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Tag Archives: communication

Student Transitions

I have had the most exceptional, fun, laid-back, good kids for the last three years. I cannot even begin to imagine what work will be like after this year as I tearfully drag my feet and throw a fit the size of adolescent attitude move forward and usher in a new group. We rotate at my Middle School, so I will also be back with the littles. It takes adjustment, but it is really exciting to meet a whole new group and start the puzzle all over again.

The 6th graders are so crazy different from 8th graders. It is hard for me to remember my students being those little minis only a couple of years ago. A handful of them cried at the mere expanse of the school, some of those quiet mouths have blossomed, and others walk taller every day. I have also had plenty of time to think about things that may have helped them transition to Middle School and be more successful while there.

One of the things that I would love to know in advance is who will be my frequent fliers from the beginning. How can I help them? I look at plenty of data to get ideas, but who can I keep from flying under the radar for a year causing me to lose essential support time. So I got an idea to send some SOS packets to Elementary counselors. They know them best, they have lived with them for the last 5 years and they have all the dish I need to know who to approach and how. Imagine the time saved in rapport building to already have an in!

I gave each of our feeder schools’ counselors a couple of SOS envelopes, and asked them to write their frequent flyer students a letter that might help them when the hormones hit the fan in Middle School. I can pull them out and have a link for the kid to an easier, more familiar time. I also included some CLMS swag so that they can give some away and also have Middle School stuff around their offices. I figured this might subliminally add some face-time for us.

When I’m not wagging my finger speaking with my 8th graders, I start to imagine students in 5th grade and what they are doing. They have no idea how different their life will be, and I can’t wait to see another group grow and experience.

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Confessions of a Social Anti-social

My husband has been known to drag me out of the house telling me to go to one social event or another and to stop being anti-social.  Anti-social?! How could he possibly call me that? I’m a counselor for goodness sakes.  I mean, I went through my whole Master’s Degree and have a whole profession surrounded by the fact that my gift, my talent, my -dare I say- genius status is based on my ability to be social (ok, genius might be a stretch, but it sounded cool).  And it finally hit me, I am an outgoing and social person who suffers from communication fatigue.

We learn a lot about compassion fatigue in school.  I know I am not there at this moment.  In fact, I am still at the point in my perfect job illusionment where a good emotional barrier (ok, and maybe a good story too) engages and intrigues me. But, it’s the other stuff, the in between, that drains my social brain.  It’s the “got a sec?” And the “can I talk to you?” And the “a parent is here to see you” ‘s that make me tired.

As counselors, we spend all day listening, calculating responses, and making sure that each and every sentence uttered out of every student, teacher, and parent is the most important and fascinating thing we have heard all day.  And when I get off? I’m not suddenly anti-social in nature, I’ve got communication fatigue!

Say Whaaaat?!

I am way super excited because MusicMovingForward nominated me for a Sunshine Award!  It just goes to show even a newb-tube like this counselor lady can make a tiny ruckus.  Seriously though, I really appreciate the recognition Miss Music, it is awesome encouragement to keep on trucking with this here interwebs site.

SO, as I understand, I have to say ten things about me that others might not know, and then link to ten other blogs that interest and inspire. SO, here goes with ten new (albeit probably boring) things about me:

1.  I have a puppy who is both the best dog in the world and biggest jerk ever.  I love her, and she is intriguingly hyperactive at all of the right and wrong times.

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2.  I love Spring and gardening, both inside and out of the house.  I have been obsessed with succulents for the past few years, and love working in my yard, even if my plants suffer for it.

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3.  I have wanted to be a School Counselor on and off since High School.  There may have been other loves in between, but I always went back to that dream.

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4.  My mamma raised me to smile and greet people- it is still crazy to me that people are really taken back by these simple things!  You can walk around smiling, or walk around frowning- either way you’re going to be walking around!

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5.  I like to get my craft on every chance I get.

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6.  I like an orderly and professional school- I feel like this type of environment show a kid a reflection of expectations, and a promise that the staff believes they are capable behaving accordingly.

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7.  I loves me a good Parent/Teacher Conference.  It is the best way to get all parties together and get on the same page- and quicker than e-mail threads.  I try to keep it sweet even if the air is stiff- often defensiveness dissipates when I earn the trust of the others involved.

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8.  One of my favorite things to do is take pictures.  My Olympus Pen is my bestie.

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9.  I am obsessed with Pinterest, and not ashamed of how much time I spend on there because it is so amazing.

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10.  One of my biggest fears is that I will get bitter- at work, home, and in life.
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Whew! That was slightly more difficult than I thought it would be!!! OK, now here is a countdown of some of my favesy blogs, in no particular order.  I know they may not all be able to participate, but I hope they feel the love!
School Counsellor Talk  … Connecting, Collaborating, Curating and Continuing Education
Craft Schmaft
Stitch and Purl
The Urban School Counselor
The School Counseling Yogi
KT in Kigali (she’s my amazing cousin!!)
Stunted Adults
SEW KATIE DID
The School Counselor Kind
Teaching Tolerance

Thanks so much again MusicMovingForward– this was fun and now I feel super special!