Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Letter to Graduate Students...

My alma mater asked alumnus to write a brief piece to graduate students about life as a school counselor. I thought I would share my letter with all of you-enjoy!

Dear Future School Counselors-

I absolutely love working as a school counselor and you will too! Since graduating from Kean in December 2009 I have worked as a school counselor at both the elementary and middle school level. Currently, I am a school counselor at a K-7 school in --- New Jersey. Additionally, I have attained my LAC, and I am presently receiving supervision to earn my LPC.

I have created my own comprehensive school counseling program based off the American School Counseling standards. I work with students individually, in a group, and classroom setting. Furthermore, I have created proactive programs to improve the culture and climate of the school community. Everyday presents itself with different challenges, but also many rewards. I feel blessed to be able to work and learn from different students, staff, and families.

As a graduate student it is important to take advantage of every learning opportunity – go to every conference, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Keep current on counseling trends by becoming active in the New Jersey School Counselors Association, and the American School Counseling Association.  Use social media to start your own professional learning network with school counselors and educators from across the United States. Please connect with me on my blog “The School Counselor’s Chronicle”, “like” The School Counselor’s Chronicle on Facebook, or tweet me @NJSchCounselor for further ideas, information, and inspiration.

Congratulations graduate students you have a rewarding, challenging, and exciting career ahead of you!

What would you tell graduate students about their future school counseling careers?

Friday, April 6, 2012

"A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue"

 I am obsessed with Julia Cook's  "A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue".  I used this book as a class lesson with my 3rd and 4th grade students to discuss the difference between tattling and telling. Cook does a great job of explaining the "rules of tattling" in a fun and creative manner.  Here is my lesson:

1. Introduce the topic of tattling by holding up the book and asking students if they know what the word tattling means. Facilitate a brief a discussion to assess what students already know about this topic.

2. Read "A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue" to the class.

3. After reading check for understanding by asking clarifying questions such as:
  • What happened to Josh in the story?
  • What are the four rules of tattling?
4.  As students recall the four tattling rules write them on poster paper.  The four rules are:
  1. Danger Warnings ONLY!
    Only warn an adult when a person is in danger of getting their body hurt.
  2. Be a Problem Solver
    If the problem involves you, try to solve the problem yourself first.
  3. Is this a NOW or LATER problem?
    Can we solve this problem be solved at a private time?
  4. M.Y.O.B – “Mind your own business”
    The problem does not belong to you, don't get involved in it!
Call students up one at time to sign the poster. Explain that signing their name means they understand and agree to follow the rules. Hang this poster on a wall or chalk board so students can be reminded of their commitment to follow the rules

5. Pick a follow up activity from Julia Cook's "A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue's Activity and Idea Book" to close the lesson. 
After my lesson the teacher shared her students were using the language in the book. She had overheard a student say "MYOB" to a friend during a conflict! That totally filled my bucket!

Have you used this book before? What are some lessons you have done?