Last week was probably the most chaotic week of my life. I had two days at school and then three days to spend at the Colorado School Counselor Association Annual Conference. Of course, when a School Counselor is trying to get away, that is when everything goes CRAZY.
Even when I tried to leave town on Wednesday, my fortune was running low. I had a doctor's appointment early in the morning. I was driving down one of our larger highways where all the action happens when my car started to chug. It revved. It went below 55 miles an hour and I realized, I AM OUT OF GAS! In all the craziness of the week, I had head home after work as quickly as I could to simply just lay on the floor for a good thirty minutes. I didn't care about gas. Just in case you were wondering, this is what I look like when I am really stressed out at work:
Needless to say, my car pooped out on one of the off ramps. BUT. My luck had changed. My car died right by the hospital. I decided that I was going to just put my hazards on and for the life of me make it to my appointment. So I abandoned my car and walked.
Don't do this at home kids.
Anyways, things started to work out in my favor and I sipped on a peppermint mocha on my very long drive to Loveland while blasting music. That turned into really good therapy.
I also presented this trip! This was my first time presenting and I was really nervous. Especially when what I thought would be a small group turned into a packed house. I tell you what, I am not one to volunteer to present and lead, but it was well worth it and an experience I think School Counselors should take advantage of. Do you have a lot of knowledge on a subject? Then present it! Share the wealth of information.
I am sharing the presentation that I created which was not just on Social Media that School Counselors can use for Professional Development but also incorporated information on students and their social media use today.
What it comes down to for me is that the more we invest in technology for ourselves, the more effective and proactive we will be in helping our students manage their own social media lives.
We had a strategic Real Leader Meeting (my Middle School Leadership Group) They loved that I had the meeting in the Conference Room. We talked about what they wanted to happen this year in a creative way using index cards. I was so impressed with their professionalism and engagement.
I decided that this year I was going to utilize Outlook Calendars as a way to remind me of upcoming appointments, small groups, meetings, etc. This is what one month looked like. Though I really love how this is helping me NOT FORGET... this is really overwhelming to look at as a whole. Welcome to being the only School Counselor for 750 kids. : )
Upcoming Blog Post coming on this. Its the beginning of a Bouncy Band! Basically, a wonderful item to add to a classroom for students who need to move and fidget to work better.
I finally scheduled all my Small Groups and used Marissa's Small Group Reminder. I only handed these out once and gave them to the teachers to keep. I couldn't imagine doing this on a weekly basis for 17 groups....
That's it for me folks.
A few weeks ago, I hosted the Second Annual Girls Night Out for grades third through fifth grade. It was such a blast!
Check out my first Girls Night Out.
For those of who you don't know, Girls Night Out is a fun and engaging way of bringing girls and their parents together to talk about relational aggression or girl bullying.
|All the girls sat up front. Parents were more comfy in chairs.|
This year, I changed a lot. The agenda, PowerPoint and movie were ALL different. I also asked our Elementary Dean of Students to join me in hosting. I wanted to make sure to get her perspective in regards to consequences and discipline. We work together as a team on so many of these relational aggression issues it was just necessary having her there. Plus, she is just so much fun and had so many great ideas.
If you can collaborate with others on this event, I would highly suggest it. I had so many people who helped set up and tear down. It made for a less stressful night for me.
One of the first things I did was make sure that I would have funding to order pizza for all of those that came. I wrote a letter to my PTO to request money. They approved!
After that, I advertised with fliers in each of the classrooms and made sure details went out on our weekly emails to parents. I made sure to ask for an email RSVP simply to create less chaos the night of. I wanted to make sure we had enough food and room!
In addition, I had ordered the Mean Stinks! Kit over the summer and it had arrived the first month of school. I decided to combine what I was already doing with Girls Night Out and added a Mean Stinks! theme.
To order a Mean Stinks! Kit email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them who you are and your address. They will send it for FREE.
The kit was filled to the brim with shirts, bracelets, pins, and magnets. These items all became my prizes for the drawing that we did at the end of the night. Can you say, AWESOME?!
Last year, I showed The Clique. Though it was good, it does have several cuss words and works better with an older crowd. I felt uncomfortable with it last year. I decided to show An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong. This was my almost mess up of the entire evening. I hadn't ordered it because I had planned on streaming it from Amazon Video. Turns out they don't have it and I hadn't looked until the DAY of. That's a no-no. So, order the video.
|Some girls brought thier American Girls Dolls! How adorable is that?|
Other details included pizza and soda, a pinkie nail painting table (to support Mean Stinks!), and of course the prize drawing.
After the movie ended, we gave the group about five minutes to get their jitters out. We reconvened and went over the PowerPoint. I used a lot of material from Mean Stinks! But choose to put it on my own slide as some of the wording was too adult for our kiddos.
At exactly 8 pm, we finished up and everyone went home with a prize and resources for parents and their girls. It was truly a success and so many were raving about it afterwards.
Enjoy! And let me know if you have any questions about running your own event. I have been brainstorming what this looks like at the Middle School level... more on that coming soon!