Friday, August 24, 2012

Touring My Offices!

I finally finished getting my offices ready for this school year!! Since I am in 2 schools I have 2 offices so the task is a bit more daunting!! I'll give you the virtual tour.

Office B is a small office but it works and I share it at various times with 2 other faculty. I tried to utilize the space efficiently.

Office A is a little bigger, but I lose a window! I share Office A but on alternate days when I'm not at this school!! I hope you enjoy the photos!!

What do you love about your counseling office??

Office B front of door
Office B my desk 
Office B Group table, therapeutic toys/games
Office A Therapeutic Toys and Games
Office A very Cool Toy Bin 
Office A Group Area
Office A Bulletin Board
Feelings and Character
Office A My Desk
Office B filing and Therapeutic Books
Office A Front of Door
Office A Skills Guidance Materials 
Office A Back of Door
Office B Back of Door

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mean Girls!!!

I don't know about you, but at my 2 elementary schools, I have been dealing with Relational Aggression or Girl Bullying, for some time.  A few days ago I came across a resource that I am excited about!!! I just received my copy of Mean Girls, 101 1/2 Creative Strategies and Activities  for Working with Relational Aggression by Kaye Randall & Allyson A. Bowen.  It is published by Youth Light, Inc. 

Relational Aggression seems to be a growing concern, sadly even for elementary school girls.  I ran small groups on this topic for the last 2 years!  I was excited to order this book because it is for grades 3-12!!  The book features many great reproducible activities!

The beginning of the book gives you the standard how to use this book and the intro.  It also offers a page about understanding relational aggression, forms of relational aggression, methods of aggression, cyber bullying (including definition, language and emoticons) and websites.  The book also shares some alarming stats.

The 101 1/2  strategies and activities comprise the next section.  Included are Who's Who: Tools You Can Use, Individual Interventions, Classroom or Small Group Activities, School Interventions, Parent Interventions and a Wrap it Up.

I am planning to use this book this year should the need arise for small group or classroom guidance for Relational Aggression.  How do you address Girl Bullying in your school counseling program?  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WOW!!! Dr. Michael Fowlin

Today was my first day back to school for what my district calls convocation!!  We were treated to performances from both of our high schools' speciality band sections ( A bagpipe section and fife and drum section!!)  Both were amazing!!  Our administration talked about building relationships with all students and that we are educators 100% of the time!!

To follow that up, we were privileged to hear Dr. Michael Fowlin, Psy. D., (who describes himself as an actor, psychologist and poet) give a phenomenal presentation!!!!  He immediately started talking about ( you guessed it) building relationships and connections with students.  He described educators as superheroes!!

A little later on he spoke about differences and something he termed right hand experiences and left handed experiences and how those two types of people experience the world.  He then did these very powerful role plays of various people and how they feel about being different.  Talk about experiencing empathy!!!  He asked the audience "when was a time you felt different?"  He shared his experiences about growing up in a preppy neighborhood and not fitting in with those kids or the "kids in the hood". He explained that "our pain doesn't grow at the same pace as our age".

Dr. Fowlin spoke about "knowing the difference between what you're supposed to do and what you need to do!!" He referenced the "Jumper" article when making this point.  He stressed the importance of making connections even just a smile.  That could save some one's life!!

He wrapped up the presentation asking "What would you do differently if you had to do you life over?"  The elderly over age 95 that answered that same question responded with:  Reflect more, Risk more, and have more things that would live on longer than them ( what they would be remembered for).  His closing question was "What would people say about you if you died today?"  WOW WOW!!

If you have 8:34 here is a brief glimpse as to what we were privy to this morning!!

Have you ever heard Dr. Michael Fowlin speak?  Let me know what you thought in your comments below!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Do You Belong to a Professional Association?

Hello fellow school counselors!!  Are you familiar with our national professional association, the American School Counselor Association?  If not, you certainly should be!!!  ASCA is a wealth of knowledge and resources for school counselors!  They provide everything you need to know about creating a school counselor program using the ASCA National Program/RAMP.  You can also find all things Ethics there too!  They have several publications just for for school counselors:  Professional School Counseling Journal (which you can read online as a member); the ASCA School Counselor Magazine ( I look forward to mine bimonthly!!); a monthly e-newsletter ASCA Aspects plus the ASCA Bookstore where you can find all sorts of wonderful things!  For those of you that love 21st century technology (who doesn't?), there is the ASCAaway  podcast and ASCAtweets.

 The ASCA website also features a link for Membership, Legislative Affairs, Career/Roles, Legal & Ethical, online Bookstore and a really great forum/Community called ASCA SCENE where you can connect with over 20,000 school counselors worldwide.  Currently there are over 6000 discussions and over 1800 files that you can access with membership!!  Very Cool!!

The ASCA site also host a plethora of Professional Development opportunities and information  about the upcoming American School Counselor Association Conference coming to Philadelphia, PA June 30-July 3, 2013!!  

Additionally check to see if your state or region has a branch of the School Counseling Association!  I live in PA and we have PSCA.  We also had a local chapter in the Lehigh Carbon School School Counseling Association.

Have you utilized the resources available to you through ASCA or your state local association?  Comment below!  Thanks! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

The School Counselor Resources Catalog

Just as I was pondering what to write about today, the mail carrier dropped off the most recent edition (2013) of Counseling Resources for Elementary Grades Catalog!  Sweet!!  The catalog touts itself as school counselor resources.  On the cover it notes that it features Career Awareness, Character Education, Emotions, Bullying, Conflict Resolution, Divorce and Social Skills!

Inside the catalog, they always feature a New & Notable section for all of the new items!!  They also color code each section e.g. Counselor Resources, Emotions, Study Skills, etc. for easy searching!!

I have used this valuable resource several times to add things to my school counseling program! They deliver quick to your school or home!  Some items I have ordered previously include:  Was it the Chocolate Pudding?, Great Group Games for Kids and The Fishing for Feelings cards.  I can't wait to peruse the catalog to see what I can order this school year!!

What school counselor resources/catalogs do you use for your school counselor program?

Comment below!