Sunday, July 26, 2015

Back to School...What's in my school counselor bag?

It is back to work for me tomorrow.  I have a week of professional development meetings and then the students’ first day is August 3rd.  I want to share some of the items that I carry to and from work.  It is always neat to learn what others carry in their bag.

Here I go…


Fossil Crossbody Messenger Bag Keyper style

This Fossil bag was available years ago and I remember thinking, “Oh, I will just get it later.”  Later came and the style was discontinued.  I found it on ebay for half of the retail price.  The bag is big enough and structured, with pockets, to fit my needs.  I am able to carry my work lap top, a notebook, work planner, wallet, pouch with essentials, and other small items.  It is not heavy with all of these things either, which is great for me. 

Here is a link, but you can find used ones as well.  I did not pay this much, but that is a good price for a new one since the retail is about $120.

What I Carry Inside?

Of course I carry my work lap top.  I carry it with me in case I need to answer emails from home, but I really do not work from home all that much. 

1).  Planner

This year, I decided to go with a Plum Paper Plannr-Large Teacher Planner.
As a high school counselor I have a lost of tasks and this planner will help me stayed organized with my tasks.  There’s enough room for me to write and organize. I love personalization so having my name on the planner is a bonus.

2). Notebook

I always have to have some kind of note book to write notes or lists.  These notes would be the ones that do not fit in my planner or do not belong there.  Ideas pop into my head all of the time so this is a great way to keep track of all of them.  I used this notebook a couple of years ago. Instead of buying a brand new notebook, I took out the pages I did not need.  Plus, it is purple and metallic. Cute!

3). File Folders

Yes, I do not take work home all that often but sometimes I do have projects that I need to work on at home.  I carry this information in these folders.  Right now, I am not sure how I am going to organize these folders (besides what I just mentioned) but as the year goes on they will have a purpose. 

4). Wallet

This is the perfect wallet for work. Instead of carrying a work bag and purse, I have this wallet. The wallet also holds my cell phone! A wonderful co worker gifted me the wallet and it is still available at Target and in so many different colors and patterns.

5). Pouch

I subscribe to IPSY, which provides small sample or travel size beauty products for $10 a month.  I have been subscribed for over a year and have collected many bags.  I use this bag to carry some items I may need while I am at work.  These small bags are great to carry medication, gum, lip gloss, pens, post its…The list can go on and on. The bag also helps with not letting small items go 
“missing” in my bag. 

Inside of my bag 

That is everything that I carry in my work bag.  What is in your work bag? 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Why I became a School Counselor Part 1

School counselor was not my first career choice. I was a teacher before I was a school counselor.  I had all the signs of being a teacher since I was a child. I was bossy, loved to color and loved to talk!  I still do!  Of course, as I learned what it really meant to be a teacher I was sure that this profession was for me.  I loved learning and just wanted to share that with youth. 

I attended a California public college, which is now one of the top colleges in California, and decided that I did not need a fancy name college to become a teacher.  At first, like many teenagers in their first year of college, I had no clue what to major in.  I loved English literature, which is why I wanted to be a teacher, so that is what I majored in.  WRONG!  I found out, in order to become a high school English teacher, I was to major in English Education and choose an option.  I chose Literature. 

Getting the credential
The next step after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree is to get something called a Single Subject Credential.  I could teach grades 6-12th with this credential.  Perfect!  At the college I attended, the credential program was not a part of the Bachelor’s degree/program.  It was a post-baccalaureate degree.  That meant that I had to re- apply to the university and the credential program after I earned my degree. The process to obtain the credential took a year and a half.  The first year was classes and the last semester was student teaching. 

Student teaching
I wanted to student teach in an area that I was familiar with.  It was in a city I went to high school.  It was a semester long assignment and was during the spring semester.  I heard stories about how dreadful starting in the middle of the year was but I did not buy into that.  My student teacher supervisor asked me to choose three high schools I was interested in and he would set up everything for me.  Love this!  I ended up at my ideal school, with three master teachers.  Yep, you read that right!  I loved all of my master teachers and had a wonderful student teaching experience.  I taught 2 sections of English 9 and 1 section of an elective English course of 11th and 12th graders. 

Getting the official credential
I turned in all of the appropriate paperwork to my credential office at the college and applied with the CCTC.  During this time I interviewed with three school districts and was offered a job right away. 

My first teaching assignment was English 9 and 9th grade AVID.  I loved it. This was the perfect career for me!  In November the 12th grade English teacher left unexpectedly and I became the 12th grade English teacher. Thank you student teaching! I love teaching freshmen but seniors were even more fun.  They were a tough crowd but they made my job amazing and I learned so much.  They welcomed me and I was able to teach works of literature that I loved and wanted to share.  Remember, that 11/12th grade elective English course?  I used a lot of that material to design my lessons for the seniors.  I incorporated a lot of the writing lessons I learned in my credential program in my teaching because I knew how much these seniors would write in college.  

My work with teenagers and personal experiences led me to the next step in my career… Stay tuned!

Why did you become a school counselor? Why do you want to become a school counselor?