Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving lunch!

Well I have to admit- I was wrong! I bring my own lunch every single day. I thoroughly enjoy my vegetables, fruit, and sandwich. Yet the district offered a "full Thanksgiving meal" so I took a leap of faith and went for it. IT WAS GOOD! And shockingly full! 

Moral of the story-go out on a limb, that's where the fruit ( or in this case-turkey) is! 

With thanks, 
Your Floridian chick 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A patriotic, donut kind of morning!

If you have been following my blog over the last few years, you might have noticed that I shared information last year about donuts with dudes and our flag raising ceremony for Veterans Day. Yet this year was better than the last and I wanted to share what we did differently to make it better. 

This year, we had over 300 people attend our donuts with dudes breakfast where we bought 45 dozen donuts and 10 gallons of orange juice. Yes, you read correctly, 45 dozen donuts-450 donuts, and surprisingly only had 5 dozen left! Last year, we only had about 200 dads and thinking about what we did differently, we marketed our event like this:

1. We used the announcements each morning for 2 weeks to talk about the event. 
2. We sent home flyers 10 days in advance instead of just 7.
3. We reminded teachers to put it on their front board as a visual reminder to the students. 
4. We put flyers in ether main offce so every parent/guardian that came in, saw our note!

We encouraged our dudes to stay for the flag raising ceremony and Veterans Day celebration and many did! By having the 2 events go right after each other, it made it easier to have everyone at school at one time instead of two. 

Since we live near a naval base, we had men who currently serve in the Navy share their experiences of where they had been, their jobs, and where they were going next. We were also able to talk about our character of the month, patriotism, and why we celebrate our country. 

It was moving to see how much they did for our country, and I feel fortunate to live in a country where people are willing to serve. 

Enjoy the pictures and thank you to all the people who have served and currently serve this great country!

Patriotically yours,

Your Floridian chick 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


It seems like it is that time of year for PD! Over a 3 day period, I traveled to the gulf coast and got to spend some serious time with over 300+ counselors from all over the state. We shared ideas that we love, lessons that worked, and therapies that helped change our kids from struggling to superstars. I could easily go through and write a novel on each session I attended and  the 10 take aways that I will be bringing back to school, but lets be serious,- I  will narrow it down to a few overall take-away themes during my FSCA weekend:

1. School Climate: working from the inside out, not the outside in. While it is great to hire a security guard, tint windows, and lock doors, it is also important to do the following:
  • Make your school relationship focused, student centered, with restorative consequences and increased student voices. When our school climate is positive, our academic achievement is improved. 
    • How do we do this: Say hello to student as they walk through your door. Ask them how they are, create those relationships so that the student respects you and KNOWS you. Listen to the words they are saying, and try to understand how they might be feeling. These might seem like simple, little ideas, but they WILL make a difference. Connections count!
2. Create a college/career going culture. Not every career needs college, but all careers need some training. Prior to this conference, I was putting career topics on the back burner. "My students are in 3-5 grade, they don't need to know about college/careers yet.." WOW, was I wrong! There are amazing elementary schools doing week long career weeks, teaching their students about how their interests, abilities, and strengths can take them to careers they will LOVE!  A huge take away from this conference will be implementing career topics into my classroom visits, and hopefully having a career week in the spring.

3. I don't know what I don't know! Just when I thought that I was getting the hang of what is going on in my district, how the state looks at school counselors, and what our expectations are, I get a reality check that I have SO much to learn. THIS is why it is crucial to attend conferences, seminars, webinars, etc. so we can learn and develop not only as a professional, but as a person too. I met dozens of people this weekend that are polar opposites from me; they bring so much to the table that I would have never thought of, and it is amazing to me to see how generous and kind people are to share their views on how to improve.

This weekend was so much more than  2 speakers, 5 breakout sessions, and a few meetings. It was learning about what kind of counselor I am, what kind of counselors I want to be, and a the steps I need to get there.

Until next time my friends,
Your Floridian Chick

RAMP it up!

One of the sessions I was fortunate enough to attend during our county conference was about getting your own program RAMP certified. In the counseling world, RAMP means your program would be a Recognized ASCA Model Program. This is a HUGE deal and is incredibly difficult to attain. 2 of our counselors from a nearby elementary school received RAMP last year and were willing to share with us what the process is and how much work truly goes into it! This is something that I am looking into and felt very lucky to hear from current RAMP counselors about their trials, errors, and successes during their application.

 I am curious though, what is the difference between RAMP certification, NBCC certification, and NCC certification? I would love some advice on pros and cons of each and how to decide on which to pursue.

Any counselors have any expertise?

Excitedly pursuing,
Your Floridian Chick