Oh, hello blog. It's been
This past school year was a whirlwind. It was basically like being a first year teacher all over again. One major advantage I had for the new position was the ability to stay at the same school where I've been teaching. I've taught 2nd grade at my school for the past six years, and when our veteran school counselor announced her retirement, I decided to apply for the job. I never expected to leave the classroom this early in my career (it feels strange writing that since I'm in year 10 of education... I guess it's not that early!), but I couldn't pass up the opportunity of being able to be a school counselor in a community that I love. I had already built rapport with students and staff and had a good handle on our school culture, so I was able to start the new job with a solid foundation.
In case you are wondering, my educational background is a combination of teaching and counseling. I received my bachelor's degree in early childhood education and am licensed to teach pre-school through third grade. I spent 6 years teaching second grade, 1 year in first grade, and 1 year teaching a pre-primary class at a Montessori school. I've always been interested in the mental health field, so I decided to pursue graduate coursework in counseling. My master's degree is in community counseling and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Ohio. When I completed my internship, I was able to work with many populations. I did everything from play therapy with children, individual counseling with adults, group counseling with at-risk teenagers, and even some marital counseling--nothing like providing marital counseling when you are a 20-something single counselor! Throughout my coursework, I specialized in play therapy and art therapy and would like to become a Registered Play Therapist one of these days. Although I am not currently practicing at a mental health agency, my community counseling degree gave me a great foundation in counseling.
Because I wanted to stay in the schools full-time (for now!), I decided to pursue my school counseling license. The University of Toledo has a great endorsement program that allows you to add on a school counseling degree to a previous counseling license. I completed a few more classes and did an internship at my school, and finally became dually licensed (which means I can practice both in and outside of the school).
I share all of these details because I have talked with many teachers who have a passion for the social-emotional development of children. Teachers tell me that they want to pursue a counseling degree, but don't think it's possible to obtain a license while working full time as a teacher. I won't sugar-coat the truth... it was very challenging, but it's possible!
All of that leads me back to here, my blog! The educational blogging world has both inspired me and challenged me professionally. I love being able to network with other educators who are innovative and always looking for new ideas to implement. Taking a vacation from EduKate & Inspire this past school year allowed me to focus on building a strong foundation for my new job, but now I'm ready to step back into the blogging world and start sharing ideas with other counselors (and teachers)!
To all of my teacher readers: Please stick around! Although I am no longer a classroom teacher, I still get to spend a lot of time teaching lessons in classrooms and small groups. I hope to be able to share ideas that you can implement in your classroom to help build community and increase social-emotional awareness. Plus, I still have a lot of ideas from my 2nd grade classroom that I would like to blog about one of these days! If you are a teacher and are curious to learn more about pursuing a counseling degree, feel free to ask questions in the comments!
To all of my counselor readers: Welcome! I hope this blog becomes a place where we can collaborate about fresh ideas and continue to raise awareness for our profession. I plan on blogging a lot about my first year as a school counselor and how I was able to build a strong foundation for our school counseling program. Upcoming posts that I have in mind include:
-School counseling office tour
-Scheduling students, intake, progress notes, and documentation!
-Using data to drive your school counseling program
-Organizing your office, files, and lesson plans
-Interactive "meet the counselor" lessons
Which topics above are you ready to read more about? Do you have any specific topics that you would like me to blog about?
If you are stopping by my blog first the first time, please introduce yourself in the comments or visit my Facebook page! I am excited to meet you and connect with you in the blogging world!
One final word... If you are reading this post on your favorite blog reader, take a moment to stop by my real blog and check out my new design! I started with a template from the amazing Georgia Lou Studios and then customized it to meet my needs. I am loving the simple and clean look of my blog!
Thanks for reading!