Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Guest Blog Post and Book Review: Mrs. Joyce Gives the Best High Fives > Introducing the School Counselor

First, thank you so much for having me as a guest blogger, I am honored to share my story with your readers. I’ve been in education for the past twenty-two years. After fifteen years in the classroom I felt a calling for something more—a deeper way to connect with and help children, which is how I discovered school counseling.

I moved from classroom teacher to school counselor in 2011 and absolutely fell in love. However, I soon discovered there weren’t a lot of up-to-date resources available for school counselors. After hearing me gripe about it for months my husband finally told me to write my own resources. Isn’t it nice to have someone who knows what you need before you do?

And so, I began researching self-publishing and taught myself the basics of publishing a book. To be honest, there were some costly mistakes: the cover for Mrs. Joyce Gives the Best High-Fives was redesigned five times—YIKES—before I found one that I felt was ‘right’. Most students didn’t even know their school had a counselor, much less how one could help them.

The first week of school during my second year as a counselor I went into every classroom and read the Mrs. Joyce book. The children loved it and I received many thank-yous from teachers. Needless to say, the following week my office was constantly busy.

I continued listening to my students and knew that I needed to write other books to address individual needs. This launched me into the Helping Kids Heals therapeutic activity book set. I’m thrilled with how well all of these books have been received. Just last week, I woke up to an email from Ireland requesting copies of my books. Who would have ever thought a small-town Texas counselor-author could reach professionals across the ocean?

As educators, counselors are often the least familiar to parents, students and sometimes teachers. I hope my efforts have offered you some tools and helped you appreciate the power of your roles in our children’s lives. And I invite you to continue to add to our community. I wish you luck in the giveaway and hope you are having a relaxing, restful summer. All the best and Happy Counseling. 

Erainna - Empowering Children through Books > Counseling with HEART

More information on how to obtain the book 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Smart Scholar: Scholarship Website

The website says...There should be an easier way to find and apply for scholarships!! I totally agree!!!

SmartScholar was founded to save student time and money. They company noticed that the scholarship information available on the internet was often incomplete or inaccurate, and they decided to create a better set of resources for students and parents planning for college.

They recruited education experts to write articles and guides on the most important topics within financial aid and scholarships, supported with extensive research.

The SmartScholar team wants to continue to improve the financial aid search process for students. They are in the process of building their own scholarships database and tool via a proprietary research method. They are confident they can build the best scholarship website in the world, one that easily allows students to effectively find and apply for scholarship funds they can readily win. I hope so!!!

I looked over the site. Clicked on some links. It looks pretty decent. You try!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Statfuse: Finding Out Your Chances for Getting Into College

There are many websites out there for college readiness. I almost cannot keep up! One of the latest is Statfuse. Statfuse is a college acceptance predictor for high school students that uses an algorithm. In about 2 minutes, students can receive the predicted “chance” that they would be accepted to a particular college or university.

The tool is free to use for students and uses the following information:
- Academic performance
- Extracurricular activities
- Legacy consideration
- SAT/ACT scores
- Historical acceptance rate data

Check it out and enjoy!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Small Steps Go Places: A Game for Seniors

About 2 months ago, a couple of the high school counselors attended a regional NACAC conference and went to a session on college readiness. The session spoke to activities surrounding a game called Small Steps Go Places. They came back and asked if I would buy a game for each of the high schools. Upon investigating, I was sold! The game is ideally for 6 -10 students. You will need one set per this amount of students. So if you want to use this for 30 students, you will need three sets. This is a great game with real life scenarios and situations. It can used with seniors in small or large groups.

Also, the creator is more than helpful to work with you to ensure that you understand the game. She is currently working on a version for first generation students and commuter students. If you have any questions, she is just an email away!

The game leads to critical thinking and great and authentic discussion. It also aligns itself with the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors. Every high school needs one!


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Center for School, College and Career Resources

I do not think there is month that goes by that some company is not trying to get school counselors to pub their product.  Well, this one actually is not that bad. It is easy to read and navigate. It has relevant information; and should be of help to students who are preparing for college.

Accredited Online Schools and Colleges:

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Youth Light, Inc. Book Review: Julia Morphs...and Learns to Accept Herself

Julia Morps is an adorable book for elementary school students. The theme of the story is about self-love, acceptance and how others see us. I loved it. To be honest, we could all use a reminder on these topics every once in a while...including adults!

Julia, an elephant, doesn't like her physical size. She feels that her size is making her not as graceful as she feels she could be. She makes a wish with a fairy, so that she can be the size of her best friend, a bunny. However, she realizes that her new body is not all that she hoped it would be and desires her elephant form back!

The book also comes with posters what you can download on the youth light site.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A YouthLight, Inc. Book Review: A Year of School Counseling - Tools and Techniques for K-12 Themes Throughout the Year

Can I tell you that I love this book?  I have used and recommended this book since 2007, when I became a school counselor district supervisor and then also when I became an adjunct professor in 2014.

This book is great for new school counselors and those tenured school counselors who are trying to learn how to implement a comprehensive school counseling program. This book highlights the different awareness dates/months that can also be found on the ASCA website and gives school counselors ideas on how to highlight and incorporate these dates into your program on a large scale for the school year. The book also lists internet sites that can provide you with more information and resources.

The topics in the book are as follows: Beginnings, Safe Schools, Career Development, Human Rights, Parent/Family Involvement, Career Education and National School Counseling Week, Government Relations, Partnerships and Collaborations, Transitions, Child Advocacy and Personal/Professional Renewal. These are all topics that we can use throughout the year. The best thing is that you don't have to use the awareness theme presented. You can pick another one and use the book as a guide to implement your own ideas.

Again, this is a great resource for graduate students and practicing school counselors, alike. It is also by Barbara Muller-Ackerman and she is a well respected veteran when it comes to school counseling practitioner books.

A Year of School Counseling