Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Break

This is the day that seemed so far away...the beginning of spring break!  I don't have any major traveling plans this week but am planning on doing some spring cleaning and projects around my house.  As much as I love and enjoy my job, breaks are nice to have.  We all need breaks.  If it's your spring break enjoy yourself and relax, that's my plan. Pin It

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Getting Counselor Blogs

Before I became "the JYJ Counselor" blogger, I was and am still an avid blog reader.   Blogs are great ways to find resources, news, tips, recipes, decorating tips, etc, ok maybe that's MY blog reader, but you get the idea of where I'm going.  It took me a while to get the courage to actually start blogging, after one attempt earlier last year with not many people following (don't worry about the number of followers by the way), I revamped my blog and just type what's going on at my school and in my little counselor world.  I'm often asked by school counselors on which blogs I follow, what I use to read blogs and the most popular question (which I love by the way)...How can I start my own school counselor blog?
To answer those questions:

School Counselor Blogs that I follow and recommend:
-SCOPE (School Counselor Online Professional Exchange) well this actually is a wiki that has a fantastic blog roll of school counselor blogs!

Blog Readers:
The easiest and simplest way for me to read blogs is to read them on my iPad on my Pulse reader app.  I wrote a post about how it is one of my favorite apps!

Starting a blog:
There are various (free) blog sites that you can make your blog on.  I use Blogger because it's through Google and I like the ease of using it (plus there's a blogger app so that I can blog on my iPad although I'm not really a fan of the small keyboard).  Other popular blog sites are Word Press,, & Edublog.  You should choose the blog that is easiest for you to use and understand, what works for me may not always work for you.  

Blogging is a fun, fantastic and not to mention easy way to share ideas, thoughts and just general FYI with others.  I've gotten so many school counseling ideas from the various blogs that I read.  Happy Blogging!  
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Monday, March 26, 2012

jyjoynercounselor...deluxe edition!

Have you ever noticed how when a music artist re-releases their album cover now says "Deluxe Edition"?   I don't care too much for these special editions, especially when I purchased the "plain" album.  The deluxe edition is supposed to have something new or unreleased, lost or hidden tracks, etc. which brings me to my "unreleased tracks".  Over the weekend I received one of the nicest emails from a fellow school counselor & blogger Rebecca Lallier of Counselingbyheart (which I love & read in my pulse reader) thanking me for helping her with techie school counselor stuff (Rebecca it was my pleasure).  Anyways after reading her email, I decided to release my "hidden tracks" by changing the direction of my blog.  Now it will be geared counselors!!!  Get it?  Deluxe edition, hidden tracks?   Ok, maybe's more insight.

In the beginning, my blog was more for the parents at my school about events and things happening at the school.  I found this quite redundant since most of the teachers at my school blog the same events (if not more than me).  I did a quick informal poll by just asking parents how do they find information that I post?  Nearly all said that they looked at my website (not the blog).  Was all this blog work done in vain?  Nope not at all!  I've been able to interact and get great tips, lessons and activities from various blogs and contact from the counselors that read my blog.  So with that being said this blogs for you...the awesome school counselors that you are! 

You all can see the "true Andrea" and my passion and joy of my job.  Entering into my 4th year as a counselor, I see more pieces of my school counselor puzzle coming into play and it's exciting to see this work in progress.   I thank you school counselors for your work and dedication, we're walking on the same path.  So welcome to the jyjoynercounselor "Deluxe Edition" blog! Pin It

Sunday, March 25, 2012


As mentioned in a previous post, we adapted a school wide "Healthy Choice Marathon" initiative  during the month of March, where we incorporated healthy choices in our daily lives.  This tied right into our counselor class visit lessons on making and keeping healthy choices in our lives.  Many students & staff were buzzing about completing the challenge (see the news video clip ).

  Today ended our 26th day of our "marathon" with a 5K run/walk (I chose to do the later)!  I was a bit worried that our early April showers would put a damper on this fun day, but the weather held off.  This was our very 1st 5K and nearly 500 students, staff, parents and friends took part.  In addition to our race we had a health fair with various vendors. There even was a fitness instructor who "warmed up" the runners with a few fitness drills. I moved out of the way when the push ups and mountain climbers began (that's not a warm up to me!) I was also very appreciative to the PTA for providing scholarships to 23 students that wanted to participate in the 5K. We certainly don't want to stop anyone from trying to be healthy and have fun!  It was so great to see so many happy (& healthy) faces! Here are pictures from the race:

Counselors ready for the 5K

Warming up the students

"Warming up" the adults, this is why I didn't participate.

More warming up

A family affair: Chauncey, Karisma & Marcel

Retired JYJ Counselor of 21 years, Cathy Herman.  I have huge shoes to fill!  She's awesome & the reason why I'm at JYJ!

JYJ Family Erin & Maggie Duffy

All smiles!

The race is about to begin, look at that crowd!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Our "new normal"

I am very aware that its been a while since I've posted. It seems as though since the weather warmed up, it seems like the amount of work, tasks, duties, etc picked up too! Our door to our office should be a revolving door with all our moving and shaking! Both Anna (counselor intern) and I have been quite busy. We were talking and decided that this "busy" speed will be the new norm for probably the rest of the school year; and we're totally ok with that. This is our job and our calling! Here are a few things that we have going on in our counselor program at JYJ:
-3rd & 5th grade girls group
-Kindergarten boys group (2 groups)
-1st-5th grade monthly class visits
-4th grade book club (we're currently reading 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass)
-5th grade book club (we're currently reading The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder)
-JYJ safety patrol
-Middle school registration/transition
-iPad for school counselors presentation

Whew what a busy month we've had but as always we're always we're excited and happy to be a part of the JYJ family and are here to help our students, staff and families!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Team Embree Day

Today we showed our support for Embree Duffy a JYJ 1st grader who's currently fighting a (very strong) battle with leukemia.  Because "we are a family" at JYJ students, staff, friends and family all wore our Team Embree shirts today to show Embree that we're cheering her on to victory.  This young lady has the spirit drive and humor to take on the journey.  I found it very moving and motivational how much support was shown by the number of t-shirt orders (nearly 400 in a week's time).  I'm not just talking local orders folks, but orders from VA, TX, OK, AK and even CA!    Our original plan was to get shirts for her class, then we thought well the staff would want them, then her family  would want them and the list goes on and on.  So that goes to show the strong love & support for this brave little girl. If you'll notice that the writing is in orange, which is the ribbon color for leukemia . Embree & Duffy family we're with you all the way through this journey. Pin It

Monday, March 5, 2012

Health Choices Challenge

Healthy bodies make healthy and happy students!  During the month of March we are really pushing the Healthy Choices Marathon Challenge at JYJ.  During the month students and staff are to keep track of doing the following healthy options:
-Do at least 20 minutes of exercise daily
-Do at least 20 minutes of reading daily
-Choose healthy food options

We'll be keeping track of our healthy choices for 26 days (hence the "marathon"challenge) and will celebrate our healthy choices with our 1st ever JYJ 5K run!  Yours truly will be participating (as a walker) and I am taking the challenge seriously.  Ms. Decker (counselor intern) and I are also doing a healthy choices lessons with our 3rd grade classes.  We'll be using the Trevor Romain resource "If you don't take care of you body, where else are you going to live?" Which shows that small healthy choices can make a big difference!  If you're interested in signing up for our 5K, click here.  Here's to healthy choice living! Pin It

Perserverance Reading List

March's Character Education Trait is: PERSERVERANCE and I'd like to recommend a few books that focus on that trait.  Most of these books can be checked out from the JYJ and Wake County Public Libraries.  Happy reading!

-Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best
-Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
-The Boy Who Held Back the Sea by Lenny Hort
-Brave Irene by William Steig Pin It

Thursday, March 1, 2012

JYJ Shows Perserverance!

Each month at JYJ we focus on a character trait of the month.  March's spotlight trait is PERSEVERANCE which is pursing worthy objectives in spite of difficulty.  Watch the video and see how JYJ shows perseverance!

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