Thursday, August 31, 2017

First Week and a Freebie!

Well I’ve almost made it through our first week with students for the year at my new school. My role is as the 6th grade counselor at a 6-12 school (divided into a lower and upper school), which means this week has been busy getting lots of wide-eyed students acquainted with the school they will spend the next seven years at. It’s funny how similar it feels to the first day of kindergarten at my K-8 school.

I’m SO excited for this year. The school is one of the few who has made the decision to hire more counselors and is aiming to keep caseloads small – I will only have around 140 students! I work on a large team of counselors, and our new director made getting our signs changed from “guidance counselor” to “school counselor” her top priority. Our principal is a former school counselor herself! I’m bristling with ideas for classroom lessons, whole-school initiatives, and a new counseling website for parents and students, to name a few.

So what has the reality of my first week been? It’s been putting my ideas in a mental box I’ve shoved aside while I sort through scheduling, parent questions about class placement, and incoming 504s. It’s also been helping students get through the tears that come with transition, and feeling my heart swell when they come back the next day telling me that it went much better. It’s walking lost students to classes and explaining that if they look to the first number of the three-digit classroom, that will tell them what floor they need to be on. It’s recognizing the faces that say “I need help opening my locker” before the words can leave their mouths.

Speaking of which, I made a poster to help students with locker opening. I hung them up around the 6th grade locker area, and have seen many students reference them since. I’ve included it here for you to use as well! Enjoy!

What has your first week been like? Please share in the comments!

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