Monday, December 2, 2013

Listservs School Counseling Distrist Supervisors Need to Receive

I am a listserv junkie! I do it not so much for myself, but for my counselors! I want to ensure they receive the most important, relevant information they can; so that they can work with kids effectively. As my email piles up in my never empty mailbox...I have grown to look for this information for there are some really good data, facts, etc. in the blasts that go out. If you do not have a district supervisor, you many want to subscribe to these 11 listservs so that you can be on top of your game. For the majority of these listservs, you can just go to the site and sign up for the e-newsletter, etc.
Enjoy and be extraordinary!
  1. ASCA Scene - you must create a free account to recieve the listserv
  2. NCAA Eligibility Center Newsletter
  3. Common Sense Media
  4. I'm First - Information for first generation college students
  5. Collegeboard
  6. Teen Life
  7. National Girls Collaborative Project - STEM & Girls
  8. Common Application
  9. HS Counselor Week
  10. Cappex - College information
  11. National Center for Learning Disabilities

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Should School Counseling Professors Have Worked as School Counselors?

Last week I had a conversation with one of my PhD classmates. He was on the search committee for new professors at the institution where we attend. I was eager to hear about his take on the interviews, for one of them is pretty well known in the school counseling arena. Well, I was shocked to hear that my favorite was his least favorite! "Why" I asked. "They have never been a school counselor"! He said. "Really"! I said, "but they have written all this stuff on school counseling"! So that got me thinking...Should school counseling professors, have been school counselors? Well I can tell you that in the world of academia, it's not that way because of the following reasons: 1) there is a shortage of school counseling professors at the collegiate level with school counseling experience. So as long as you have had an internship experience, that is sufficient. Unless they specify on the job announcement that one must have been a school counselor; and 2) Most experienced school counselors do not want to take a pay cut to become a full-time professor. The average salary of starting SC professors is about $40,000. YIKES!!! Yes, that is a huge deterrent for most of us! Thus, leaving those with internships to fill the jobs. It's a viscous cycle. 

However, when you think about that most of the current school counseling professors have not been a practicing school counselor in years, is there any different? Some say yes there is a difference because at least they have a frame of reference from which to draw from. Whereas the ones with no experience just have an internship to draw from. Then you have some who say they could never find a SC job. So they went on to continue with a PhD. You even have some school counseling professors whose dissertations aren't even related to school counseling. Go figure! 

When it comes to universities...if it is a research institution, they are more theoretical and teach the more idealistic version of school counseling. They value collaboration with school divisions from which they can partner in research endeavors from the field. This ensures that SC professors stay current in the field, for they can live vicariously through currently employed school counselors to understand what the current vibe is in school counseling. If it is a practice-based institution, they usually want someone who has walked the walk and talked the talk. They are more reality based. 

I personally know both kinds of school counseling professors. I cannot say how effective each kind is in relation to teaching our future school counselors, because I do not sit in their classes. I can say that they equally love school counseling. They are advocates for it and want to make the profession better by ensuring that their students have the best possible experiences during their master's programs...and it is my job to make sure they do! 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Have You Heard of Neil deGrasse Tyson???

I am crushing hard! I am crushing on astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson! If you have not heard of him, he is the way cool scientist who speaks to congress, is on the late night talk show circuit, has a Youtube station and is the director of the Hayden Planetarium. 

Why do I like him so much? Aside from him being brilliant, not to mention that my secret fantasy was to marry a super intelligent dude who would speak to me and I would have NO idea what he was talking about, but I would be soooooo impressed...true story; he is an advocate for math and science and the STEM fields. At a time when students want out! This is why we need to keep kids in! Check out the video. He speaks the truth!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Resources from College and Career Press

Please tell me that you have heard of College and Career Press! If you are a high school counselor and you have not...SHAME!! You are missing out! I love this company. They have great career exploration books, a College Spotlight magazine, which I cannot live without...I make my secretary order it every year for me. It's Extraordinary!

College and Career Press


Friday, November 15, 2013

The Bilingual Learner Site


OOOHHHHHHH!!!! I love this site! It is the best for helping ELL/ESL students. They have products and resources that will allow you to assist your students to the best of your ability. There is also a blog that can help all school counselors with lots of different topics!  It is really is a great on-stop site!

Bilingual Learner

Enjoy and be Extraordinary!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Questbridge - Help for Low Income HS Students

While searching the Internet the other week at work, I came across QuestBridge. Now this program has been out for awhile and so has the site, but just in case you missed it...Questbridge links low-income, high test scoring students with some of the best universities in the country.What a wonderful way to help ALL students.

QuestBridge is a powerful platform bridging the nation's brightest, under-served youth and leading institutions of higher education and further opportunities. We are an aggregator of excellence. QuestBridge provides a single, Internet-based meeting point which links exceptional students with colleges, scholarship providers, enrichment programs employers, and organizations seeking students who have excelled despite obstacles. By facilitating these exchanges, QuestBridge aims to increase the percentage of talented low-income students attending the nation's best universities and the ranks of national leadership itself. - taken from site



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

4 or More


I know! I know! The Collegeboard has more initiatives and products than we can remember, BUT...this is a really good one. 4 or More is a pledge that school counselors take to ensure that their student will apply to four or more schools during their senior year of high school. However, once you do that, you will then receive a FREE College Counseling Sourcebook (full PDF)! Let me tell you, if you have not used the College Counseling Sourcebook you are missing out! It is full of information and material for presentations and classroom lessons.

Take the pledge! Get a free book!

4 or More

Enjoy, for this book is EXTRAORDINARY!!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

American Red Cross High School Leadership Program


Recently someone sent me this link to see if I have ever heard of this program. I had not, but thought is was an awesome way to introduce students to advocacy and community service.  All students need to do is go the website and create an account. When they donate blood three times, they earn a cord to wear at graduation. If the student volunteers for 8 hours they also have a chance to win a scholarship. You can't beat that!

Red Cross Leadership Program


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FREE Resources at Power My Learning


PHEW!!! I am back after a three week lapse. Work, my involvement with my state school counseling organization and writing my dissertation left me no time to share information with you. You should see my list of topics in my cue...there are over 55! Nonetheless, it is good to be back and share this site with you. One of the counselors in my division shared it with me and it's full of FREE tools.

Now it states that it assists with Common Core learning, but here is something for you states that are not Common Core...the 5 states that opted out did so because their state curriculum matches or surpasses the Common Core, soooooooooo using these resources will not negatively effect your students.

Power My Learning is a site where you can find and use thousands of FREE games, videos, and interactives in all major K-12 subjects and aligned to the Common Core.


Power My Learning

Sally Ride's STEM Central

If you have not checked out then you are missing out. NOW they have Sally Ride Science’s STEM Central™—home of the best STEM resources on the web—is now open… and it’s free, too!

They have reviewed thousands upon thousands of web resources for STEM instruction, and picked thousands of those that are especially suited to the needs of educators and students.

Every resource has been vetted—reviewed and rated by educators, and ready for use in the classroom. You can search by topic, grade level, rating, or by the type of resources you need.

And starting November 1, 2013, you can: submit your favorite links from the web; rate and review existing resources on STEM Central; and share tips for classroom use!

LD Awareness Month

Know a student who struggles with everyday tasks like planning, time management and keeping track of multiple assignments? 
They could be having executive function difficulties, which are common for people with learning disabilities! 

Check out these resources from the National Center for Learning Disabilities.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Awesome On-line Magazine: Teen Life


I am not huge fan of teenage magazines or even parent magazines, for that matter. I think some of them are cheesy, preachy or corny. HOWEVER, there is something about Teen Life that has got me whistling a new tune! This on-line publication is FILLED with resources and information. Gap Year, STEM, Special Needs and Summer Programs! How many times do you get asked about that??? They have free down loadable resources. Special links for counselors and educators and a separate magazine for parents and a blog you can contribute to!

I already signed up!

Teen Life

Enjoy this site and be Extraordinary!  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Framework for Safe and Successful Schools

  If you have not seen this document, then please read it. The six major school based professional organizations came together to create an integrated framework for what they consider are safe and successful schools. There should be no more guessing. The right hand is finally talking to the left hand. School counselors are included all through this document. So, if you should have an administrator who can't seem remember what a school counselor does or refuses to include you in collaboration...make a copy of this pdf on bright neon paper and anonymously place it in their mailbox!

Framework for Safe and Successful Schools

Enjoy, as you travel the road to Extraordinary!

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Counselor Action Brief

Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards. Are you one of those states?

"This Action Brief for school counselors is a starting point, designed to increase awareness of the standards, create a sense of urgency around their implementation, and provide these stakeholders — who are faced with dramatically increased expectations in the context of fewer resources — with a deeper understanding of the standards and their role in implementing the standards. Achieve, in partnership with College Summit, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, released this with support from MetLife Foundation." (taken from site)
Common Core and School Counselors



FREE VIDEO - Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History

Bullied teaching kitBullied is a documentary film that chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. It can become a cornerstone of anti-bullying efforts in middle and high schools.
Bullied includes:
  • A 40-minute documentary film (DVD), with closed captioning and with Spanish subtitles
  • A two-part viewer’s guide with standards-aligned lesson plans and activities for use in staff development
  • Additional materials online
Bullied is designed to help administrators, teachers and counselors create a safer school environment for all students, not just those who are gay and lesbian. It is also intended to help all students understand the terrible toll bullying can take on its victims, and to encourage students to stand up for their classmates who are being harassed.
Bullied has been endorsed by the NEA

Order your school’s free copy now to have it ready to use during National Bullying Prevention Month (October 2010).
Note: Limit of one kit per school. 
“This film is powerful, important and extremely realistic. It provides teachers with a rare opportunity to address bullying in a real and meaningful way.”  -- Lee Cutler, Secretary/Treasurer, New York State United Teachers

Friday, September 20, 2013

Building STEM Skills in Students

Here is a great article about how to build STEM skills through relevant technology. It ties into 21st century skills, critical thinking and closing the achievement gap. All the things your administrator wants you to support!
STEM Skills


ADHD Awareness Week 2013: October 14th-20th

ADHD Awareness Week 2013: October 13th-19th!

Be sure to check out these sites on ADHD for free great resources (for all audiences).

Awareness Month

ADD Connect

ADD Myths

ADDitude Magazine

ADD videos


Un-Schooling Counselor: 8 New Jobs People Will Have In 2025

Fast company magazine recently published an article that speaks about what jobs will be needed because of new technological advances. The path to education will change and so will the traditional career counselor's job. Check it out!

8 New Jobs


Educational and Vocational Guidance Practitioner

Educational and Vocational Guidance Practitioner (EVGP)

I am about to make a confession. I am a certification junkie. I have three and I am working on 4 more. Call it what you want, but I believe in professional development. I believe in life-long learning. I believe in making myself the best that I can be. So the next one I am about to obtain is the Educational and Vocational Guidance Practitioner. Basically it will certify that I am a career counseling specialist. It will solidify that the work that I do with my division in regards to academic and career planning, career interest inventories and post secondary planning. I am very excited to obtain this. I love career counseling.

Educational and Vocational Guidance Practitioner

Enjoy and be Extraordinary!

Free College Classes for Educators

I heard about Coursera from a high school counselor whose student wanted to take one of these courses for HS credit. YIKES!!! He must be a bright kid! Coursera is a company that contracts with institutions of higher learning in order to offer free on-line college courses. Yes, that's right. FREE courses. Now, I will admit some of these courses are on the opposite end of the school counselor topic continuum, but hey...there may be some of you out there who like some of the topics. Nonetheless, it's free. It can help you obtain PD and in addition, learn something new.


Enjoy? Gulp. LOL!!!!

Recycling Lesson Plans

Ooohhhhhh!!!! I love recycling and sustainability. I am actually creating a whole action plan for the counselors in my school division with lessons, etc.

I happened to stumble across this website while looking for recources. This site provides lesson plans, but also ideas to start school-wide initiatives for money! And who couldn't use some money for their comprehensive school counseling programs?


Professor Child Films

Professor Child, produces films where children teach children about challenging life events.  They want to let school counselors around the nation know about their films, which have been favorably reviewed in the School Library Journal and Booklist. Professor Child recently released two films, Children and Divorce and Children and Grief. Each film has a free, corresponding workbook full of discussion questions and creative exercises. The films are reasonably priced at $34.99. To watch trailers of the films and to learn more about Professor Child, please visit

The Professor Child


Building Social and Emotional Intelligence

If you have never heard of EQ, then this post is just what you needed. EQ is great way to teach children coping skills and how to better their self-esteem.

Social and emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, navigate and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. These social and emotional skills are grounded in the ability to be self-aware, to demonstrate empathy, to manage ones emotions and to successfully manage conflict and relationships with peers and family members. Studies show that one's EQ (social and emotion IQ) is the best predictor of a child's future achievement; better than any other single factor. EQ is a better predictor of success than IQ and technical skills combined. (taken from site)

Building Social and Emotional Intelligence


Careersighted: A New Look at Careers

Careersighted is a new website that has 3-minute videos of every career you can think of and many more that you can't.  The goal is to help students figure out what they want to be when they grow up.
They interview real people who really love their careers so that students can watch the videos and think "Wow, that sounds just like me.  I'd love that career!"  or, "I had no idea what that career was really like.  I couldn't do that everyday."  They hope is that if kids find a passion for a career at a young age it will help them set goals for their future, stay focused in school and ultimately lead to a career doing something they really love.

Sounds neat, huh?  Enjoy!

Teens, Tweens and Sexting!

I came across this great blog for girls in one of my LinkedIn groups. The post discusses what sexting is and how to talk to parents about it. This has become a high profile topic and sometimes it is difficult to talk to parents about certain issues when it comes to their children. This post is a great tool to help you broach that topic.

Teens, Tweens and Sexting

Enjoy and be Extraordinary!

STEPS: Solutions To Ethical Problems In Schools

Every now and then, I receive a phone call from a school counselor who is unsure how to handle a specific scenario or an event that has occurred. We talk the situation through and then discuss the possible outcomes, just like most supervisors would do with their staff. I know first hand, that a lot of the theoretical things we learn in our SC programs we do not apply in our daily roles as school counselors, for one reason or another. However, should use an ethical decision making model when working with students. Dr. Carolyn Stone and ASCA have come up with a pretty good one. I suggest you print it out on a piece of card stock and stick it up in your office. So what if your students see it! It can be a great learning tool, for you can teach your students how to work through problems as well.

STEPS: Solutions to Ethical Problems in Schools (2001) adapts and extends the seven steps of The Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making developed by The American Counseling Association (ACA) model and extends the conceptual and contextual applications so they align with the uniqueness of counseling in schools.

STEPS is a nine step model which considers the emotional influences of a problem, the chronological and developmental appropriateness of the solution, the setting and parent’s right.

Enjoy as you continue to be Extraordinary!

Ethical Model for School Counselors


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why School Counselors Need Lesson Plans!!!!!

The other day I asked the counselors in my division if anyone had any bullying prevention lesson plans they used in addition to the ones associated with our school board approved action plan. I received about a dozen responses and of the 12, only half sent me lessons plans in a response email. UGH!!! and GRRRRR!!! Some of these are the same school counselors who get a hard time from their principals. Wonder why? School counselors!!! I am here to tell you as someone from the district NEED lesson plans! I cannot stress this enough. A lack of lesson plans does not help our cause. We cannot advocate for ourselves if you are not playing the game. It does not make us look like the serious, master degreed, contributors to education that we are. Lesson plans validate what we do. It sends a message to administrators and other teachers that our lessons support instruction. Yes, we are counselors, but we are also educators. We live in Rome and therefore...we do what Romans do! You would never catch a teacher without lesson plans. Why should we be any different when it comes to classroom guidance and small groups? We cannot afford to perform "random acts of guidance", as Pat Martin (NOSCA) says. Gone are the days of I like this book or let me do it. What is your lesson supporting? What is your lesson tying into? What is your lesson helping to prepare children for? 

Your school counseling lessons should at least:

  • Support your state school counseling standards
  • Support your state testing/curriculum standards
  • Support any other themed model that your school or district is using (Habits of the Mind, 7 Habits, Character Ed, etc.)
  • Support ASCA standards
Your lessons should also have some type of assessment tied to it. How do you know if the children learned anything from your lesson, if you don't check? 

If you need me! I am here to help all counselors be extraordinary!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Information on Cutting

This 122 page disseration provides great information about cutting behaviors. Especially those who are looking for a training for your staff or school counselors. At the end of the document is a powerpoint, a list of 8 websites and a pre- and post-test.
Gerling, Roberta L., "Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: A Training Developed for SchoolPersonnel" (2013). Professional Psychology Doctoral Projects. Paper 24


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Is Site Supervision for You?


I was a site supervisor once. Once. That was all I could handle. I was a department chair at 2000 student/8 counselor/4 guidance secretary high school with an IB programme housed within it, at the time. To this day I still think about how I short changed my poor graduate student (who by the way, decided she could make more money as a mental health counselor). I was just too busy. I had no time. She hated to learn graduation requirements, but loved to work with the students who showed some questionable lethality after the suicide/depression presentation. I was the opposite. Site supervision is not for everyone. It takes a lot of time, patience and work. I know some really great ones and some really poor ones. Fortunately, I am honest enough with myself to know...I fall to the poor side. I know my strengths and site supervision is not one of them. However, everyone is not that honest.

Fast forward eight years to my current position and my exposure to supervision a la PhD program. Supervision is extremely important to the field of counseling. It keeps counselors relevant, accountable and sane! Unfortunately, public K-12 education does not understand true supervision. The closet thing we have is programmatic supervision (ASCA, NOSCA, TSC models, etc.) and making sure our schools implement some type of  model or site supervision (student teaching to the masses). Site supervision is extremely important for it allows us to train the next generation of school counselors. However, I know some school counselors who have intern students because they need re-certification points, who bad mouth the SC models used by their divisions, who really don't help the student learn anything and the university has come in and removed the student; and who use student teacher models to train school counselors. Eeeekkkkk!!!! Did you know there are SC supervision models in which to follow if you have a problem or concern? Well there are and there are some really good ones. I actually know of 18 school counseling site supervision models. I am sure there are more, but these are the ones that I have found. 

In my division all school counselors wanting a practicum or intern student must complete a 2 hour training by a local counselor educator, who is the supervision coordinator at one of our local universities. We have a job spec, a chart of local colleges and their requirements/who to contact/etc. and case scenarios. We have cleared it with our HR department and our school counselors receive re-certification points. 

So as I close out this post, let me give you some pointers on how to be a great site supervisor:

  1. Hold your students accountable - dress, attendance, responsibility, etc. This may one day be your future colleague.
  2. Give them every experience you can think of. That is the only way they are going to be competitive. The market is cut throat out there. 
  3. Make sure you spend 30 minutes a week to process the week's events.
  4. Let them create a lesson in addition to presenting it.
  5. Call their university supervisor if they are not up to par. Call the university dept. chair if the university supervisor slacks off! Students are guests of the school division. School divisions DO NOT have to accommodate universities. 
  6. Send the student back if they just don't measure up. Have the "come to Jesus" conversation.
  7.  If they are great, let your principal or district supervisor know. That way it may be easier for them to obtain a job within your division.
  8. Make sure you help them understand the school culture and let them know mental health counseling is a lot different than school counseling.
  9. Stress the importance of professional development and professional organizations.
  10. Be honest on their evaluations.

Hopefully you will discover and be honest with yourself if you are meant to be a site supervisor. It's not for everyone and that's ok. Hats off to those who do it! We need you in our field! 

Enjoy the first weeks of school!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Free Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculm Training

It's no secret that I love providing professional development ideas and opportunites to school counselors. I get so excited when I see FREE PD or on-line PD. There is nothing better than an up-to-date school counselor! Well when this email came across my desk about a free one-hour training on digital literacy and citizenship for K-12, I had to let you know about it. They even have it broken down by levels, too!

Free Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculm Training


Have to Work with Foreign Transcripts?

Here is a great resource if you work in a school division that has a lot of international students and you need to work with foreign transcripts...and it's FREE!!!!

Index of Secondary Credentials (FREE)

Country Index

Enjoy this resource!

You've Never Seen Roadtrip Nation?!?

If you have never seen Roadtrip Nation, well you are missing out on some great documentaries. Real people actual go across the country and interview famous or powerful people to hear about their stories, their successes, failures and seek advice. It really is engaging TV. Well now they have a curriculum to help empower students to get out into their communities and connect what they learn to their real world.

This is their mantra:

Roadtrip Nation empowers you to define your own road in life instead of traveling down someone else's.
  • We encourage you to engage in self-construction, rather than mass production.
  • We encourage you to be proactive and actively participate in defining your future by hitting the road and learning from Leaders who have resisted The Noise of conformity and stayed true to themselves.
  • Our philosophy is that when we listen to ourselves and are honest about whom we are, and what we love, we are able to seek our own path and contribute to the world with our unique talents.
  • We believe that by helping others discover their own paths, there will be a significant positive change in the world—the world needs people in tune with who they are and what they care about.
  • Living a life fueled by authenticity and passion allows people the ability to offer their creativity, ingenuity, and enthusiasm toward their goals.
  • We hope that this, in turn, will build a better local, national, and global community.
The Roadtrip Nation Movement exists to support, empower, and encourage individuals who want to define their own roads in life.Extending the Movement into education, we started a nonprofit, (taken from website)

Road Trip Nation Curriculum


STEM + Girls = National Girls Collaborative Project

What do you get when you add STEM and girls? The National Girls Collaborative Project! This organization is an awesome catalyst to assist our girls into science and math fields. Can you say girl power?

The National Girls Collaborative Project™ (NGCP) is designed to reach girl-serving STEM organizations across the United States. An intense recruitment and selection process began in fall 2005 to identify sponsoring organizations to lead local Collaboratives.

In April 2011, the National Girls Collaborative Project received additional funding from the National Science Foundation to reach additional states identified as high need priority areas.
The organizations selected to host local Collaboratives are impressive in their knowledge, experience, and diversity.

As a group, the local Collaboratives have an extensive network of organizations and individuals engaged in pursuing this common goal and the opportunity to share with and learn from each other. They vary in focus areas and populations served, and include higher education institutions, community-based organizations, and private non-profits, but all work to increase gender equity in STEM fields.

The National Girls Collaborative Project currently has 28 Collaboratives serving 38 states, and plans to expand to at least an additional three states in upcoming years.

Be sure to sign-up for the free newsletter!

National Girls Collaborative Project


More Crisis Resources for You

We shouldn't always have to wait for an emergency or a crisis to have resources. Here are some great links to add to your toolkit.

Comprehensive List of Crisis Resources

SAMSHA Article

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How Did I Miss Bloglovin'?

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I must have SERIOUSLY been under a rock!  I cannot believe I missed this site! All of the school counseling blogs in one place!!!!! And there are SOOOOOO many new school counseling blogs! This lady cannot keep up!!!! When you get a chance check it out and you are sure to be extraordinary!!!


National School Reform Faculty (Protocols)


A few years ago my school division set up a version of diversity training through a platform called "critical friends groups" with the National School Reform Faculty. A critical friends group is a professional learning community consisting of approximately 8-12 educators who come together voluntarily at least once a month for about 2 hours. Group members are committed to improving their practice through collaborative learning. 

You improve your practice by using protocols that consist of agreed upon guidelines for a conversation. This type of structure permits very focused conversations to occur. Protocols are used for looking at student and adult work, giving and receiving feedback, solving problems or dilemmas, observing classrooms or peers, to push thinking on a given issue and to structure a discussion around a text.

We use protocols during professional development, during work-a-like meetings, at faculty meetings and with students. They are a great way to add another dimension to peer feedback. Check out the site for training information and free protocols. 

National School Reform Faculty Protocols

 *It is recommended that you be a trained facilitator in order to use the protocols effectively