Saturday, August 23, 2014

Making professional connections

While at ASCA this summer I made it a point to find the companies and people responsible for helping to pay for my scholarship. Naviance was one of those companies and after sharing my photo with them they asked me to share my thoughts on the conference. Click on the link to follow the story!

One Counselor's Reflections on ASCA

Much needed rest

After a much needed rest I'm back to work! Summer was short but great as I traveled to various conferences and spent time with family. I also took a break from social media as far as work is concerned so I could prepare myself for the new school year. School counselors need to take the time to take care of their minds, bodies, and souls. It makes us better school counselors. Some things I enjoyed doing just for myself was spending time with my family especially my granddaughter, Maddie. She makes everything beautiful and special in life. I also started a new project, selling wooden signs! I have never been crafty until Pinterest came along and now I am finding a whole new side of me. It's pretty cool to find no matter what your age you can still learn new things.

School started last Monday and I've really enjoyed meeting the new 6th grade students and new students to the district. I gave and received lots of welcome back hugs from the 7th and 8th grade students as well. Our staff made a effort to work as a TEAM this year...Together, Everyone, Achieves, Motivation.

Schedule changes is not a favorite part of my job but it doesn't last long so that's a positive! Sometimes students select an elective thinking they will love it only to find out there is a lot of work involved. We try to make changes as easy as possible without interrupting their core classes and if that happens the students have to make choices to change their whole schedule around or stick with the "hard" elective. It's good for students to have choices and allows them to have some input in their education.

Events, people, demands, reports, phone calls, emergencies, family, life happens but we have to find time to take care of ourselves. Find something that makes you laugh or relax, it doesn't have to be a spa day! Watching a funny video or eating your lunch outside in solitude might be all it takes to give yourself a boost. I hope everyone has a great year and find time to give yourself a little care.

Friday, July 18, 2014

How to be a Techy School Counselor!

I presented at my state conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas July 14-16, 2014 on "How to Be a Techy School Counselor!" I'm certainly no expert but if someone finds one techy thing they can do because I shared then it was worth it. I know I've found many techy ideas from others sharing their knowledge so I hope you can find something here and share your ideas as well.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Help First Lady Michelle Obama Encourage Students to Reach Higher

The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady's effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.

Join educators, students, parents, grandparents, and others in the United States to encourage students to take charge of their education by attending postsecondary technical schools and colleges after high school with the Twitter hashtag #ReachHigher.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Magic, ASCA, and Me!

Some of the highlights from my first ASCA conference in beautiful Orlando, land of Disney and dreams, involved meeting professionals I have connected with over this past year as well as those who helped me make it to the conference!


 Y'all might know this lady on the far left, Carol Miller aka
I connect with her while surfing the internet for school counselors with websites and blogs. We've since connected via Twitter, Google+, Linkedln, and on the middle school Facebook page Caught in the Middle. Awesome lady with LOTS of resources on her blog. This was our first appearance at ASCA. By the way, next year if you want to meet someone from your connections, PLAN a date, time, place BEFORE ASCA because with 2,000+ people you will search hours trying to connect!

Created my very own ASCA14 at the ASCA table during the conference. Everyone was asked to decorate their bag and post their creation on Twitter. I am no artist but went ahead and created by "masterpiece" and twitted it anyway.



This guy right here is awesome! Jeff Ream came up with this really cool idea to help school counselors attend ASCA 14 by creating a contest. Contestants created a message about school counseling using technology. Bridget Helms and I were two of his three scholarship recipients.
Enjoyed meeting Jerry from Universal Technical Institute during ASCA! UTI was one of the sponsors of Jeff Ream's contest to help school counselors attend ASCA. I simply had to get a picture with Jerry to let him and UTI know how much I appreciate their support of school counselors!

HOBSON'S was another sponsor of Jeff Ream's contest that helped me attend ASCA. Great group of people and appreciative of their support of school counselors!

Fellow Arkansas School Counselor Felicia Watson from Earle Arkansas joined me during the Tweet Up in the Dolphin Hotel and Resort Lobby during the ASCA 14 convention. I'm going to continue to talk her into using Twitter!!

Very much enjoyed hearing Stedman Graham's address during the General Session on July 1. Surprise! He has a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in School Counseling! Who knew????  He is definitely more than just
Oprah's man!

Wow! Just WOW! First Lady Michelle Obama addressed school counselors during the General Session on July 1 and it was phenomenal! She thanked us for our work to help students and announced next year the first ever National School Counselor of the Year finalists will attend a White House dinner. She is committed to helping students see the future after graduation and understand we to have the same commitment. It was one of those moments I got teary eyed and chill bumps at the same time!
Last but not least I had to post my very relaxing massage I received from one of the exhibitor's during the ASCA 14 conference. I literally walked through the booths for hours to try and finished the treasure hunt map (for a chance to win prizes but I didn't win anything).
 I will absolutely be looking for ways to attend ASCA 15 in Phoenix, Arizona next year! ASCA 14 was one of the best professional development conferences EVER.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Branding and Marketing

Sitting in Jeff Ream and Jeremy Goldman's session at American School Counseling Association Conference in Orlando,  Florida getting lots of ideas to brand and market my counseling program!

"Make that connection between what your clients want and what your clients need." I need to know what my community and school need from me and not just assume I know what they need.

Jeff and Jeremy wrote The Four D's article for the ASCA magazine and is a great starting point as you gather information on branding and marketing. The Four D's include: Define, Design, Deploy, and Determine.

Jeff made a great point when he said we often have great ideas but when it's time to deploy we often say "Now what??" HA! This is so me!

Great session but not enough time! The video below went along with the session.