Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Even I'm Doing More with Technology! But There's a Lesson to This Post...

This year, I decided that I would try to simplify my life and use Google Docs for my classroom observations, opposed to hand writing all of them. Part of my job is to observe the school counselors at the 85 schools in my division. I offer feedback as it relates to instruction, assessment and management of students during the school counseling classroom lessons. 

Here is what I look for:

Instruction - Are you prepared? Lesson plan? Opening? Closing? Is it relevant? Easy to follow? Applicable to the grade level or what you deem as the topic?

Assessment - How do you know if the students understood what you just taught? Are you checking for understanding? What formative assessment are you using?

Management - Are the students on task? Engaged? Can you re-direct? Are you calling on all students? Remember, just because students are compliant doesn't mean that they are learning...or that your lesson is effective

Classroom lessons should be thought out, planned and support your program and school's initiatives. No RANDOM ACTS OF GUIDANCE....as Pat Martin (NOSCA) would say! That means don't continue lessons because you like them, or because you are comfortable with them and have been doing them for years. 

True Story: There once was a school counselor who worked for my division. Every lesson consisted of them bringing a keyboard into the classroom, playing a song and having the students sing along. SAY WHAT?! I have no idea what their program was about, how the lessons were relevant. They never provided me with any documentation...no lesson plans, no annual calendar, no data reports...NADA! One day the principal wanted to know what they could do to increase scores in their building. I stated, "by not letting your school counselor play the keyboard for his lessons."  CRICKETS!!!! The principal quickly redirected the conversation. Luckily, that school counselor retired and they have a much more contemporary one in their place.

Continue to be Extraordinary, People! Don't be the keyboard pushing, song singing, no lesson plan having school counselor! YUCK!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Review: How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods

OMG!!! A first grade teacher showed me the cutest book when I was observing a school counselor the other week. It's called How Are You Peeling? It's all about foods that naturally form into shapes that look like they are making an expression. Nonetheless, the book goes on to ask the children how are they feeling based on the expression of the food. Too cute! I'm buying one for myself!

Enjoy and be extraordinary!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Places to Find School Counseling Jobs - Part Two

OMG!!! This site is a JACKPOT!!!! I MUST thank my two high school alum back home for turning me on to this site. Shoot! This site is so good...it's got me searching! LOL! 

The site is called SchoolSpring

Check it out and good luck!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ed Week's Listserv

I think it is important to get the most important topics in the field of education. Sometimes as school counselors we only care about what happens in our own world...in our own building. It helps to be a "big picture" kind of thinker sometimes. Especially if you have a desire to be a department chiar, work in central office, become and administrator or go the professor route. Recently, I subscribed to Education Weekly's listserv and I have enjoyed the emails. I get to read up on pertinent information that may impact school counseling, but moreover, I get FREE professional development information in the form of webinars. It makes me feel good to know that I am adding to my own development. It's so easy to add to yours as well! That's how you become extraordinary!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

FREE Teen Life Magazines for Secondary Counselors


OOHHHHHHH!!!! You know I had to share this! Ya'll know I LOVE me some Teen Life! LOL! 
(I have lived in VA too long! LOL!) Please take advantage of this offer. They have all different types of magazines. This is one of my favorite free resources! So excited!

Teen Life Educator Order



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: Children's Book about Asperger's

Recently I ordered this book for all the elementary school counselors in my district. This is a wonderful story about a boy, Armond, who attends a friend's birthday party, which is a regular rite of passage for children, except he has Asperger's. The story then follows Armond through the day and how he celebrates the party a little differently from the other children.

This is a wonderful book to share with students who may have a classmate or sibling with Asperger's. You could do this as a stand alone lesson on differences or add it to the end of the another at the request of a teacher. 

Enjoy and be extraordinary!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Places to Find School Counseling Jobs - Part One

If you are looking for a school counseling job for whatever reason (about to graduate, moving, etc), here are two great places to find jobs.

Education Week's Top School Jobs - Here you can find school counseling or education related jobs  from all the world in private, public, charter and other settings. You can create a myriad of search combinations that are just right for you. You can also post a resume and have them send you alerts, so you can see when jobs are posted. 

Higher Ed Jobs - Yes! Believe it or not, they post school counseling jobs on this site. Not as many as the aforementioned site, but they do and most are international. I know a school counselor who was having a hard time finding a job in Virginia, so she took a job in Dubai for a year! This job site follows the same premise as above.

Good luck and be extraordinary!