I am so excited about this week, because I get to present at the upcoming VSCA Conference, our state association for School Counselors! I’m always super pumped about presenting or public speaking when I sign up to do it, but then the closer I get to actually having to stand in front of people and say smart stuff, the more I start to unravel freak out a little.
Anyways, at least it is about my very favorite subject: drop out prevention in Elementary and Middle School. My dork meter on this (and data…mmm data…) (oh, and office supplies…yessss…) (and spreadhseets…) is super high, but I feel like it is really at the heart of why we do what we do. I’m basically covering the process I outlined in a previous post , but I’m also including some examples of what the data might look like, and then together we’ll compile some ideas for intervention.
In looking through some of my resources, I came across one of the worksheets I had made for student meetings that I have used at several different school, with high school and middle school kids. It is aesthetically similar in to the daily form I shared, by giving an easy checklist format, but includes areas for signatures and follow-ups to keep us all honest. Try it out and see what you think!
I’ve got another little freebie to add on here, this time, I’m posting a little project I’m going to try out in small groups. It’s for my girls, in celebration of Women’s History Month. Go chicks! Basically, I’d like for them to sign up, come in small groups and fill out the worksheet after a brief conversation about the Women’s Movement. Should that be capitalized? Not sure, and I’m OK with that (you know the saying, “those who teach, should know things like that.”). SO, below you will find a copy of the pass and the worksheet. I am attaching this great timeline to the pass as well for some inspiration (I mean, I know they probably won’t read it, but a girl can dream). My goal is to make a book that can be given to the school, or kept in the Guidance office. Anywho, enjoy! And let me know if you have any ideas!
I love the look of the pass, and will probably alter it for the book’s cover. The picture is from Edutopia’s amazing page on Women’s History Month, where I initially got my inspiration to do something. The lovely tag on both the pass and the worksheet were snipped from the always amazing Kind Over Matter. You can get the PDF by clicking the picture, or here and here.
Sooo…Today I had to start tallying my time for work, delineating how I spend my time (e.g. P/T Conferences, 504 meetings, one on one, group, department meetings, etc). It is sort of hard to break apart all of the components of such crazy, moving days. You sit down and start responding to parent e-mails, start to organize classroom student response forms, get called down for a registration, get stopped with a class change form on the way, get an impromptu lesson on departmental goals upon walking into the office, talk with a family about a student’s history and choose classes, stop in at the lunch room on your way back and discuss some friend drama-rama, offer consultation on a student with a teacher picking up their class, speak with a student in the hall who has been put out and reiterate behavioral goals, return to a ringing phone, and then try to remember what it was you were trying to do before you left your office 15 minutes ago. How in the world is it possible to outline the tasks that you do all day, every week, within a month, throughout an entire year? And when we don’t record everything, we feel as though on paper we look like we may not be doing enough to justify our profession.
But alas, it must be done. Recording what I do throughout the day has saved my butt plenty of times. In going over a student history, recalling why I made one decision over another, catching a student not living up to the things they agreed to; I refer to my notes all the time. But still, I find myself thinking, ‘wait, I remember talking to that parent, what was it that they called about? Or, I did talk to that kid, but I never agreed to change his class past the deadline, or did I?’ One thing I have learned through internship and counselor subbing has been to make my own worksheets for processes that help me get the job done. In Grad school, I remember professors encouraging having us make worksheets in class, and begging us to really get cozy with Microsoft applications that can be helpful. Well let me tell you, I spoon those puppies now- and Word and Excel are the big spoon.
This is the Daily Log Sheet I created to keep record of everything I do. It is based on a sheet one of the lovely ladies had made that I subbed for when I was on the maternity circuit. I keep it on a clip-board that I bring with me everywhere like a besty. Then I move it over to a Daily binder, and have a running log. This way, if I so happen to forget to record my goings ons daily like I am supposed to (which I typically do), I have a reference to go to. Between this, and appointments in my Outlook Calendar, I can usually get the majority of my time down. I love to hear how other people track there time though, and like to take bits and pieces as I alter things.