Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thanks to Jeff Ream and his contest sponsors, HOBSONS, Universal Technical Institute, SCOPE, and Dr. Trish Hatch I won the partial scholarship to ASCA! I had to create something new using technology that was out of my comfort zone.

I sent several days last week and through the weekend to complete a YouTube photo slideshow. Now, I know you're thinking if I can create this blog I should be able to create a YouTube photo slideshow with no problems, right? HA! Not even close! I was so frustrated that by Saturday night I said the heck with it and went to bed.

Being ever the school counselor I did just what the rest of you would have done I got back in the saddle and continued to work out the kinks. My biggest obstacle was my slow internet, oops I mean IS my slow internet. I had interruptions this time on top of my snail paced speed so I lost my work and had to start over. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around I was so ready to submit and just be happy I did and wasn't thinking about winning at that point either. I was like the students, just do it and turn it in already!

So again thanks to Jeff and his sponsors for a great contest idea so more school counselors can attend ASCA! See y'all there!




Dr. Trish Hatch

Here is my video slideshow I created...


Sunday, February 23, 2014

I'm on SCOPE!

I'm feeling a tad bit famous with my blog now listed on SCOPE the School Counselors Online Professionals Exchange.

Friday, February 21, 2014

PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center

Techy Teacher Award

My school gives a "Techy Teacher" Award to a staff person incorporating technology in their roles whether it's a teacher or in my case a counselor.

I love using technology to help with my role as middle school counselor.  I created a student circle in Google+ where I can share motivational videos, quotes, and important information with the students. One feature of using technology was creating student interest surveys for their possible class electives next year. The students were able to login to Google and complete the survey in less than 5 minutes. The technology allowed me to have an instant spreadsheet with the data as well as charts to show a visual presentation of their selections.

Sharing information with teachers through Google Drive is so easy! The ability to collaborate on documents, make comments, and share ideas saves time. When I come across a cool educational app or site I can share with an individual teacher, department, or the entire staff. Collaboration also extends to the students. Three EAST students came up with a project idea to create Students of the Week and together we created a short URL to send to teachers and all the teachers have to do is click on the link and complete the form.

There is no substitute for face to face contact but sometimes students are unable to see me when they need to especially if it isn't an emergency and with the power of technology in front of them, they are able to send me a message either through email or the chat feature.  Just that little connection with students can make all the difference if they are having a bad day and this is the most powerful use of technology.
Here's my award placed outside my office.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Some of my favorite videos!

I love these videos!  Such an inspirational story behind this kid too.
Hope you enjoy this little pep talk!

Okay, last one for today...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jumping off this cliff

I've wanted to write a blog for a long time and actually created one back in 2009 but I got as far as just staring at the screen. This time at least I'm getting words on the page! I think there were several factors that made sitting down and just jumping off this cliff so hard for me with one being the time factor. We're all busy so what's one more thing right? Now, I realize it's more about learning to prioritize my day.

This is my first year as a school counselor having left the classroom just last May as I ventured into this dream. I barely kept my head above the water last summer trying to figure out how to schedule 400 kids in grades 6th through 8th in classes. I was lucky to have a great principal who worked right along side me to show me what she knew and didn't know about scheduling. We worked together most of the summer well in the evenings and weekends to get that sucker done! Finally with school starting and comprehending the volume of students that needed to see me just dumped more thoughts of "Nope, blogging is not going to happen!"

Anyone beginning their first year of school counseling is going to encounter how to prioritize their time without drowning and even some of you veterans might be experiencing this as well. I've read a lot of blogs this year just to get a handle on why your we're out there. We are instinctively drawn to help others whether it's a student crying because they don't have any food in the house or a school counselor a thousand miles away needing help with a classroom lesson over study skills.

Another factor from jumping off this cliff was what if I had nothing, I mean nothing, to really say besides complete utter ramblings? There, I said it and it's out there. I don't think it's a bad thing for us to be afraid to try things. We work with students and sometimes teachers that are afraid too and what better why for us to understand than to be where they are.

I'm going to reward myself with Hershey's Hugs as soon as I get this first blog published because hey I deserve it after jumping off this cliff. Hope to hear from y'all if you've ever felt afraid to try something new!