Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Favorite Moments So Far

6) Talking Indy racing with the 5th grade boys -- totally gave me street cred.
5) Greeting students and parents at the front door -- only one kindergartener had to get carried in.
4) Helping out in kindergarten lunches and recesses -- so interesting to watch their interactions.
3) Hearing one of my new 1st grade friends said, "Hey! Where were you today?" as he walked out to the bus because I spent most of my day with 3rd and 5th graders -- it's nice to be missed!
2) Giving out my first Otter ticket (part of our PBIS program) to a student who was unexpectedly doing an "expected" behavior -- walking down the hallway even though no teacher was supervising him. And when that same student chose to work cooperatively with the new girl in his class and discovered the benefits of teamwork. And then when I happened to get to speak with that same student's mom and step-mom (on separate occasions) and relay the good news.
1) Watching the new student in 3rd grade that I had in a lunch group today win Diary of a Wimpy Kid Uno fair and square just as our time was up and beam from ear to ear -- I had been secretly hoping he might win!

I had a great first two days, and I'm back for more tomorrow. Then, back to NY for the holiday weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day Tomorrow!

First day with students tomorrow! Very excited! My office is (mostly) all ready!

And lastly, one of the bulletin boards for the hallways, idea taken from Entirely Elementary School Counseling.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dance Party

No time for a real post, but just have to say, reason number #233 why I love my school: our staff meeting today started out with a dance party in the library. If I tweeted, my hashtag would be: #mycolleaguesarethebest.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Sampling of My Current To Do List

(to be done hopefully before Tuesday... eek!... and this is only a smattering of my list)

- look through all of the new students' files/call some of their past counselors if need be/prep to help them on the first day
- finish going through all student files
- decorate two small and one large bulletin board
- schedule at least 3 more lunch groups into my week
- review the curriculum
- "UPS note health insurance" -- NO idea what this means, written in my chicken scratch on my list of things to do... any suggestions for what this might mean would be appreciated...
- learn about social thinking
- practice on the Smart boards
- finalize lunch groups

...I thought survival mode wasn't supposed to start until October/November...

Kindergarten Open House in the morning :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What to Expect

I thought it might be nice to fill any readers in on what they can expect from this blog. I once read some advice to decide before you start a blog who your audience will be and what your angle will be. Unfortunately, I don't really know either. I know my friends and family will check in every once in a while to see what I'm up to, and so will my school counseling grad school friends. I'm thinking some other school counselors and some of my colleagues will be checking it out too, so I have kind of a broad range of people with different goals and needs.

I guess my audience will be those with an interest in elementary school counseling -- friends and family will be interested in seeing exactly what an elementary school counselor does and encouraging me when I need it; school counseling grad school friends will benefit from job search tips and ideas for activities (and hopefully contribute their ideas/solutions to problems I might come up against); veteran school counselors may enjoy giving me some advice; and colleagues can discuss success of activities I've used/suggestions for future improvements, and get a better idea for the services I can provide. And I think everyone will be able to enjoy little anecdotes and amusing one-liners from my students that I hope to include.

If anyone has any suggestions for me about the blog, I'd love to hear them. For now, we'll just see where it takes me! To hold you over, check out the Wordle I made for my office door (just one tip for Wordles, if you want two words to stay together (i.e. Miss Wheeler), use a ~ between the words (i.e. Miss~Wheeler) when you input your words):

Monday, August 20, 2012

10:47pm On the Night Before My First "Real" Day

... is not the best time to decide to start a new blog. But after a little nudging from some friends and colleagues, I decided to bite the bullet and plunge in.

I am starting as a first year elementary school counselor at a small elementary school in Vermont, and couldn't be more excited. I'm fresh out of grad school, and was fresh out of undergrad when I went to grad school. Consequently, I'm young and inexperienced. I decided on the name for this blog to remind myself to be confident despite my age and lack of experience. I was well prepared for this job through my graduate program and internships, and I know I can do it. However, I also know that this confidence will undoubtedly waver many times throughout my first year, and beyond.

Tabitha from Scrapbook of a School Counselor recently wrote a letter to her first year school counselor self. Her words are ones that I will keep with me during what is sure to be an exciting and challenging first year: "You are so much more capable than you think you are. Be bold, follow your heart, and know that you are doing things the very best that you can."

And with that, I begin my first day of in-service training with the teachers tomorrow morning. My alarm clock will be sounding all too soon from now, so I'm off.