My blog has been nominated for an award! Wahoo! The Liebster is meant to recognize new or up-and-coming bloggers and to connect all of us in the blogging community! I was nominated by Positively Elementary School Counseling (thanks a bunch!), and these are the rules I was asked to follow:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator.
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
5. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them.
These are the questions I was asked to answer:
1. Why did you decide to take up blogging?
I sat down with my laptop one summer day, to look at other blogs, and I discovered one which had just been created by a School Counselor with just one year experience in the field. Prior to this, I always thought I didn’t have enough experience yet to have anything to blog about. Boy was I wrong! So, that very day, I started researching how to start a blog, and the next thing I knew, 4 hours had passed and I had created The School Counselor Kind. Ever since, I’ve been hooked!
2. How long have you been blogging?
I am VERY new to blogging. I began my blog just over a month ago!
3. What is one of your favorite memories of working with students?
My first year as a School Counselor, a fourth grader stopped by my room because she had to report “something important.” She told me that at recess, another student had said the 4-letter “C-word.” In my head, I could only think of one 4-letter C-word that would be considered bad, and I couldn’t believe elementary students were using it!! However, I asked her for clarification, and she spelled it for me. I was relieved when the letters C-R-A-P came out of her mouth instead of the others! It was a good lesson for me early on about the innocence of elementary students and not making assumptions! This is a memory that always makes me laugh when I think back on it.
4. What are 3 of the items in your “bag” that you could not do without?
-My sand tray
-The Talking, Feeling, Doing Game
-Thoughts & Feelings Cards
Check out my post about my favorite counseling tools: Sand and games and putty, oh my!
5. Would you recommend blogging to others?
Absolutely!!! I think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made this summer. My bucket is overflowing (you bucket-filling folks know what I’m talking about!) at the warm welcome I’ve received from other bloggers. I’m amazed at how far and how quickly my voice can be heard through my blog. There is an entire blogging community that is just waiting to welcome you and connect with you! If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog but needed a little push, consider this it!
6. What was the best professional development you ever went to?
My first year as a School Counselor, I attended a Restorative School Practices workshop and it was hands down the best workshop I’ve ever been to. The focus on building relationships and connections with students and among students in my school made so much sense to me and fit in so well with what I already believed. I remember leaving this workshop feeling refreshed, determined, and lighter – that was an awesome combination to bring back with me to school!
7. What do you do to take care of yourself outside of work?
I do a lot of my planning for school at home, but when I make myself take a break, I do any of the following: cuddle my fur babies, cuddle my husband, drink Mountain Dew, sit on my porch, walk my puppies down my road and back, listen to Pandora and dance around my house, watch mindless nonsense on Netflix, go to the movies, go out to dinner, clean and organize something, color, sleep in with no alarm, laugh, listen to my husband laugh, write, read, stretch. What a list, huh?
8. What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?
I like Scrapbook of a School Counselor, School Counselor Blog, Entirely Elementary School Counseling, and Blossoming School Counselor. I go to these for more than just resources – I go for connection, humor, and to feel like I’m not crazy! 😉
9. What is one of your favorite lessons that you teach?
One of my favorites is my lesson about friendships and judgments. I read “The Rainbow Fish and the Big, Blue Whale” and then I present students two gift bags. I tell the students that there is a gift inside each, and they have to decide in pairs which bag they think has the best gift. One bag is a crumpled brown paper bag and the other is a pretty blue bag with colorful balloons and white tissue paper sticking out the top. I listen to their responses, which vary from picking the blue bag because it looks better to picking the brown paper bag because they think I’m trying to “trick” them (seriously, they say this!). Then, the big reveal –the paper bag holds a sparkly green ball and the blue bag holds an old sock with holes in it. This activity leads to great discussion about appearances, judgments, first impressions, and how we might miss out on a really great friendship if we don’t give someone a chance. This is a favorite of mine because it’s so fun and the students are engaged in the lesson from start to finish!
10. Why did you want to be a School Counselor?
That’s simple. I wanted to help kids like school early on because I liked school. And I felt the best way to do this was to become “the feelings-teaching, fun-having, listening, hug-giver” known as an Elementary School Counselor.
11. Who has been your biggest inspiration in your life?
This is simple too. My biggest inspiration is my partner in life, my husband. His kindness, generosity, and resiliency (not to mention his adorable dimple) rocks my socks and explodes my heart. I have never known support like the kind he offers me every day, and he gives me the strength I need to take on life. He pushes me to grow and try really hard things and fail and then try again. Are you feeling all mushy yet? Okay, I’m done.
And my nominees are…
The Creative Counselor
Counseling with Confidence
My Journey as a High School Counselor
Our School Counselor
School Counselor Companion
Questions for my nominees are…
- What has surprised you most about blogging?
- Which part of your job challenges you the most?
- What feelings do you experience as you pull into your school each morning?
- What is one of your favorite memories of working with students?
- If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change about your job?
- What is one of your favorite lessons that you teach?
- How do you prepare for school each day, not only physically, but mentally?
- How do you unwind or recover from a difficult day at school?
- What is the craziest “school dream” you’ve ever had?
- How many “hats” would you say you wear at your school?
- If you knew this was going to be your last year as a School Counselor, what would you want to do before you left the profession?