Sunday, January 31, 2016

National School Counseling Week 2016

National School Counseling Week is an exciting time for all school counselors.  It is the week when counselors pump up their advocacy skills and make sure people understand the role of the school counselor and how we meet student needs.

Little different for me this year as I will be on sick leave following a foot surgery.  So, how does one challenge her students when not there?  I decided it would be fun to do a daily video for the students where I give them a word for the day and a challenge.
I learned how to do PowToons at our ISCA conference last year but really hadn't taken them time to make some.  Well, when you have to sit and elevate your foot, you have plenty of time to play around with these fun sites and get creative.

Here are the daily videos, all in one blog entry, for you to watch.  I created them as daily messages for my K-6 students, but I think they could be used for any students.  I  hope you enjoy them!
Day 1!

Day 2!

Day 3!

Day 4!

Day 5!

I will be anxious to share some of the other exciting things I have going on this week.  Be sure to stop back and check out what I have for parents during National School Counseling Week!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It's Not TERMINAL!!!

So I had a bunionectomy (a bunion removed) a month ago.  My foot hurt most of  the time and decided it was time to take care of it.  For some reason I thought if I had it the last day of school before Christmas vacation, I would be ready to go back to part days when school started back up.  Probably would have worked except for the iPad I dropped right on my foot the day I returned.  My check up 4 days later showed that the bone had shifted---yep, sure did!  That meant I needed to stay off the foot, which I did for one week!  I got a little stir crazy not being able to go out of the house much and not being around my school kiddos.  
So, make the most of it, right?!  I decided to get my Parent University videos going, which I did.  Then I decided to work on some activities which I could use with my students based on some of the books I use.  At this point I have one completely finished and ready to put on TpT  (more sharing on that later).
Finally, my week of pampering my foot like a newborn came to an end---get to work Laurel!
So, back I went.  Loved seeing the kids and checking in with the teachers.  Tried my hardest to catch up with the kiddos that needed some one on one time with me.  BUT by day 3 of being back I left school in PAIN!  My Prince (nickname for hubby who has been great at taking care of me!) took me back to the doctor to find out that the bone shifted further!  SERIOUSLY!!!  Now the doctor's orders were "Go home and STAY OFF the foot---get the swelling down!  And come back on Monday and let's take another look at it!"  Okay, 5 days and we will meet again to see how the foot (which I am ready to name but haven't come up with a good one yet!) is doing.

So, where am I going with this?
Well, I teach kids to have a Growth Mindset---to look at the bright side, be positive, 
have an attitude of gratitude---but I will be honest, I have been struggling to stay out of the "Self-Pity Party" thinking.  Back to the "Mommalies"--My mom always said the following:
"It's not so bad that it couldn't be worse!"
"You can always find someone who has it worse than you do."
"What are you whining about?"
I am actually glad those words stick in my mind, they keep me grounded.
I decided I needed to give myself a little "kick in the tush" and come up with a mantra to keep me from losing my JOY---so, here it is:

You know, there are so many people out there struggling with all kinds of things!
Keep your head up when things happen that can get you down!
Don't let your JOY escape you and end up falling into the pit of PITY!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sesame Street: Bruno Mars: Don't Give Up

How many times do we tell kids to keep trying or try harder when they are learning something new? I came across this song and thought it would be great to use with kids when we talk about trying to do new things, skills like riding a bike, or new concepts at school. I know my kiddos at school will love this and maybe this little tune will stick in their heads when they are ready to give up.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Parent University; What type of parent are you?

Have you ever watched another parent and wondered, "How do they do it?  They seem to know the perfect things to say and how to handle their kids!  AND their kids actually listen to them!  What am I doing wrong?"
Well, I have thought that.  I spent a week at a Love and Logic conference and came home with my eyes opened!  I was introduced to the 3 different types of parents.

Drill Sergeant:
Yep, been there, done that!
Usually when I am stressed, tired or feel like I have used every tool in my parenting toolbox.
Demanding, barking out orders, having to do things MY way!
Not good for the parent child relationship!
Not good for creating a responsible child because the parent is always robbing from their child the opportunity to make decisions and think for themselves.

Helicopter Parent:
Yep!  I flew a BIG helicopter!
Wanting to make sure my child didn't feel bad.  Rescue them by taking care of any types of problems they may be experiencing.  Running shoes, band instruments or other items forgotten to school for your child.  (speaking from experience here!)
Make the decisions for the child.  Provides message of weakness and low personal worth.

The Consultant Parent (also known as the Love and Logic Parent)
I love it when I am working this type of parenting.
This parent prays that their child will make mistakes when the price tag is small.
Hopefully they will have learned from the consequences of their mistakes so when they are
older and the price tag of the bad choices is older, they will have learned.
These parents help guide a child to look at their choices but lets the child make the decision.
They also let the child experience the consequence.

Are you wondering which parent role you fill?  It is hard to break some of those habits
if you are a drill sergeant or a helicopter parent, but it can be done.  I am adding my latest Parent University video below.  Take a few minutes to watch it and then check out more info at

Thanks for joining me!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Parent University: Getting kids to listen the first time

Parent University is something I have offered at various times during my school counseling career.  I love working with kids in school.  They bring smiles to my face and joy to me every day!  I also enjoy working with parents of my students.  When parents, teachers, and counselors work together, students win.
So let me tell you about my newest venture.
I met with my principal to set my professional goal for the year.  I was struggling to narrow it down to how I could really meet the needs of my students that was different than what I had done in the past.  He suggested that it had been a few years since I had taught a Love and Logic class for parents and that it might be good to offer it again.  I guess I had been dragging my feet on this because my Love and Logic partner retired a couple years ago and I know she is quite busy in her retirement.  It was so much fun teaching it with her that I wasn't sure I wanted to go solo on this.  It is also very difficult to find a night where there are no conflicts with other events, for 7 weeks straight!  My principal suggested I do some videos.  I think he knows I enjoy this and it would be a great way to reach a bigger audience.  PLUS I can collect data on how many views I get, comments, as well as parents reaching out for more info.

I have a few topics lined up and will be posting them weekly for hopefully the next few months.  My goal is to keep them short and to the point.  That way parents don't feel like they need to find a half hour or more to watch them.  Quick, to the point and a tip or new skill that they can try out on their children.

So, I now present my first Parent University video:  Getting kids to listen the first time!

I do need to add this disclaimer:
I am not the parent of the year!
I have learned from making many mistakes.

You can find more info on Love and Logic .