Such a busy year! We have started a new section in our library- so exciting!
We ordered a bunch of books through Free Spirit Publishing with the remainder of our services budget. I’m in love with their books because I think they do a great job of writing in a way that is in touch with all ages of students. It’s really hard to find books for middle schoolers that aren’t too young or too old in content and verbiage. Small now, but I love the idea of having a place to bring students to suggest something that might help them. We have even talked about hiding small notes in the books to brighten the day of the reader. Adorbs!
We are also gearing up for the testing season. This always crazy, hectic, stressed-out time is ripe with counseling opportunities to calm down students and get them in high confidence mode. As much as we try to seperate the school counseling profession from the
dry necessary, political growth mindset centered scored standards, I try to remind myself that it is a reality for students. School Counselors can really change the overall environment during testing to be positive and productive, easing students’ anxiety and helping them realize their potential. One of our counselors bring in Pom-poms and cheers for her students as they come in, one of our teachers gets donated fruits so students can have a bite to eat. These small things make such a huge difference. I like to go to each classroom in the morning and spread a little cheer by telling students they should smile because it has been shown to increase test performance (I’m pretty sure I read this somewhere, but in all actuality I have no idea).
My principal shared the Larry Bell testing strategies and they really make sense. It breaks down the processes of testing very well. He encouraged us to find ways to make sure the concepts are part of our students’ everyday language- I took that to heart with a bulletin board project meant to trick students into learning about the 12 steps…when in Rome, right?