to put them in their wallets, or share them with other friends and family members.   Such a fun and easy giveaway :)


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inspiration

‎"If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't 

settle. 

As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when 

you find it. 


And, like any great relationship, it just gets 

better and better as the years roll on." 

Steve Jobs

Monday, October 10, 2011

Goal Update


Remember this goal from my Goal Guru post?


Goal 1: Organize a school wide Bucket Filling Campaign using Carol McCloud's Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

Update #1: I am every excited that as of October 3rd, 2011 I was able to read "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" to my entire school (staff too).  Here is the lesson I used:

Step 1-Read "Have You Filled a Bucket Today" to every class. Introduce the book as a story about how to make yourself feel great, and how to make everyone else in the WHOLE WORLD feel great too! After reading discuss the meaning behind the book. Be sure to ask students if they filled, or if anyone in their class, filled their buckets that day.  With my older students I helped them to make the connection that bucket is a metaphor for their self esteem. 

Step 2: I gave each classroom one of these buckets:
I explained to the class that purpose of their classroom bucket was to remind them to be a bucket filler everyday.  I purchased 30 of these buckets at the Christmas Tree Shop Christmas Tree Shops for 50 cents each(love a bargain)!

Step3: I asked students to color in their own personal bucket, and to draw/write what they can do to be bucketfillers.  I used the handout from Bucketfillers101.  After students completed this assignment, I stapled all of them together to make their class's very own, very special "bucketfilling book".  I reminded students that if some reason they don't remember how to fill a bucket, they can go to their classroom bucket, and look through their class's bucket book to get ideas!

How have you taught "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" Stay tuned for more Bucket Filling Updates!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Peace Week!

"You may say that I'm dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
and the world will live as one"


I am using John Lennon's Imagine to talk about peace with my 5-7th graders in honor of Peace Week.  It has proved to be a GREAT conversation starter and a chance to teach this generation about the Beatles :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Peace Program!

Using the Peace Pledge as my foundation I have created a "Peace Program".  Just a quick re-cap of some of the component's in the program I have blogged about thus far:

1. Reciting the Peace Pledge daily.

2. Monthly Peace Pals

3. Peace Leaders

4. Teaching class lessons based on the C.A.R.E.S traits

One of the ways I have marketed the program is by actually making myself the "peace lady".  I give the peace sign to students in the hallways, I often wear very bold "peaceful" jewelry, and use the "peaceful" symbol below on my written communication to staff and families.

This picture was taken http://www.printfection.com/peacesign/World-Peace-T-Shirts/_s_54421

The Peace Program helps to achieve my mission of "creating a “Community of Peace” by helping all students, staff, and parents capitalize on their strengths, and reach high levels of academic and personal achievement".

Monday, September 26, 2011

NJ New Anti-Bullying law makes the New York Times

Have you read this article about NJ's new anti-bullying law?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/nyregion/bullying-law-puts-new-jersey-schools-on-spot.html

What are YOUR thoughts?  If you are a school counselor in NJ how has the law been effecting you?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sorry I missed you!

A challenge I often encounter is missing students when I'm not in my office.  It seems that I am always on the run giving lessons, or attending meetings, etc etc.   So I decided to hang this box outside my office so students can write me a message!




How do you connect with missed students?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Inspiriation

"If we are to have real peace, we must begin with our children" Ghandi

Picture taken from http://colouringpictures.info/peace-sign-colouring-pictures.php

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back to School Night!

Back to School Night is a GREAT opportunity to market your program with parents.  I have a table set up with a tri-fold to display information about my Counseling Services program. Below is the middle section of my tri-fold presentation.



I also have brochures of community resources, parenting, study skills, and other hot topics for parents to peruse. It is ALWAYS a good idea to have tangible take-aways for parents.

This is a terrific chance for parents to see how wonderful you are.  Let your personality shine!   Make a personal connection with them by commenting about a POSITIVE experience you have had with their child.

A word to the wise.  Do not let one family monopolize your time.  This night is about meeting all the parents you can, and getting the word out about your program.  I have a sign up sheet on my table for parents to make appointments with me.

What are your Back to School Night plans?  How do you plan on connecting with parents?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mission Statement

I thought it was important that I create a mission statement for the Counseling Services program I created at my school.  I use this statement to shape my program and it is the very essence of my beliefs about school counseling.


The Counseling Services Department at ANY School USA aims to create a “Community of Peace” by helping all students, staff, and parents capitalize on their strengths, and reach high levels of academic and personal achievement. The program consists of a variety of proactive services including individual and group counseling, classroom guidance, parent and teacher consultation, referral services, and community outreach. 

This statement is displayed on my school website, and in my office. 

Do you have a mission statement for your program? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PEACE Leaders

Another component to my PEACE program is to engage 7th grade students in a leadership role. I asked teachers to nominate students they felt embodied all the C.A.R.E.S. traits, as well as demonstrating leadership amongst their peers. I call these students PEACE LEADERS.

This is the first year I have student leaders, and I am still working out how to best utilize their skills. My goal is to have them engaged in some type of community service project for our school and/or community. Additionally, I would like to start a peer mentor program. Lastly, I would like to provide them with leadership training, and team building activities.

Do you have students leaders? How do you capitalize on their talents?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Peace Pals

Every month I ask teachers to nominate one student they feel best demonstrated all the traits(C.A.R.E.S) emphasized in the Peace Pledge.  These students I call Peace Pals.  Peace Pals are celebrated by receiving a prize from my prize box, their pictures are placed on the Peace Pal bulletin board, an opportunity to recite the Peace Pledge over the morning announcements, and a special pizza party!




It is my philosophy that if we want students to stop bullying each other, we must teach them HOW to be nice.  It is simply not enough to say stop being mean.  As school counselors I feel its our role to create a school climate where students feel HAPPY & SAFE to come to school.

Do YOU agree or disagree with my philosophy?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ice Breakers are FUN!

One of the first things I do in every group is an icebreaker of course!  Icebreakers are so important as they help put students at ease, and set the tone that group is a fun place to be!

One of my favorite icebreakers is Two Truths and a Lie. It is played as follows:

1. Ask students to think of three statements about themselves.  Two of those statements should be something true about who they are, what they like to do, eat, or play. The other statement should be a lie.

2.  Have one student at a time announce their three statements to the group.

3. The remaining group members guess which statements are true and which one is the lie.

Students just LOVE this!

In any group,  it is always a goal of mine to make it feel different then class, more special, more intimate, more fun! Icebreakers are so important in achieving this goal.  What is your favorite icebreaker?




Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What does a School Counselor do?

I use the heart box below to talk to students about my role at school.  I fill it with different items that are symbolic for a school counselor's responsibilities. 

The HEART BOX is a symbol for loving and caring. School counselors love and care about ALL students

An ICE PACK cools you off when your hot.  School counselors cool you off when your angry or mad.

A WATERING CAN helps flowers grow.  A school counselor helps students grow and learn about themselves!

SUNGLASSES protect your eyes and see things in a different light.  School Counselors protect their students, and help them see their problems in a new way.

TISSUES are used to your dry eyes.  School Counselors wipe away your tears when your sad.

EARPHONES are used for listening to music.  School Counselors listen to students when they are happy, angry, sad, etc.

BAND-AIDS are for when you get a boo boo. School Counselors can help you when you have a boo boo on your heart(Place band-aid on heart box for a visual).

This is a fast and effective lesson to market yourself and program!!! Let everyone know ALL the WONDERFUL things you do!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Inspiration

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" Nelson Mandela



WELCOME BACK! Are you energized and ready for the school year ahead?

Friday, September 2, 2011

C.A.R.E.S Peace Pledge

 Every Morning the following pledge is recited during the morning announcements. A pledge is a FANTASTIC reminder to of the behavior we expect at school.

I pledge to keep the peace at ---- School
I will show Cooperation my listening to the rights of others
I will be Assertive, respecting my own rights and other peoples rights
I will be Responsible doing what I must
I will show Empathy by caring for the feelings and rights of others
I will practice Self control, having control, over my thoughts and actions
Every day, everywhere keeping the peace buildings my character


The "peaceful" character traits emphasized in the pledge spell out the word CARES(how great is that). Also, notice the picture of the world with children holding hands around it.  Does this look familiar to you? It is the same logo on the carpet in my office!  Stay tuned to find out the programing and the marketing I have done using the pledge as my foundation.

Does your school have a pledge?  How do you remind students of the behavior expected at school?

Parents & School Together

One my goals last year was to create a parent bulletin board where parents could view important notices or information about things going on in the school and community.  Unfortunately, this goal got pushed to side and never made it to fruition.  So it was top of my list this year!  Check it out below:


Do you have a parent board at your school?  If so, how do you utilize it?

**A shout out to my Aunt who helped me create this board -thank you**

Thursday, September 1, 2011

TimeLines

I mentioned in my first post that organization in the school counseling world is everything! I can't emphasize enough how imperative it is to get organized and set the foundation in the beginning to prepare for the second half.  To help set my foundation I like to sketch a tentative timeline of the important things I want to accomplish each month. 

Nothing gives me more joy then crossing a "to do" off my timeline at the end of each month :)

Here's a peak of some of my "to do's" for September:

1. Hold a lunch group for students new to school

2. Organize after school groups

3. Class lesson to introduce myself, program, and Bucket Filling Campaign

4. Communicate to parents and staff my goals for the coming school year

5. Set up bulletin boards

I can check off number 5 already.  Check out my character word of the week bulletin board below!






Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Office Pics



Check out my carpet corner! How fabulous is that carpet!?! I purchased the chair and the pillows at the Christmas Shop for a BARGAIN price.  I am so excited to use this space for small groups! Students can grab a peace pillow to relax on while we read stories, play games, sing, etc.

Notice on the back wall, the "Making Good Choices" visual.  I love to refer to this when young students find themselves in a conflict and need to make a "good choice".  All I do is point to the wall, and ask which choice they would like to make!  On the side wall I display 10 PEACEFUL steps to take when in a conflict.  I use this poster with my older students.

What kind of visual/posters do you have in your office?  Do you find any more useful or effective then others?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Inspiration

"They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Carol Buchner

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Tale of Tattletales!

 Don't Squeal Unless It's a BIG Deal, By Jeanie Franz Ronsom, is one of my favorite books.  I have read it with grades 1-3, but 2nd graders are my favorite age for this book.  They eat it up! Ronsom does a WONDERFUL job explaining the difference between tattling, and telling an adult to keep a friend safe. I also LOVE how Ronsom explains the difference between kid size problems, and problems where you need an adult to help.  After I finish reading the story, I ask for two volunteers to role play different tattling or telling scenarios. The class then has to decide if the scenario is a kid or adult size problem.  The students absolutely love this!  Use this book for a fun, easy, and effective lesson :)



Friday, August 26, 2011

So Fresh and So Clean!

I'm so excited about the new set up in my office this year.  Here is a look at my desk and closet.  In my closet I store art supplies, office supplies,  games, and books (lots of books).  I spent many days cleaning and organizing, and my hard work totally paid off.  The space brings clarity and new energy-cant wait to share the space with my students :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Goal Guru

One of my most important tasks in August is to set attainable goals for the coming school year.  I encourage my students to set goals, and I expect the same of myself. 

Goals help to keep me focused!  There are just SO many different projects and activities I would love to take on I could easily become overwhelmed and (gasp) end up getting nothing done. I find writing down specific goals and listing the steps I can take to achieve them helps to keep me centered and driven.

I will blog the successes and failures of my goals as the school year continues.

Goal 1: Organize a school wide Bucket Filling Campaign using Carol McCloud's Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

Goal 2: Organize a community service project for my student leaders. 

Goal 3: Start an attendance incentive program.

Goal 4: Communicate via the internet with parents, staff, and other counselors.

What are your goals this school year? How do you stay focused and driven?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Year, Same Beliefs

As the new school year closes in, it is easy to become overwhelmed thinking about the year ahead.  The following are three of my core beliefs that keep me energized day in and day out:

1. Organization is EVERYTHING!
I am constantly updating my calendar to be aware of important dates, and to have adqueate time to prepare for upcoming events.

Keeping my files in an organized fashion is extremely important as well. I need to have access to my student's files in a moments notice.   I do this by having a binder for each grade level.  Once I meet with a student I then create a folder for them, and hole punch that into the binder. This keeps everything organized and clearly labeled for easy access! I LOVE labels!

2. Marketing
My program is only as strong as I make it! I have to advocate for myself and my program ALL the time.  Since I am the only counselor at my school, I constantly have to communicate my mission to students, staff, adminstrators, and parents.  Stay tuned to find out how I do this...

3. When times get tough...be kind to yourself!
It is so easy to become overwhelmed. My motto is to do my very best, with the resources and skills that I have, ONE DAY AT TIME.  This saying keeps me grounded and gives me a sense of calm in a school counseling world that is often full of chaos.

What are your core beliefs?  What keeps you motivated?