Monday, October 31, 2011

Do you know your school nurse?

Do you know how important the school nurse is? If you don't- let me give you the inside scoop- he/she is INCREDIBLY UNBELIEVABLY IMPORTANT!! When I first met the school nurse at my internship, I said a friendly hello, introduced myself, heard her name, and put it in the back of my brain for when a student was feeling sick in the cafeteria in weeks to come. Yet then I saw her in the counseling office, then again in the main office, and then again when the school counselor and I were in HER office. I have come to love this woman; the school nurse is a mother to students from 8:55-3:32pm Monday through Friday. She is kind, supportive and very aware of when someone is actually sick, and when they need to see the counselor (which occurs often). I had no idea the relationship that the school counselor and nurse would have until I was here everyday. They are constantly communicating about students and parents, who has come and gone out of her office and any information that might pertain to the counselor. So, thank you wonderful school nurse for working with and for the students and helping make the school day easier for not only the students, but for counselors as well!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lunch: THE most important meal of the day!

I hear about students concerns in the counseling room, in the classrooms, and sometimes in the hallways. Yet of all the places in the school, I would have ever thought that I would learn as much as I am as when I am in the faculty break room. My supervising school counselor has instilled in me the great idea of taking advantage of our lunch time. It is incredibly beneficial to eat with the people who are teaching the students you are working with each and every day. We are hearing about issues in the classroom, concerns from the teachers, and the exchange of ideas about interventions that may help children succeed.

This time has been great to get to know the personalities of the teachers as well.  It is nice to see them outside the classroom and hear about their families, and life outside the walls of the school. I had no idea how important lunch was until I started to listen. When I begin working as an official school counselor next year, I will definitely be eating with the faculty- it is the best time to get to know them, and to get to know your students  even better.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New students

Since this was my first year at the elementary school I am interning at, I felt the same type of "gitters" that many new students may feel. The new hallways, new classrooms, new friends, new teachers; the list goes on and on. To make our new friends feel at home at their new school, each student had a personal meet and greet with us, and then had their picture taken. The student had the opportunity to create their own frame for the picture. The frames and pictures are hung up outside the main office. I love seeing the students face when they see their picture for the first time; it makes them feel welcome and at home!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The importance of P-L-A-Y (dough)!

Through volunteer work, internships, teaching pre-school,  and just spending time with young people, I have seen how play can impact a child. I feel that play is incredibly useful to develop creativity as well as social skills. When students come into the counseling office, I want my room to be filled with different toys for them to play with. From what I have been able to see, some children are able to communicate better through play than through their words.

A toy that I have found to be  useful is Play-dough. I decided to try to make my own and used the recipe below to make it! It was very easy and I highly recommend it. It is non-toxic and I think that it tends to last longer than regular play-dough that you might find at a store. So enjoy and I hope you are able to bring this simple recipe into your office so kids will be able to use it and talk while still having something to "play" with!

Basic ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
food coloring (liquid, powder, or unsweetened drink mix)

1.Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.
2.When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center,remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.

3.Make a divot in the center of the ball, and drop some food coloring in. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the body of the play dough, trying to keep the raw dye away from your hands and the counter. You could use gloves or plastic wrap at this stage to keep your hands clean.
Since it is almost Halloween, I decided to make it orange but you can do any color you want!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And so it begins...

After heading to a seminar last week for the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association (PSCA), called "How to be a tech savvy school counselor", I felt completely intrigued by the idea of creating a blog about my life as an intern. So here I am! This is all about the  resources I am learning about and using to become the best counselor I can be. I will be graduating in May and am looking forward to starting my career. As for now, I am acting like a sponge- soaking up every detail/idea that is given to me and challenging myself to think outside the box.  As the ideas continue to come my way, I promise to post about the great ones and tell you how I would tweek them to make them my own. So followers- enjoy this journey with me; you will be hearing from me soon enough!