Thursday, July 11, 2013

Word Clouds are the WORD!

I know most of you have seen these in presentations or splashed all over the internet on other sites/blogs, but I have become inspired by these little things! They are so simple yet pack a powerful punch with all the possibilities that they hold. Teachers can use these in class & counselors can use them in groups or individual sessions, gosh, the possibilities are endless. How have you seen them used or in what ways could you apply this resources to enhance student learning? I'd love to hear! Below I created one on ABCya! Word Clouds.

Links to great articles that give suggestions on how to incorporate word clouds and resources to create them....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Google Drive Tutorials

I've created a page dedicated to tutorials & how to's for people who are like me (visual learners) located at the top of this blog called "Tutorials". I can read directions and try things based on what I have read..only I sometimes interpret them incorrectly. Here's a short tutorial on how to upload any doc/pdf/video to Google Drive & share it with your students, colleagues, or the general public (bloggers & websites).

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Operation Organized Counselor

I've been scouring online for the PERFECT organized planner for my role this year as our 7th grade counselor...however, nothing is customized just for me. This weekend I have been working on creating one that is "just right". Here are a few items that I am planning on including:

  • Yearly calendar
  • Weekly planner (lesson plan like)
  • Contact log
  • Notes section (staff meeting notes, team meeting notes, & my notes)
  • Binder covers (some designed by others & some designed by me)
  • Title it... The Seemingly Organized School Counselor's Planner ...haha!
Intentions are to begin constructing it this week in a binder format...why you ask? Well, I contemplated taking it to Staples and having it bound, then realized that I tend to flip-switch-change-adjust constantly. With a binder I can move things around to see what suites my needs best. When I do find a system that works...then I will professionally bind it. Pictures to follow when it is completed, and I will post the documents I used if you want them or would like to customize them to meet your needs (free to use if they are created by me, otherwise I will post a picture that is linked to the original source.) My documents will ALWAYS be free to download...that's why we call it "sharing"! :-)

Here are some resources that were helpful with ideas and downloadable forms....

13-14 Printable color calendar
Teachers Pay Teachers: Create a free
account to download it for free!
That's what I did!

Free Color Chevron Covers
Downloadable Power Point
with different colors..just add
text to personalize yours!

2 Page WeeklyPlanner (lesson plan format)
Word Doc: editable
Download includes contact log & notes

Parent Contact Log
Word Doc: editable
My Binder Covers and Contact Title Page (for tabs)
Power Point: editable

New Beginnings...

To begin my first blog post...ever, I always like to read about the journeys that other professionals have made to get where they are today.  A wise administrator once told me that some of the most beautiful destinations are found on roads with numerous turns and twists. Didn't truly understand that "southern phrase" till this year.....when I found my place I can call a middle school counselor.

While living in North Carolina, I began my teaching career as a first grade teacher at a very small rural elementary school.  My first class had 11 students (Ha!..Seems like a dream compared to the 30+ we so commonly see sitting in our classrooms now). I continued to teach for 5 additional years as a Kindergarten teacher and LOVED every minute of it.  Soon I began to realize that I had a knack for working with students who needed more social and emotional support along with the academics we teachers focus primarily on. This is where I decided to pursue the role of becoming a school counselor. During my graduate program, I was fortunate enough to begin working as an elementary school counselor (provisionally till I graduated).  I had found my calling.....or so I thought I did at that time.

We moved over the summer and as soon as I unpacked our suitcases, I began feverishly job hunting for a new counselor or ANY teaching position.....only it was not that easy. No one knew of me, the surrounding districts were EXTREMELY competitive, and it was very difficult to even get an interview let alone someone to respond to your inquiring emails. By chance, a fantastic literacy coach hired me as her instructional assistant to support struggling readers at an intermediate school with the Title I program. With in that one year my roles turned to subbing for teachers on medical and maternity leave until I FINALLY landed an interview with our middle school for a 6th grade math & science position.

This past year as a middle school teacher was one of my most exciting and best professional teaching experiences of my career (I fell head over heels for this age group of kiddos...they're incredible).  Yet I still felt there was a piece of me missing.  So when my school had an open counseling position for the 2013-2014 year, I jumped for it!  After several weeks of waiting and a couple intense interviews later...I got the counseling position... So I will now begin my 10th year in education as a middle school counselor...Woohoo!

Back to that "souther phrase" I mentioned earlier....The road I've taken on this career journey has been full of twists and turns, but like my wise southern administrator once said, it has led me to a wonderful destination.....Middle School!

One of my personal & professional goals since beginning this journey was to become a blogger like so many other counselors & teachers have successfully done (those I've read over the years). So here it is...My new blog. This is a place I want to share my experiences, hear about other's experiences and share resources with other professional school counselors and teachers. Being a newbie at this...I guess we all have to start somewhere, so, as I begin with my "blogging training-wheels" on, I am open to suggestions and of course your support as readers. If you are a new blogger like me, let me know your link to your blog and we can begin following one another.

Happy Blogging!