Sunday, August 28, 2016

Be the Best Version Of Yourself

During CARE (Communicating About Real Experiences) Time last week we talked about being the BEST version of yourself and how as the school counselor I can help them.  Parents can reinforce the lesson at home by asking their child,  "Are you being the best version of yourself?" or "Is that going to help you become the best version of yourself?" Remind your child there is only one of each of us and we need to work at being the best at who we are and not try to be someone else because we will always fail when we try to be someone else.

Check out the bulletin board in the school's main entry to see who you should be the BEST version of.

Third and fourth graders also played School Counselor Bingo to learn about how I can help them be the best they can be. 

First and second grade students did a "popcorn" sort of what the counselor does, doesn't do, and reasons to see the school counselor. 

Kindergarten students colored I met the School Counselor books and signed the Choose to Be Nice Pledge. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Welcome New Families

We are glad you are here and can't wait to meet you.  Since we know it is normal to be nervous about coming to a new school, we created a Welcome Presentation to put your mind at ease. We care about you and want you to know we are here to help you through this transition. It might take a little time but you will grow to love and care about your new family.  Do not hesitate to let us know if you need anything. It is going to be a REMARKABLE year!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Books Worth Checking Out

One of the best things about summer is reading.  I enjoy reading books for personal and professional growth all year. Summer gives me more time to process and reflect on what I learn. Below are some of the books I read over the summer.  I hope you find at least one that speaks to you.

Matthew Kelly inspires others to be the best version of themselves. He makes you reflect on where you are at and where you want to be in life.  If you are a fan of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits, this book compliments the seventh habit Sharpen the Saw giving you practical advice on taking care of your mind, body, heart, and soul. I have also read his book Dream Manager and would like to think of my job as a Dream Manager for our students.

Dr. Henry Cloud reinforces the vital role relationships and connections play in us reaching our full potential. He uses brain research, case studies, and his experience as a psychologist to show how the power of having the right relationship makes a big difference. At Old Bonhomme we know relationships are important.  This year we are moving from buddy classroom meetings to families. During buddy class meetings, two to three classrooms met monthly to do an activity together. Families will be made up of 10-12 students from each grade level and a staff member.  They will meet once a month and stay in the same family every year. Our intention is for families to help us further build relationships and make more meaningful connections to help our students surpass their limits and excel beyond expectation. This book reinforces the importance of developing key relationships.

We can work and play with ease when we have a plan. Chris Hogan says retirement is a financial number not an age.  His book will motivate you to start or continue planning for your future.  You can check out his website to find out your R:IQ and more.  This summer Chris launched a monthly podcast on retirement which has already been ranked number one in the business category. Not to mention he has an amazing voice!

This book offers tips and strategies for parents, teachers, and administrators to help students who have experienced trauma. I have filled my copy with post it notes marking pages to revisit and refer to in the future.  In November, our school district is hosting Heather Forbes for one of our professional development days.  If you are interested, you can sign up for her monthly newsletter by visiting the Beyond Consequences website.

Schools are set up for extroverts.  Being an extrovert myself I never really gave this much thought. However, after reading this book I am equipped to be an advocate for introverted students. These students have amazing contributions to offer but are not always given the opportunity.  You can check out the Quiet Revolution website to learn about the parent course and more. Susan Cain the author also has one of the most viewed Ted Talks: The Power of Introverts.

If you have a quieter child,  Trudy Ludwig has a storybook called the The Invisible Boy that you will find to be a valuable resource.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to hear author Todd Whitaker speak.  Since then, I have followed him on Twitter and read a couple of his books. Todd started out as a teacher, coach, and administrator in Missouri.  He is now a professor at Indiana State University. This was a quick read, inspiring, and motivational.  Good for a new or experienced educator.