Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Small Victories!

As school counselors, we work students who often have significant concerns. Working with these students can be challenging both emotionally and physically. We advocate for them, comfort them, calm them down, let them scream and sometimes throw things (we hope not at us). All the while, teaching classroom counseling lessons, conducting groups, attending or facilitating meetings, meeting with other students, meeting with teachers, meeting with administrators, meeting with parents, making phone calls, working on paperwork, checking and replying emails....catch my drift?

We can feel as if we are not being very effective UNTIL.....one of our students does something AMAZING!!! This could simply mean that a student stayed in his or her classroom for a half hour without melting down, smiled at an adult, stayed in line all the way to lunch, etc.  As small as this sounds, it is ginormous for some kids. I live for these moments! It is then that I feel fulfilled and completely ecstatic!

It is small victories that lead to big victories. We need to celebrate the small victories so our little friends know that their hard work is paying off. They get so excited when they are recognized for even the smallest of tasks. It doesn't take much; a high five, pat on the back, a little dance. Whatever you can do to tell that kiddo that they are special and noticed.

Have you celebrated a student lately???

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Superhero Power!!

Superheros have many super powers (flying, super strength, shooting flames, running fast, etc.)  All superheros have one superpower in common......


Without the super power of self-control, superheros could hurt themselves and others.  The last few lessons of a behavior group focused on self-control. I used the concept of superheros with them (they were mainly boys) to drive home that they could also hurt themselves and others without using self-control.

I used a template that I found on Elisabeth's blog, Tales of an Elementary Teacher.  Each student wrote "SC" for Self-Control in the middle of the super hero, kind of like the "S" in Superman."  They decorated their superhero to match their personalities.  Around the superhero, they had to write all the ways they can demonstrate self-control.

Our last group together, we decorated superhero masks and practiced our self-control super powers! Below you will find a superhero mask template that I found at the Just Bunch Blog. The kids and I really had fun with the superhero theme and they could relate with how they also have to use self-control.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Liebster Award!!!

It has been a crazy, busy beginning of the school year!  I have not blogged for weeks and during my absence I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Kristi at Confessions of a School Counselor. How exciting!  It is so fun to know that people are reading my blog and finding it helpful!  What an honor.

The rules are:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.

Here are the answers to Kristi's questions:
1. What are your favorite blogs?
I have so many blogs that I visit that it is really difficult to name them all.
Entirely Elementary Blog
Counseling Corner
Elementary Counseling Blog 
Scrapbook of a School Counselor
JYJ Counselor Blog
Marriage, Motherhood, and the Messes of Life (This is not a counseling blog but it belongs to my amazing sister!)

2. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging for several reasons.  First, I wanted a way to interact with other school counselors to share ideas. While I was searching other blogs, I found that I was doing similar things in my counseling program, so I thought I could contribute to the conversations.  Lastly, it is just plain fun! I love the feedback that I get from everyone and get really excited when other people find something they can use from my blog.

3. What would you like other bloggers to know about you?
I am a really big nerd! I love organizing and finding ways to improve my counseling program.

4. Why did you decide to work as a school counselor?
During the years that I was a teacher, I was drawn to the kiddos who had difficulties.  I enjoyed spending time with them one on one or with a small group of other students.  I began to see a difference in their learning when they felt good about themselves and when they knew someone was on their side.  I really love teaching, but counseling is where my heart is.

5. What are your favorite things to do outside of school?
RELAX!!! Anyone who works in a school knows exactly how time consuming and busy it can be. I like to do anything that can help me decompress. Sometimes that means reading a good book, exercising (I need to be better at this one), spending time with my family, exploring new parks, etc.

6. What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is helping kids become the best little people they can be.  I see the slightest accomplishments as huge! For example, I had a 3rd grader come to school the first day without crying for the first time since Kindergarten.  Woohoo!  That kind of thing means the world to me!

7. How many years have you been working in a school?
I am in my 14th year in education.  I taught 3rd grade for 10 years then switched to counseling.  I just began my 4th year in counseling.

8. If you could only have 5 books in your office, which ones would you choose?
Tough one.....there are so many!
1. Creative Small Groups~Great lessons to use right away.
2. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? ~ Words to live by.
3. Teaching Children Empathy, the Social Emotion ~ I believe that if we teach empathy at an early age, there will be less instances of bullying.
4. Good-Bye Bully Machine by Debbie Fox and Allan L. Beane ~ We cannot teach enough about this topic.
5. The Way I Feel by Janan Cain ~ Fun book to introduce feeling words

9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I would love to live in a place where I can see mountains from my house.

10. What is your #1 go to resource at school?
People who know me are going to laugh, but my #1 resource right now is Pinterest.  I can type in exactly what I am looking for and get a ton of ideas from other awesome counselors.

11. What is your favorite quote?
"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." ~Oscar Wilde

11 Random Facts about Emily Hansen aka "Hanselor"
1. My 2 kids were born on the same day 3 years apart.
2. I am #6 of 8 children
3. I have 20 nieces and nephews
4. I am addicted to Pinterest and anything with polka dots
5. I have never been overseas
6. I drive my husband crazy with my organizational habits
7. I do all of my recreational reading over the summers (too busy during the school year with professional books)
8. I am horribly afraid of heights and tight places
9. I started my own vegetable garden 2 years ago and LOVE it!
10. I love chocolate and Dr. Pepper
11. I love going to the movies

My Nominees:
Cool School Counseling
Mrs. Elementary School Counselor
School Counseling Across the Pond
School Counselors Rock!
This Counselor's Journey

Your Questions to answer:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. Who or what inspires you?
3. What are your favorite counseling resources?
4. How do you keep track of all of your counseling notes?
5. What do you like most about school counseling?
6. How many students do you service?
7. What is your biggest struggle?
8. What is your biggest success?
9. What advice would you give a counseling intern or new counselor?
10. What is your favorite group or classroom lesson?
11. What are your favorite apps?

Have fun!