The Responsive Counselor on a Podcast

Sunday, June 10, 2018
After a few years of obsessively listening to all sorts of podcasts (true crime, home DIY, TED talks, etc.), I had the honor of being the first guest on a brand new school counseling podcast. Alaina of Cutting Edge School Counseling took on the challenge of hosting and I'm really excited to add it to my weekly listening list. Click the image below to get to the podcast's webpage, or just find it on the podcast app on your phone! Alaina's awesome (I connected with her on IG) and I had a blast chatting with her about school counseling things keeping me up at night.


School Counseling Office Tour: Round One

Saturday, June 9, 2018
I've been meaning to do a post about my office for five years. I procrastinated because my office was either "too messy" or, when it was clean, I realized it looked crazy blue due to the filters I put on my fluorescent lights (#excuses). So then when it got closer to time for me to pack up and move to a new school and new office, I decided I needed to make it happen before it was too late! I'll go ahead and apologize now for posting an office tour again in August when I'm in my new one.


My office was small, but could have been smaller. I managed to squeeze quite a bit in the 13'x18' space. Because I worked in a fairly old building, I had the luxury of painting and decorating however I saw fit. It's a challenge to create a space that's child friendly, professional enough for meetings (we have a conference room but I hold some meetings in my office if I think the main office may be intimidating/threatening), and also a safe haven for when I'm pulling my hair out during test coordination. I worked in this space for five years, improving on it bit by bit, and I absolutely loved it (minus the nasty chipping wall paint I didn't have time to paint over). The biggest challenge with the space is the complete lack of closed storage - everything is totally out in the open, meaning it looks cluttered very quickly.

The Kid Trapper Personal Safety Lesson Plan

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
This post contains affiliate links.
A couple years ago I wrote about my love for Julia Cook's The Kid Trapper. My love for it stays true! This year, I finally made a complete lesson plan to go with it, pushing beyond just the content and message of the story. The school counselors at the middle school many of my students attend are awesome, but middle school is full of sticky situations and I needed to talk through some of them with my students before I let them leave me.

kid trapper personal safety lesson

I start off with a little spiel prepping them for the book. I'm honest with them that some of the situations I read about in the book might make them feel a little uncomfortable because they are inappropriate and scary for him. This spiel has the added benefit of piquing their interest - my students are more engaged with this book than with any other. Whereas I usually stop to make comments or ask questions during my read alouds, this one I read straight through with the exception of, in some rooms, letting them know that when the author wrote about Frank and the boy hugging, she may have been really trying to talk about inappropriate touching.

Going to a New School

Thursday, May 17, 2018
This is my final year at my school - I accepted a new position for next year. To say that I am filled with feelings about it all is an understatement. A month from now I will be saying goodbye to a major chapter in my life. This change was entirely by choice, and I wanted to take the time to write a post explaining how I knew that it was time to move on. I imagine I am not the only school counselor who has or will have to grapple with this decision. And as much as a "5 Ways I Knew It Was Time for Me to Leave My School!" is the type of blog title that's all the rage right now...I'm just gonna narrate this out and hope it's just as helpful and that something resonates with some of you.



Stand in My Shoes Lesson Plan: Redux

Monday, May 14, 2018
This post contains affiliate links.
Many moons ago (4 years and 3 months to be exact), I wrote a blog post about teaching empathy with the book Stand in My Shoes and a bunch of old shoe boxes. I used it a couple more times in the classroom and then a few more times in small groups. And then...it became time for an upgrade.

Stand in My Shoes Empathy Lesson Plan

The lesson was originally designed for 4th grade, and with a specific cohort of students in mind. The needs of my students have changed since then (holy guacamole - they are so much kinder to one another now!), this year I needed to do an empathy lesson with 2nd grade, and I was a bit tired of carrying the boxes around to each classroom (#shrug). I also saw a decent chunk of students get too distracted by the shoe brands on the boxes. This lesson needed a reboot.
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