New year, new things

The beginning of a new school year. A fresh start. It’s one of my favorite parts of the year! Teachers are refreshed and willing to try new things, and students are generally excited to be back at school.

I’m starting this year feeling a bit weighed down by some heavy feelings, but with some self-care and a focus on the positive impact I can have, I’ll get there. Eventually.

I made some updates to my office, as well as the program documents I use, and so I want to share them with you!

The entrance to my office. I added the colorful lanterns (which are from my daughter’s 1st birthday party 😉 ).


The table area of my room. I added the “Color Me” poster for students to color in when they visit.


My desk area. The only “new” thing here is updated photos of my daughter. 😉


Shelves area showing the counseling tools and games that get used quite often.


My favorite area showing my favorite new thing – a couch! I have always had a vision of a counseling office with a couch area for the comfort factor, and I’m lucky enough to have a space big enough for one. Also, the sequins pillow has quickly become a favorite for students (and adults) when they visit! It is so soothing. 🙂


This was my VERY last minute set up for open house! I had a whole bunch of Starbursts so I printed a quick sign to put out with some of my update brochures, and voilà! (I always find that offering some kind of treat pulls people in.)


Here’s a colored picture of my updated brochure, because I found they don’t print so well in black and white! I made this brochure using a free app through Google Drive called Lucidpress. (If you want to see the whole brochure, click on the photo.)


And finally, I updated my student referral form. Previously, I had students check off if they needed to meet about a small or big problem, and that language just wasn’t working for me. Instead, I added options that students might need to meet about to help guide their thinking and self-advocacy. I print these, cut them, and keep them in an envelope in the mailbox on my door for easy access for students to take as they need. Click this link to see the form: Student Referral Form.

Here’s to another school year doing what we do! Best of luck. 🙂


Beginning of year office photos & info

In June I blogged about my struggle to find my ‘just right’ school. You must be wondering, did she find it? Well, I’m very happy to say that I did. In fact, I found two ‘just right’ schools! I feel so good about joining both of my schools that I haven’t even really been stressed about it, which I have to say is a welcome change.

In honor of finding my ‘just right’ schools, I’d like to share some photos of one of my offices since I put in a lot of work to make it welcoming and kid-friendly. My other office is still coming together.

Shout Out Wall
Shout out wall for students to write messages
Welcome to my room!
Books and Desk
My bookshelf and my desk
My desk
Shelves with games and toys
Counseling signs
Table Area
Table area, bean bag chairs, feelings posters
Calm Down Corner
Calm down corner
Breathe Relax
Positive message for students
Worry Stones
Worry stones
Worry Eaters
I love my new Worry Eaters from Child Therapy Toys!

I’d also like to share two documents that I created to help educate staff about my role. One of the unique things about my two schools is that they haven’t had a School Counselor in a very long time. Lucky for them, they’ve hired a School Counselor who loves to advocate! 🙂

On the left is an intro letter to staff and on the right is a document that explains what a School Counselor does. You can click on each picture to access the document.

Intro Letter to Staff pic       What Does a School Counselor do pic

I hope you enjoyed the tour and I wish you a successful school year! 🙂

My office, downsized plus plants

This year, I am in the same office space as last year. It has it’s pros and cons, and this year I decided to make some changes to make the best out of the space. Basically, I downsized in any way possible. I got rid of stuff that I hadn’t used in years, instead of holding onto it all “just in case.” When you have a small office, I think de-cluttering is important.

So here starts my office tour through pictures:

This is the bulletin board right outside my room. I wanted to display a message that is simple, meaningful, and something I could leave up for a while. I used bright poster paper for the background. I love the finished product!

(P.S. I used a trash can to trace the smiley face…shhh! Gotta improvise sometimes, right??)



Last year, I encountered a lot of interruptions because I was “right there” (very close to classrooms and lots of people walking by all day long).

I’m hoping having this sign on my door will help remind people about the need for privacy:

Counseling in progress

I created this sign to welcome students and staff as they enter my room. I often have staff pop in my doorway to talk or ask questions, and I’m hoping this sign will be appreciated:

I'll be there

My counseling table (where all the magic happens!) and the shelves above. I got rid of a lot of stuff on the wooden shelves to open them up and not be so crowded:



Here’s my famous “chill out” area! Bean bag chair with pillow, stuffed animals, puppets, stress balls, and feelings posters:



My desk area! I did a lot of downsizing here too and moved my monstrous filing cabinet over here so the chill out area (above) could have more space. If you can spot the two fake plants, YOU WIN! (Okay, you don’t actually win anything, but I got you to smile a little bit, right?)  I don’t have a window, so it was money well spent:




My go-to shelves! I moved my books over here for easier access and so my students could see titles better. The close up shows the feelings flip chart, a couple stuffies, and the green basket holds my new Kimochis (I can’t wait to use these!):

6 8


More close ups of my shelves with many of my go-to games and the Worry Box, which holds onto many worries so students don’t have to. Also featured is my sand tray and bins holding plastic miniatures for a little play therapy:

9 10


I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Who says small offices can’t be welcoming AND functional?? Not me! 🙂

What’s on my counseling table

School Counselor offices are as varied as the School Counselors who occupy them. Some are as big as classrooms, some are as small as closets, and some are even shared with colleagues! (I don’t get how that last one works, but I guess it does!)

I love looking at pictures of other counselors’ decorated offices to see how they accommodate individual students, small groups, and work areas. Personally, I occupy an old closet for an office, so my counseling table gets used for EVERYTHING – from individual meetings, small groups, adult meetings, paperwork, playtime, and even storage at times (although I try really hard not to clutter it).

I still have some work to do before I can post pictures of my office. But I started with a video to show you the tools I keep on my counseling table for students to use when they come to meet with me. Hope you like it! 🙂

Liked this video? Subscribe to my channel, The School Counselor Kind, so you don’t miss out on other videos by me!

Office before & after 2013

With one week left of summer, I received a call from my new principal informing me that I was swapping rooms with a colleague. My stuff was being packed by maintenance and I was to come unpack when I could.

Whoa. Talk about INSTANT STRESS!!!

However, the room I moved into is in the main building (previously, I’ve been holed away in a portable outside). So it goes without saying that I am beyond excited to be INSIDE the school building, with greater access to classrooms, students, the office, bathrooms, and running water! Eeeeeeeeee!!

Here are some before and after pictures of my office. I’ve done a lot of work! I can’t wait to begin inviting students inside.

Room before1
Before (so many boxes!)
Room before2
Before (more boxes).
Entrance to my room (notice my sign to the right of my door).
Table area and shelves with counseling games, tools, books, etc.
My desk and work area (notice my confidentiality poster).
The “chill out” area – rug, pillows, stuffed animals, puppets, and emotions posters.

You may have noticed I don’t have a window. Bummer! I plan to supplement with a mirror or nice poster that looks like a window. I’m still thinking!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!  😀

And….here’s a picture of the bulletin board I created for the beginning of school and open house night. (It’s Pinterest-inspired!)

Feeling puzzled

And finally, here’s the official video tour of my new office. I made this video to show students in their classrooms. It only took about 5 takes! (Thanks to my husband for being cameraman.)

Official video tour

Some fancy office decor

Okay, so I went a little crazy on Vistaprint this afternoon! I have been wanting a couple posters for my office, so I finally purchased them. I love Vistaprint because everything is so customizable and cute! Not to mention, fairly affordable. I usually resort to paper and markers to make my own style of posters, so you have to understand that to me, the ones I ordered are super fancy!!! Plus, my lopsided homemade posters just don’t look as nice as the Vistaprint kind. Go figure.

I have limited wall space in my office (I plan to post pictures soon), so I have to be choosy with what I put up. But, I can’t wait to add these two beauties!

This is a small poster (11.25″ x 17.3″) that I plan to hang in my door window. My office is in a portable outside, so I am separated from the main building, and it’s often difficult for new students and parents to know which door is mine. Well, problem solved!

Door sign

I have seen a bunch of cute posters from other bloggers that address confidentiality, but I wasn’t totally in love with the words they used. However, I do love the idea of having a permanent reminder of it in my room for all students to see. So, I changed the language and made my own. (This banner is 3′ x 1.6′)


I could spend all my money on posters and banners!! Do you hang posters and/or pictures on your office walls? Share them – I’d love to see! 🙂

Check out the School Counselor Office Linky Tour to see other school counselors’ offices!