Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Culver's for Counseling!

Ever host your OWN fundraising event for your counseling program?  We have several Spirit Nights at local restaurants for our school community, so this time I decided to have my own!  

I contacted a local restaurant called Culver's and scheduled "Culver's for Counseling" in early January.  The fabulous owner stated that 10% of the proceeds from 3-10 p.m. from ANYONE who purchased items in the drive-thru OR dining room would be donated back to our school.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic!!!  I created a Sign-Up Genius form for teachers to select 30-min slots for helping to deliver food to the patrons from 5-8:30 p.m.  Each teacher who volunteered her time received jeans coupons and a free basket meal from the restaurant. 
(Perfect!  Free food and JEANS coupons!)

I created the flyer and a fun video to advertise the event and the restaurant provided the spirit night stickers for the children to wear as a reminder.  

Fabulous evening spent having fun with families and staff from our school ....
$510 earned in a few hours for my counseling program!

Definitely wearing better shoes next time!  ;-)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Eureka! I Found it! (Sort of)

FINALLY!  An app to track ALL that you do as a counselor!  (If you already knew of one, shhh... please keep it to yourself... I'm too excited!)  :)

A colleague of mine shared an awesome app that keeps track of your daily counseling tasks!!  Here is the information about the app:

There is a free and a paid ($2.99) version.  I downloaded the free version first and then decided I could give up a Sonic Route 44 for this app (hehe), so I downloaded the paid version. So incredibly easy!  This app seems to just be available for the iPad and the iPhone... for now.  

How does it work?

  1. Download app 
  2. Set up your various counseling tasks (assign colors - best part!)  :)
  3. Click on the 'Then' side to begin!  You can either hold down the time to manually input your task, OR... click the 'Now' side and your task starts immediately!  
  4. Just click the 'stop button' when you are finished with that task! It's that easy!


(Sample ideas from my personal app)
You can even categorize it further by specifying which component: Guidance, Responsive, Individual or System Support!

*Side Note: I am still in the process of establishing School Counselor Central as a vendor within my district.  Once everything is clear, I will be using this program to track even more!  Details to come once this starts!  :)  Yea for grant funds!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Las Vegas Presentation!

On a daily basis my email is inundated with requests to attend various counseling conferences and webinars.  This spring there was a particular email that caught my attention.  I found myself completely engrossed in a flyer discussing a national counseling conference in LAS VEGAS!!!  

I saw the line that read "call for proposals".  Why not??  I have helped to facilitate a workshop session at the state level with two of my district's student support services team members, I could do this, right?!  Before I could talk myself out of taking this leap, I completed the online proposal and pressed SUBMIT!
No going back!

The next day I received an email with my letter of acceptance!!  Fast forward ahead....
I presented a technology session called, "The Tech-Savvy Counselor" at the Wired Differently/National Conference on Innovative Counseling Skills and Strategies, June 11th - 14th.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Techy Counselor

Smore, oh how I love thee so!

I have seriously become absolutely fascinated with using this type of newsletter to communicate with parents, staff, and administration on the fun happenings in the world of counseling!

This particular Smore newsletter highlights how to use technology within your counseling program.  Why of course, there are MANY additional technology applications to use, I have chosen to highlight those seen in this newsletter.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Sensational Small Groups!

How I love thee Google Docs, let me count the ways!  ;-)

In the past I have given each grade level a sheet for small group counseling nominations.  Naturally, I have decided to simplify this process by creating a Google Doc for teachers/staff to submit names of students they would like to possibly be in one of my counseling groups.  Google Docs will transfer the responses and places them into a spreadsheet!  

I gave the teachers a week to submit names via the Google Doc.  Once all names are submitted I review the nominations and assign groups.  I will "Juggle" all nominations by having the students participate in either group counseling or individual sessions with me.

Of course, I may have opened Pandora's Box...   


These nominations help to give additional information regarding specific students who may not have needed an official referral to the counselor before.  (i.e. academic/skills group and grief)

Huge Shout Out to some fabulous followers on my FB page for providing these creative names for the groups!

Here is the link to a copy of the Google Doc for the teacher nominations:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Panther P.A.L.s (Peers as Leaders)

At a district counselor meeting during the fall semester, a wonderful colleague of mine mentioned a peer leadership program that she has with her students.  I was thrilled with this awesome idea and wanted to replicate it on my campus!

The special program, "Panther P.A.L.s" (Peers as Leaders) was introduced to the fourth graders as an opportunity to show leadership and volunteering on our campus.  I sent a letter of explanation and application home with each of our fourth graders.  (I chose fourth grade since our fifth graders have the opportunity to join Student Council)  Since this was my first year to have a program of this nature, I just couldn't say no and accepted all students who applied, who also met the application requirements.  To date, we have over 35 students who are Panther P.A.L.s!

At our first meeting, the students wrote their name on sticky notes and selected various committees:
*helping teachers
*working with students
*mentoring students
*performing Random Acts of Kindness on campus
*No Place for Hate Committee

These students have volunteered to either help a teacher before or after school and/or during their RECESS time!  I know!  AWESOME!

Some Panther P.A.L.s also have the distinct honor of working with a peer either as a tutor or a peer mentor through our M&M Time (Mentor & Me Time) program.

The Panther P.A.L.s and I meet during their lunch times as a group on several occasions in order to establish roles for the students, expectations for the roles, and to award each P.A.L. with a "HERO bracelet" from Positive Promotions.  Each Panther P.A.L. has a special lanyard with a badge identifying him/her as a P.A.L. The children wear these lanyards when they are performing their specific duties as a P.A.L.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Counselor Newsletters

For eight years I have submitted various articles to be included within our weekly newsletters to parents. I have often considered the idea of creating my own newsletter to not only inform parents of counseling events on campus, but to also educate parents regarding my role as the counselor.

Yesterday, based on the recommendation from someone who posted on my Facebook post about Glogster, I have discovered www.smore.com!!! 


This was by far the EASIEST format for a newsletter that I have ever used!  I was able to write my first flyer and email it to all of our parents in less than an hour!  I love how you can track how many people have viewed the flyer as well!  Amazing!