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Fresh Start

We started our 2013-2014 school year last week and some things have changed!

There were many things I wanted to change about my program throughout last year. Instead of getting overwhelmed, I jotted down all my “enhances” (we shall call them that instead) and decided I’d started these enhances this year.

Enhance #1:

My room is updated! First of all, it got painted and I swear I feel like a new woman. Man what a little paint can do to the whole feel of a room.

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Enhance #2:

I changed my Meet the Counselor lesson from potato head to pool bag! I told you I would! And if it wasn’t for some early year disorganization last 2012 this pool bag inspiration would have never come.

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Here’s the run down:

  1. Sunscreen: “Protects your skin” – I will teach you skills that will help you protect yourself.
  2. Sunglasses: “Helps you see clearly on sunny days” – I will help you see things clearly and easily. Like those times that you have a problem and need ideas on how to solve it.
  3. Beach Float: “For fun” – Miss L has fun teaching you ways to be good learners, good friends, deal with your feelings, and working well with others. Also, the float reminds us that we can talk to Miss L even if we are in a great mood!
  4. Beach Towel: “Dries you off” – Sometimes we come to school sad or something happens at school that makes us sad. Miss L is here to help you find ways to dry your tears when you are sad or angry.
  5. Cooler: “Keeps things cool” – Sometimes we might feel angry or mad. I can teach you ways to cool/calm down when you are angry.
  6. Shampoo: “Cleans your hair” – Dirty hair is a problem and we have to solve that problem by using shampoo. I can help you solve your problems by giving you ideas on ways to solve it. I can also help you to stay out of situations that may result in uncomfortable feelings.
  7. Comb: “Get the knots out” – Sometimes after we wash our hair it gets very tangly. We have to try and try to comb it out even if it is hard. Sometimes we have problems that can’t be solved the first time. We have to try other solutions to find the one that’s just right. Miss L can help you do that.
  8. Hairdryer: “Dry hair” – Miss L is hear to listen. Sometimes we don’t need a problem solved, or help with our feelings. We just need someone to listen. Miss L can help dry your tears by just being there to listen.

Enhance #3:

I made monthly newsletters for each grade level! Parent communication . . . one of my own “needs to improve” from last year. I got information from various places (http://elementaryschoolcounseling.org/ and old Home and School Connection newsletters), tweaked it to make it my own, and added it in as an informational piece to the newsletter. I also have an outline of my guidance lessons, along with the character trait of the month and counseling competencies.

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Enhance #4:

Added a character trait board. Most schools do this, but I dropped the ball last year. We will focus on one character trait each month. At the end of the month, students will nominate another student that truly exemplified that trait for the month. Their picture will go on my Kid of Character wall.

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And besides all my enhancing . . . I’ve been doing too much paperwork. Part of the job, but trust me I’ll be happy when it’s finished.

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