Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School-Back to Connecting

I'm a "Newbie" to Link Parties, but I'm super excited to be joining this one! Thanks, everyone, for allowing me the opportunity to share, and thank you Franciene Sabens at School Counselor Space for hosting the party. :)

 I officially start back on Aug. 12th, but the students do not return until Aug. 19th. That means I have a WHOLE WEEK (with the exception of mandatory meetings) to get ready for the kiddos to enter the building! Woo hoo!!!
 Well... there is A LOT I would like to accomplish, but I'm remembering what I've always heard... "Baby Steps!" This year, I would like to start a successful Lunch Bunch schedule. I love all the Pinterest ideas and wonderful posts many of you have shared. If you have any added information about how to start, pros and cons, activities, etc.... I'd LOVE to get your input!
 1. My iPad!!!! (I love it! I love it! I love it!) I love to share books with my students using my iPad. I love having it available for students that need a "brain break" or a way to cool down by using it as a therapy tool, and I can't wait to use it to stay organized. I'm REAL excited about THIS, thanks to Andrea Burston at
2. My rolling cart!!! I have a very small office (more like a closet). So, my rolling cart, which is actually a scrapbook organizer on wheels, allows me to hold MANY MANY things on the go!!!
3. My right arm (a.k.a. Linda Waggoner, who has been a school counselor at my school for 20+ years). We compliment each other really well and I have learned a lot from this awesome lady! She is a wealth of knowledge and I am a sponge soaking it all up before she has to retire. Thanks, Linda! 
 I actually do it two ways! The other counselor and I go from classroom to classroom to meet with the kids in the morning during the first week of school to introduce ourselves so that the students are familiar with our faces (especially kindergarten and new students). We explain our duties, where our offices are located and how we can help. Then, when I meet with students during their scheduled guidance time, I reintroduce myself and do a "getting to know you" activity. As well as, review my responsibilities as their school counselor.  
 Our school website, our school newsletter, and brochures
 1. Communication is KEY with your principal(s), teachers, supervisor, other counselors, parents, sponsors, and outside services. It's important that everyone is on the same page and that they are aware of the services you provide for your school and for the students you serve.
2. Be flexible! ...We all know what this means!! I have a coffee mug in my office that says, "I'm sorry, but a crisis won't fit in my schedule today." LOL! Just when we think we have our schedules and duties all figured out... BAM!, something changes, a crisis arises, a meeting you didn't know about is being called, a new student shows up in your office with anxieties, etc. What can you do, but be flexible, smile and counsel on! :)
3. Maintain a good rapport with the faculty/staff... including bus drivers, lunch ladies, custodians, etc. This is your family (away from home) and having a good relationship with everyone will help your days go smoother and you never know when you may need their help or need an encouraging word.
Thanks to all of you who have shared so many wonderful ideas, I use these forms in my counseling binder to help me stay organized.
Have a great year, everyone!!! I look forward to staying connected with you. :)


  1. Jena, so glad you joined the party! I love all of your forms, I am such a huge advocate of using forms to stay focused & organized! Thank you for sharing so many tools & ideas!

    1. Hey Franciene! Thank YOU for starting this Linky Party so that we can start the year off connected. It’s been fun to see what others’ are saying, and I’ve gained a lot of helpful information in the process. I definitely agree with you about the forms… I have a love for them, too. Thank goodness others are so willing to share their material they use. I love Marissa Rex’s forms from Elementary School Counseling. Her forms have been the most helpful to me! Have a great start to your school year… I look forward to staying connected with you! 


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