Sunday, July 21, 2013

Just a lazy, tech-filled Sunday...

Yesterday, the family and I spent an evening shopping, eating, and Geocaching in Muncie. Despite being a great time, it somehow equated to our daughter being up sick with nightmares, my wife being up until 4am unable to sleep, and my hallucinating (thinking our son had gotten up and me taking him back to bed- neither of which happened). 
So, we spent the day lazily around the house. With the soothing sounds of the kids playing in the den, I had the opportunity to overcome come technology obstacles and fears that had been staring me in the face! And thanks to some amazing blogs, I was able to steal incorporate :) some technology
 into my counseling! Here's how:
1) Minute Meetings. Having two schools (both with over 350 students), I found it very difficult to meet every student in the beginning of last year. Our Elementary Schools do one lesson per month for EVERY classroom and much like writing a book and penning that first sentence, I was a new counselor and very unsure how to do that first "intro lesson". If you are unsure what Minute Meetings are, Danielle Schultz first had the wonderful idea here and Andrea Burston tech-ed it up here. Despite my fears, I found the Google Drive forms quite easy to use! I took some information that I wanted to know about my students and dove right in!
Once one form was done...
I duplicated it and renamed it for my second school. The nice thing about Google Documents is that ALL the data from these forms is sent to one Excel sheet. Can you say "DOCUMENTATION FOR MY PROGRAM!!!" I think this will be a great way to get an initial meeting for all students and a starting point for new students to our school. Plus it's super iPad-friendly and the kids love using my iPad!
2.) Now, at the end of last year, I played around with different ways to keep notes. I also sent out an email to our state's School Counselor listserv trying to find out how everyone else kept records of sessions. What I found was that no two counselors keep track the same way. I began experimenting with an Access template, EZ Analysis Timetracker, the Time Task Log from my Grad School Days, a Google Doc template, and different paper forms. I got a lot of ideas from Danielle Schultz's post here. What I found (and it was reaffirmed today) is that I will definitely be using Google Docs! I started the form today and am excited about how it's going to turn out! I will make another post on keeping data (with some info from an ASCA session I attended!) once the form is done and when school starts.
3.) Lastly, I had been toying with the idea of starting a Facebook page for the blog, but kept getting hindered by thoughts of "who on FB cares about what I have to say" (hmm... much like my initial thoughts on "who cares about me- why should I start a blog?!). Luckily, AnnMarie Birster at School Counselor Companion wrote this blog TODAY on creating a Facebook page! Divine intervention! So, I am happy to say that A Fellow School Counselor now has a Facebook page here:
All of these things took a little bit of time, yea. And are any of them set in stone and perfect? Definitely not. But I am pleased with the long term affects this will have on my time with students and for our Elementary Counseling department!
Stay tuned for more on my year, my offices, and my recent buys :)


  1. I am curious as to what questions you included in your Minute Meetings. I have read the blog posts from others and the questions seem very vague or superficial. Now I understand they are supposed to be short, hence Minute, but I'd like to see how to incorporate more meaningful questions so that I may better meet their needs. For example, some of the questions I've seen are similar to: How is school/home/friends, with options such as good, so-so, bad, or rating scales. I'd like to know more.. what is going on at home? Have your parents recently separated or divorced? If so, I may be able to find enough students to form a group.

    It is my first year as a school counselor. I work in an elementary school with over 1,000 students. Thankfully there is another school counselor, who is actually a male, he does grades 3-5 and I do K-2.

    Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Love your blog by the way- offers new perspective on things!

  2. Incorporating the use of technology in keeping school records is really useful. It makes collecting work easier, very accurate, and quite convenient, especially since you are handling huge classes from different schools. Anyway, how are things doing now?

    Sheryl Patterson @ Calm Counselling Publications