About

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About me: My name is Kayla Marston, and I am an Elementary School Counselor in Maine. I graduated with my Masters in Counseling Education in 2010 and have been growing as a counseling professional ever since! I was married on Halloween (my favorite holiday!) and together, my partner and I take care of two dogs and our amazing baby girl. I love writing, sunshine, autumn leaves, staying organized, yoga, and animals!

About this blog: I began this blog in 2013 to share my experiences as a school counselor and to hear your stories as well. I hope to post helpful resources, ideas, thoughts, and feelings about what I do.

21 thoughts on “About

  1. It’s so nice to see a blog by an elementary counselor. I am one as well, but from NJ. I find it difficult to network sometimes with counselors bc most are hs and ms. So I look forward to your blog!

  2. Kayla!!
    If you were trying to make my day one of THE coolest days EVER, please know that you succeeded! I got a call today from a fabulous woman in Florida who, when I asked how she found out about me, said she read about me in a blog post. I was like, WHAT?! Well, she sat on the phone with me while I typed in the address and squealed with delight when I saw your post about the keynote I did for Maine DOE…and how much you liked it…and you shared my contact info.
    I am beyond touched by that- as I know the biggest compliment one can get is to have someone endorse you to his/her peers!
    Massive thanks for that- and I’m not kidding when I say you absolutely made my day!
    It was incredible to meet such a committed group in Maine- and I’m hoping our paths cross again at some point!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    (I actually couldn’t do the staff training in Florida that this woman contacted me about because I’ll be in Texas doing training that week, but threw out that maybe we can do a mid-year training…which, as hard as it would be to leave Boston in January/Feb. and head to Florida, I would dig deep and find the strength to do it…)
    😉

    • Hi Carrie! Wow, I can’t believe my post made it all the way to Florida and then back to you! That’s incredible. I just started this blog TWO days ago and I’m learning how quickly and how far my voice can be heard – it’s quite amazing! I’m glad I made your day because you made mine when I heard you speak at the Health & Wellness Conference. Perhaps you’ll get more referrals from my post! 🙂

  3. Congrats on FP’d! So glad that you were; now I’m following. And I thoroughly enjoyed “12 Things…”
    (Halloween is my wedding anniversary too, as well as my favorite holiday.) I’ve been counseling kids since 1981, but not by “profession”. More like mothering, and lots of silver hair. Looking forward to reading more here. Cheers, Kayla!
    ~v

  4. I’m so glad I found your blog 🙂 It’s very inspiring. I am a school counselor working in a k-12 English speaking school in Israel. I hope we get to share our knowledge and tips with each other!

    • Why thank you, Martha! It’s nice to hear that my blog is inspiring; that was my hope when I started it. I wanted it to be more than just lesson plans! Your position sounds interesting! I look forward to collaborating with you too!

  5. Hi Kayla! I am a new guidance counselor this school year in Vermont and am just learning the ropes. I love the job however at times feel like I am in over my head, there are so many things I want to do and learn!

    The first thing I noticed was what you wrote about documentation, specifically related to parent and student contact. Can you tell me how you organize the contacts that you have. Do you have folders for each student in google drive or paper copies? I think this is an important thing to do and want to start however need some guidance.

    I also have questions about coming up with original guidance lessons. As a first year counselor I have been relying on second step and the Michigan model. I find them ok but have not been so into them which I am sure comes out during a lesson. I love what you have created and I need help! I would love to be able to talk over the phone or by email, whatever works for you.

    Let me know what you think. Thank you so much for this blog, it has been a pleasure to read and have hope that one day I will also create my own. One step at a time though!

    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle, thanks for reaching out! I remember being brand new not so long ago and it is overwhelming! There is so much to do and learn. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to do it all at once! Take it slow. You can only do your first year once. 🙂
      I do use Google drive for my student notes, just brief summaries of interactions when I meet with a student. I also have folders for each student I meet with to keep any documentation or things we’re working on together. I keep an ongoing notebook for parent contact. This helps me stay organized and remember what I did!
      Are you a member of the Facebook Elementary Counselor Exchange Group? If not, join and start reading the multitude of ideas and support available there. Also, there are so many blogs out there with ideas to help. I find many lesson ideas from other blogs!
      Stay curious and willing to learn and you will do great!
      And perhaps you will start a blog of your own someday! I highly recommend it. 🙂

  6. Kayla,
    I appreciate all that you share! I’m preparing to begin my 2nd year as an elementary school counselor in North Carolina. This is a career change for me after working 20+ years in the legal/banking field! Incidentally, that makes me 50+! I really wanted a career that mattered to me and served to help children.
    I must admit, my fist year was quite challenging and at times overwhelming. I didn’t know how to balance things and had no one to turn to for “guidance”. I struggled, but made it through. Now, I am more confident, and growing through this journey. I’m accepting the challenges as opportunities to grow.
    I’m at a high-needs school and have loved where I am. I wouldn’t have been exposed to some of the things I have taken on anywhere else. I just want this year to be GREAT. I will have my 2nd new principal in 18 months. I am wanting to make a difference and remain steadfast. It’s great to run across sites like yours that reach out to counselors and provide SUPPORT!

    R~

    • Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad my blog has been helpful. I remember the overwhelming feelings of my first year and how much more confident I felt after having made it through. Some experience helps so much!! Good luck this year and come back soon! 🙂

  7. Kayla,
    I cannot begin to share with you the inspiration I receive by logging on to your blog!!! You are so full of helps for target areas I deal with. I am school counselor for 3 elementary schools and 1 middle school…more than 1200 students totaled. To say I need a breath of encouragement from time to time is an understatement. In the past I have allowed my floating week to hinder my creative spirit and bully me into not giving my all. NO MORE!!! While there are things I cannot do due to my wide spread responsibilities, there are many things I CAN do!!! I will do all I can, without looking with constant hope of things being different. I hear and read of school counselors who are able to do so many terrific activities and lessons. It is inspiring, though not realistic for my world of work. Even so, I will continue this awesome work and will do what I can when I can. Thank you for helping me. You are a counselor for this school counselor

    • Thanks for sharing, Martha! It definitely sounds like you are busy, busy, busy! I know it can be so hard to be creative and innovative when you feel like you are just trying to make it through with your head above water some days! It’s nice to hear my blog has offered a little encouragement. Keep on keepin’ on! 🙂

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