Tuesday, February 10, 2015

PSSCA Conference

This year, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2015 Palmetto State School Counselor Assocation's Conference in beautiful Myrtle Beach.  This is the first state conference I have attended since graduate school.  I was blessed to be able to go with one of my co-counselors.  We had a great time and learned A LOT!  The theme of the conference was Find Your OASIS:  Reflect, Refresh, Recharge.  This is exactly what we did.  We had a great time learning new information that can benefit our school counseling programs, got to network with other school counselors, and even got to meet Julia Cook! ....and bought wayyyy too many of her books--hey, they were autographed!

Since we teach the 7 Habits at both of my schools, we are constantly emphasizing the importance of sharpening the saw.  It's important for us counselors to remember to sharpen our saw as well.

Some of the sessions that I attended were:

Putting Out Fires to Preventing Fires:  Implementing Effective Tier II Behavior Supports (we learned some great ideas for supporting our programs with data and also some great ideas for groups)

School Counseling With HeART...Connecting With Elementary Students (Great ideas for using art in individual and small group counseling)

Be An Active Participant in Your Own Rescue (ideas for using self regulation and yoga)

The Tech Savvy School Counselor (One of our fellow Greenville County counselors presented on using various types of surveys to collect data)

Bullies Need Love Too (How to support not just the victim, but the child exhibiting bullying behavior as well)

Creative Counseling (Great ideas for using play and art therapies in school counseling)

And last but not least...Books That Make a Positive Difference by Julia Cook!

Not only did we get great ideas from these sessions, but we also were treated to a lunch with Julia Cook as our Keynote Speaker, speaking about motivating underachievers.

I hope that you all take time to sharpen your saws, both personally and professionally.  Sometimes we forget how important it is to network with other school counselors because we can't do it alone, whether that is by attending conferences or using the blogging community.  As one speaker said in our opening ceremony, "we're in good company with school counselors!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I'm Back!

Whew!  I recently realized that it has been almost a year since I have written anything on this blog!  That's embarrassing!  I feel like I have so many new things to share that I don't know where to start.  First off, let me get myself off the hook a little by explaining what I've been up to this past year.

I have had many life changes that have happened this last year that have turned my world upside down (in a good way!).  In the past year I have gotten engaged, moved to a new state, and started a new job!  My fiance relocated to South Carolina for his career so I was put into a professional-personal tug of war.  I loved my school and felt like the school counseling program there was my baby--I had developed and molded it into a program that worked for me, my students, my staff, and my school overall.  Was it a stressful job?  YES!  Was it hard being the only school counselor there? YES!  Did I love being a Wildcat?  DEFINITELY!

Look at my awesome family!

On the other hand, I knew that I had to put my personal life and family first, and made the difficult decision to leave my position and move to South Carolina.  Changing my licensure over to a new state was harder than I thought it would be and I spent many hours on the phone and on the computer making that happen.

I finally accepted a position split between two schools (mornings at one school and afternoons at the other).  We moved to SC the first week of August and two weeks later I was starting my new career as a SC School Counselor.
Starting a new job in a new state (and just moving to a new state in general) was difficult, but I wouldn't change my decision for the world.  Of course I miss my Wildcat family and they will always have a special place in my heart (and I miss those kids so much!), but making a decision to benefit my family was a no brainer.

My new life as a split school counselor has been a great learning opportunity!  I am fortunate enough that I FINALLY get to work with other school counselors in my buildings, and I have learned a lot from both of them.  In the language of Stephen Covey, I have had a huge paradigm shift and am becoming a better school counselor every day because of it!

Thanks for being patient with me, and the best is yet to come...

PS:  Happy National School Counseling Week!