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!