Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tackle the Test Spirit Week!

It is THAT time of year again folks- testing that is.. In order to prepare for the test, we had an FCAT (Florida Comprehensive  Assessment Test) Spirit week to pump up our kiddos! Our theme was "Tackle the test" and we will filled each day with different dress up outfits, activities, decorations throughout the school, and finished it off with a pep rally (next weeks post)! Our week went like this:

·        Monday: “Tackle the Test” Dress in your favorite football gear

·        Tuesday: “Knock the FCAT Out of the Park” Baseball attire

·        Wednesday: “Color Wars” each grade level is assigned a designated color to wear (Red, White and Blue)

·        Thursday: “Sprint to the Finish” Wear your running gear

·        Friday: "Bobcat Pride" Wear school colors
I will be the first to say that I am definitely a t-shirt and shorts kind of girl and any chance I have to wear relaxed clothing to school- I am ALL for it!

     As the "school cheerleader", I feel that it is important to let the students know how far they have come, and all the hard work they have invested since August. So I sent out an email the week before to ask if any teachers wanted me to visit their room for a quick 20 minute lesson to encourage them, and to go over some test taking strategies, as well as ways to calm down and relax.  I made it to every room and the kids seemed to like it- my voice on the other hand.. was a different story. 

Here were the standards I focused on for this lesson:
American School Counselor Association Standards:
A:A1:3- take pride in work and achievement
A:C1:6-Understand how school success and academic achievement enhance future career and vocational opportunities.
PS:A1:1- Develop positive attitudes toward self as a unique and worthy person
PS:B1.2- Understand consequences of decisions and choices.
PS:B1.9- Identify long and short term goals. 

It was a great week and the kids were definitely feeling the love that their teachers had for them. Thinking about next year, I will definitely offer classroom visits again, and I would also like to make it a priority to be on the announcements each morning. I only made it a few mornings, but I think it is important to show my school spirit. 
I sent this out the week before our spirit week as a reminder!

Your Floridian Chick!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Generation W Conference #GenW

Wow! What a conference! Prior to the day, I had never heard of Generation W, but after participating in this event, I left with a huge appreciation for this organization and what they stand for. Below you will see the itinerary for the jam packed day- while each speaker/panel shared important information, I came away with a few key points:

1. Thinking about your own job: what are 3 adjectives you would use to describe your role? If someone was going to describe you in 3 words, what would they use? If these 3 words do not match up with the 3 used to describe your job, something needs to change. You want people to think that you were made for this job, when they think of a leader in that role- they should think of you immediately.  You can change what people think of you- consistency and authenticity are THE most important take always. Be YOU, and be consistent with your mission statement of what you want to do.

2. Social Media- How will you "brand" yourself? What are your pictures, quotes, comments, etc. say about the person you are? Before you post something, think:

It is approval seeking?
It this a fleeting emotion?
Is it kind?
Would I say it TO the person?
Is this a moment that I want to protect?

So often, we post things without thinking about the long term effects.. I want to keep this in mind when I am bored, and wanting to share a picture, or boast about something personal.  Is this the best way to use my time? Probably not. 

3. Finally, a speaker talked about ways to have more fruitful conversations. In counseling, we NEED this in order to be effective. We need to think of both parties, not make assumptions, think about diversity, and be willing to learn something new. This is very subjective, but I want to improve these skills, and I have the ability to practice everyday!

Below is the schedule, I highly encourage you to check it out!

Feeling extra inspired,
Your Floridian Chick :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

March Results, heading into April with a different :To-Do" list!

March has come and gone within minutes it feels like..During this month,my goals were the following:
1.Finish my 2 girls groups
2. Finish the SS GRIN boys groups
3.Start 2 more lunch bunch groups
1. CHECK! Lunch bunch with 5th grade girls is complete
2. CHECK! This 10 week group is done and I will be starting a new 9 week group next week.
3. Started this week!
After I posted about my March goals, I had a a counselor friend of mine remind me about the importance of to- do lists, and how they can become so important that we lose sight of the bigger picture. There will DEFINITELY be goals that I do not make, but maybe those months, I got to make some great connections with kids who were not on my "list". While these goals are great and creating objectives lists are crucial, they are not THE most important thing. 

For this month of April, my goals are much more subjective:

1. Administer the FCAT to my group of students.
2. Make connections with each one of the people in that small group. 
3. Spend at least one hour in the cafeteria every day, and sit with a different class.

At the end of the month, there will be no objective results to these goals, but hopefully I will feel good about the new relationships I have made. 

Learning as we go,

Your Floridian Chick:)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why are you HERE?!

Annie and I going through her entire closet!!.

For spring break, I escaped the Florida sun to visit a very wonderful friend of mine, Annie. She and I spent 4 years living together as roommates in college, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding; if we are being honest here, she has really become more of a sister than anything else.

The reason I share this personal story is because in early August 2013, she suffered a brain Aneurysm- was in a coma, eventually woke up, and is learning to live again.  During my visit, I truly saw passion for living. 

It got me thinking about what I am passionate about: what makes me move, run and search for new answers, drive myself to do better, and what has me thinking outside the box in terms of this career. WHY am I HERE doing this job?!

Our job can be bogged down with so much paperwork, duties, and other tasks that take us away from why we chose this career. When I sat down and thought about what I was passionate about- it came down to two things in this job: The Kiddos- they are hilariously witty, blunt, honest, and think of life in a pure, refreshing way, that adults simply do not. The other passion in this job for me is the Teachers. We have the neat ability to work with adults and children and help foster and build relationships all day long. Their job is incredibly difficult-the individual demands of 25+ people at a time. How do they do it- and for 8 hours a day!?

Annie chose to work for Google and do video editing- to hear her talk about her "pre aneurysm" life and her job, it brought me to this realization that we can complain all day long about the tasks we are "voluntold" to do, but really, we should be thankful to have this wonderful job and career, and think about all the possible relationships we can create when we are ...standing at bus duty.. in the cafeteria.. greeting in the morning...etc.  I am sure that Annie had some stressful parts to her job too- but I never heard anything negative from her. What a gift- only looking at the positives.

If nothing else, this life is crazy and you just don't know what it has it store for us- if you are not living out your passion, go find it- because if you don't do it today- there is a chance you might not ever get it.

With tons of love for "our Annie" and her living her life,

Your Floridian Chick