Monday, October 17, 2016

T.S.C. - Tech Savvy Counselors

A wonderful colleague (Shannon Adam) and I presented at our district's annual Tech Fest last month. We did a presentation specifically targeting the counselors in our district. Our focus was all of the ways that Google Drive can be used for counseling purposes.

We explored each of the functions in Google Drive, from Docs to Drawings. There are step-by-step instructions on how to use each function for the beginners out there. We also listed several ways that we use each in our counseling programs.

Below is the presentation if you are interested. Oh, and at the end there is a little about the T.E.A.R.S. Time Elapsed Analysis Reporting System that I have blogged about in the past.

Huge Thank You to Shannon for presenting with me!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I was recently honored to be a guest blogger on "Online Counseling Programs." I was asked to write about using technology as an elementary counselor. I have blogged about most of the same things on my blog, but if you are interested in seeing my guest blog you can visit, Driving Elementary Counseling with Google Drive.

Interested in a career in counseling? Online Counseling Programs provides information for all states licensing requirements, as well as, obtaining a degree in counseling. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We make a difference!!

I came across this quote the other day and it really made me think about how important our jobs, as counselors, are when working with young children. We may not see the difference we make or the impact we may have on a child's life, but what we do IS important!!! This quote hits the nail on the head. It is essential that we work with children when they are young to help them grow into emotionally healthy adults. 

Keep this thought in your mind on those crazy days when you think you are not making a difference or don't feel that you are doing enough. I think I will post this near my desk so I can be reminded daily that what I do matters and makes a difference!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Previous Post Revisited - T.E.A.R.S.

I previously wrote a blog about the counseling program called T.E.A.R.S. (Time Elapsed Analysis and Reporting System) that exports your Microsoft Outlook calendar into a spreadsheet. I keep track of everything from my calendar to my notes in my Outlook calendar. I didn't use this Microsoft Excel Add-on until halfway through the school year and I am kicking myself for not using it sooner. I HIGHLY recommend using this add-on and starting from the beginning of the school year. Especially if you use Microsoft Outlook for your calendar.

I realized that I was doing double the work and taking a TON of extra time (at home in the evenings) inputting all of my information from my calendar into a Google form. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY GOOGLE FORMS!!! However, for this purpose, I was spending hours entering everything in when I already had it all in my calendar. My last blog post outlines how I use my Outlook calendar to help organize my counseling program. 

I have to keep track of every minute since I am working on my LPC hours and this is by far the best and easiest way to do it! I am able to manipulate the information in the excel spreadsheet just as in a google spreadsheet. The difference being only inputting information in one place and only one time.

I also have to report about my counseling program at the end of the year such as; individual sessions conducted, amount of groups, how many students participated in groups, number of counseling lessons, etc. This was so easy to pull up and have my numbers within minutes.

If you have to do any reporting or time on task analysis AND you use Microsoft Outlook, GET THIS ADD-ON. It is only $3.95 and well worth more than that.

I am putting links below for you to get more information and to watch a tutorial. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tips of the Week!!

Hold on to your seats because I am going to give you lots of tips today. I am going to show how I set up my calendar and how I use my calendar to plan individual, group and classroom lessons.

First, EVERYTHING is in my calendar. If it is not in my calendar, it does not exist. I cannot remember everything I have to do in a day so I rely heavily on my calendar...with pop-up reminders.

Here is a look at my calendar for this week (I'm sure you can relate with having very little time to breathe). It's a little blurry but you get the picture. Our district uses Outlook but you can do the same thing with Google or another calendar.

I am going to point out several things about my calendar. Here we go.....

1. My calendar is color coded. I realize that I am a nerd and love things color coded but this actually really helps me know what is going on in my day at a quick glance.

2. I do not put kids' names directly on my calendar. I do not want to run the risk of someone seeing   names. I put their initials, grade level and teacher's initial.  For example, EH 4H (Emily Hansen 4th grade, Mrs. Hansen's class). Now, I often forget with whom the initials belong so I put his/her name in the notes section of the appointment.  

3. When I plan a meeting or a lesson, I am able to send an invitation to other people and they will also get a pop-up reminder. This is great for teachers to remember when they have counseling lessons.

4. I recently started planning within each appointment, as well. This is great because as soon as the reminder pops up, I open the appointment and plans!  Below is a picture of how it looks. (I also have the students names who are participating in a group but I took them out for this pic). I       try to plan ahead as much as possible so I cross out the lesson when it has been completed. I do the same thing for classroom lessons and individual sessions. If I have a YouTube video, I am able to put the link right in here. What a time saver!

If you have been following blog, you know that I am all about time saving and efficiency. I strive to find the best and easiest ways to organize and save time. I am able to access my calendar at any computer so it makes it so much easier to keep my plans within my calendar. I used to have papers galore in just plans alone. This even makes it easier to plan at home. No more lugging binders of plans back and forth. I can just open my calendar and plan my whole week (as much as we can plan) in one place!!!

I hope this helps you in your organizing endeavors! 

Please let us know if you have any tips or tricks for keeping your plans or calendars!!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Huge Apologies!!!

I would like to apologize to everyone who follows my blog. I have had rough school year and have not posted in a long time. Not to air my dirty laundry, but I lost my mom a few months ago. I have been trying to keep myself together for my family and work. I haven't done the best job but I am determined to get back into the swing.

I will start posting weekly tips of things that have worked for me as well as some weekly thoughts. I hope you stay with me as I get back to blogging!!!

First thought of the week...
Take care of YOURSELF!!! As counselors, we take care of other people and support their mental health and often over look our own mental health. Don't be afraid to take a break. That is what I have been doing to regain my mental health so that I can be the most effective with others. Do things for yourself like exercise, read a good book, take a walk, snuggle with a pet, etc.

I love yoga and have recently restarted a routine. It is so great for centering and calming your mind and spirit. My son has even joined in. We call it, "7 o'clock yoga time." He is very disappointed if we have to miss it. (He has ADHD so this really helps him learn to focus on his body and the here and now.

Whatever you enjoy doing for yourself, make it a priority!