Lesson Help is Here!

There is a point in every school counselor’s life when everything begins to pile up. It’s at this very moment that we realize our creative lesson planning has taken a back seat. 

I was trying to think what I needed most during these times. READY TO USE LESSONS! I needed a place where I could go that would have everything I needed in one place. And not just a creative, cutesy lesson, but one that built on our ASCA mindsets and behaviors  AND also hit all my students’ social-emotional goals. 

Well that’s exactly what I’ve decided to offer you! You see I may not be in the school every day any more, but every day I do hear how much my lessons made a difference and how much my kiddos miss me. So, if I can’t use them, someone should!  Continue reading →

A Healthy Amount of Curiosity Never Killed The Cat

Our 4th new character skill was curiosity. This one was especially hard to teach because so many students were taught that curiosity would get them into trouble. I had to reframe their thinking into remembering that curiosity leads us to learn new things. All learning starts when we are first curious about something.

I taught grades K-6 a variation on the same lesson and I have them all . . . yes I know it’s a lot . . . outlined below. I have labeled them by grade level, so feel free to skip down to the one that most interests you.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 1.19.55 PM Continue reading →

Everything is Awesome

Back in December, I switched my character skills to some that might have more learning potential than our original 6 traits that we practiced in the past. You may remember my post about this. We began with Grit, moved into Optimism, and then on to Zest. Continue reading →

Promoting Your Program Through Monthly Newsletters

I apologize for the throughly lame title to this post . . . but I honestly couldn’t think of a cute, witty title  . . . Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I promise this will be worth the read!

Last year, I started writing up monthly newsletters for the parents. I wanted to promote my program, so they knew what their child was learning during “Character Education.” During my first year of counseling (as the first counselor at the school), I kept battling parents who were truly angry when they heard their child came to see me or that I went into the classroom to teach a lesson. They figured if their child saw the counselor then there was one of two problems:

1. Their child was spilling all the family secrets

and/or

2. Something was wrong with their child and he would come talk to me

and inadvertently, even though he was only 4, he would spill all the family secrets. Continue reading →

What’s your decision making personality?

* Newsflash! This is by far my favorite lesson I’ve taught this year. Remember how excited I used to get about Jellybean Jamboree? Well, this lesson is comparable to that same excited feeling. The boys absolutely loved it! And it even taught me a little bit about the people around me and what kind of decision makers they are.Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 10.46.45 AM

Continue reading →

Who Makes Your Decisions?

During the month of September, we are talking about fairness. A seemingly easy topic until you work at a boys’ school and they are always thinking things are unfair . . . “He cheated.” “No, that is mine.” “My teacher won’t let us play at recess because all she wants to do is sit inside.” “We want more freedom.” “Really it’s only fair if I win.”

No joke, these are all things I hear on a weekly basis . . . from all grade levels. You want to tell them, “Hello! Live and learn fellas.” But then again that wouldn’t be very counselor-y of me.

So instead I teach them things like how to be fair, how to assess if situations are fair, and yes  . . . I teach them about decisions . . . because Lord knows some decisions are just flat out unfair, like jury duty, or pay days, or having to work . . . it seems in the life of a boy if you don’t get your way, it’s unfair. If I ran around doing the same thing, I’d be half as productive. So we move from focusing on the problem to understanding why decisions are the way they are. Continue reading →

Fresh Start

I started my 3rd year as school counselor with a fresh new room (well really I just rearranged the furniture) and fresh new lessons.

I am extremely blessed to have such a large room to be working in, but at times (during these past two years) it turned into a race track. With no division of work space and play space, my computer area turned into a tennis court, with balls bouncing on the back walls.

I thought this year I would rearrange so that each different section of my room had a purpose. Continue reading →

Self-Esteem Quilt

There are so many things that have surprised me about counseling this year. How often I’m needed, how much the boys love coming to me, how many times the boys can tell me they’ve had lunch bunch, how many times I see boys doing exactly what my textbooks told me they’d be doing, how often I’d actually have parents thanking me . . . I could probably write an entire post about all the things that have surprised me.

But NOTHING surprised me more than the amount of boys I’ve seen who struggle with self-esteem issues. I thought this was primarily a “girl” issue. Yes, I know  . . . way to be sexist, way to hold misconceptions, way to totally miss that by 3rd grade (even though I spent most of my teaching years in this grade) boys are becoming hard on themselves, embarrassed by most things, insecure about their decisions, the list goes on! I’m ashamed to even admit it. Continue reading →