Monday, July 28, 2014

Intern Advice From An Intern

As school gears up for us school counselors, graduate students will be gearing up for their internship experience.  Since I've been out of the intern scope for a couple of years, my intern from the last school year Kelly was so kind to share some tips based on her experience:

-Give a little background about yourself :
Hi, I'm Kelly and I just graduated May 2014 with a master's degree in Counselor Education from East Carolina University (Go Pirates).  I also completed my undergraduate degree in Sociology from ECU.  
Originally, I started my undergraduate studies in early education, but soon decided I wanted to focus more on individual or a small group, which lead me to sociology. One of my older volleyball teammates (I played on the volleyball team at ECU) was in the counselor education program also, and really got me interested in the field.  I went straight to graduate school after graduating from undergrad, and I have absolutely LOVED the program and am so in love with counseling!

-How did you manage graduate school and internship, without feeling completely overwhelmed?
Throughout the year, my supervisor was great about allowing me to set my own schedule or change days that I came to my internship site if there were grad school assignments that I really needed to work on. Setting a schedule was really nice for me in order to stick to days where I focused mostly on my internship, and others when I focused mainly on schoolwork. However, I know that many sites which my classmates were in, set a schedule for them to come to their sites. Many of my friends handled both their internship and schoolwork by dedicating certain days to their schoolwork similarly to me being able to create my own schedule. There were times when it was overwhelming to juggle both my internship and finishing my graduate school program, but the more I stuck to a set schedule and completed things weekly in a set manner, the more in control I felt and got through the semesters with ease!

-What's something that you learned about yourself you didn't know from your internship experience?
I was fortunate to complete both semesters of internship at the same great school, and I think I learned much more about myself being here all year then having to split semesters! I had no idea that I was going to like classroom lessons and small group settings as much as I have. I was pretty sure that individual counseling was my primary focus, so I started off my internship just wanting to talk to individual students more than leading groups or classes. However, I learned throughout the year that I am pretty good at classroom management and leading a group. Although it shocked me some, I have had so many awesome opportunities to lead by myself that I have become much more comfortable!

-What did you enjoy about your internship?
Joyner has been such an amazing school for my internship experience! I have truly felt so welcomed, and have enjoyed all of the staff appreciation events that we (as counselors) helped lead and display around the school. The nerves were definitely large at first, but after being treated like a part of the school, instead of just an intern, I was really able to excel and find out the type of school counselor I will be, and what I enjoy most/least about the position!

-What advice would you give to someone about to begin their school counseling internship?
My advice is to keep an open mind and be willing to try everything…even if it isn’t specific to the counseling position! I attended many workshops, conferences, and trainings which were offered by the district, my school, and counseling associations! I truly put the most into my internship experience to get the same in return and be prepared for my first year as a school counselor!
Thanks for sharing Kelly!  Are there any other tips former interns would like to share?
Good Luck!

Thanks for sharing Kelly!  Are there any other tips former or recent interns would like to share?
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Hello From Across the Pond

Hey school counselor friends, I hope that your summer so far has been fabulous.  I've been a little MIA for a while, like missing the ASCA conference (which still hurts, but Phoenix look out), #scchat Twitter chats and such, so just in case you were wondering....I'm actually in England.  I'm participating in a educator summer study abroad course and it's been so much fun.  I'm the only school counselor in the group, but that's no different than in my actual school, so I fit right in.  Here's a few pics of our adventures throughout England.  We'll also be traveling to Norway later on this week!  Don't worry I'll share how I found out about this educator travel abroad opportunity in a later post.

Highclere Castle (yes from Downtown Abbey), Tea and Scones, London Bridge, Big Ben & Parliament

Another plus is that I completed my summer homework for staff by taking my photo in my school shirt (oh yeah)!

Summer homework done at Guildford Castle in Guildford, England (beautiful place).

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Just a Little (More) About Me...

Since I was #notatasca14, I have no #asca14 recap post  (sad face) so to try and think of an ASCA theme for this post...A few months back I saw in the ASCA School Counselor magazine a showcase on the 2014 school counselor of the year candidates (Congrats to Robin Zorn).  I liked reading fun facts about the school counselor of the year finalists and thought "hmmm how would I answer some of those questions?" So now that school's out and summer is in full effect I thought that I'd take a chance to answer those questions (I also used some questions from other counselor bloggers for the Liebster Award):

-Share 10 things about yourself that most of your readers wouldn't know:
1.) I'm a morning person and wake up early even on weekends and days off.
2.) Breakfast is my favorite meal, I can't function without it. 
3.) I almost never wear any makeup.
4.) I like to drive with my shoes off (yep, even when I had a 5 speed).
5.) I usually have several things in my various online shopping carts, on "my wish list" or under "save for later".
6.) I'm very passionate about recycling and taking care of the environment.  
7.) I like dressing up, but would definitely opt for yoga pants/workout gear anytime.  
8.) In college I was in the marching band (Shout out to the NC A&T SU BGMM) & joined a sorority.
9.) I enjoy live music and musical theater.  I secretly wish that I could sing, dance and act...all at the same time to make it on Broadway.  
10.)  I have no idea why I put my hands on my hips when I take pictures.  

-What's your favorite thing about your job?  Well taking that it's summer the schedule certainly is a plus, but I love being able to make lasting connections with students, parents and staff as a school counselor.

-What would you be if you weren't in the School Counseling field?  I'd either be a corporate trainer/recruiter, travel blogger or museum curator (I love museums and history). 

-What do you do for self care?  I LOVE group fitness classes at my gym and go most days right after work (which makes me leave work on time).  Group fitness is fun and it doesn't require me to do a lot of heavy thinking.  I just listen and follow the instructor and in an hour I've had a workout!   I also try to plan for pedicures or massages as needed.  

-What books are you currently reading?  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (it's a great read so far).  I've also been enjoying books on tape (audiobooks).  The public library has them (for free, my favorite price).  I just load them on my iPod and listen to them while I walk or if the book's really good in the car.  Just a side note, make sure to turn off "shuffle" on your iPod when listening to audiobooks.  

-What's your guilty pleasure TV show?
 I can't just limit myself to just ONE show.  Thanks to the likes of Netflix and Hulu I've gotten into binge movie/tv watching. I just finished season 2 of Orange is the New Black (awesome!)

-If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  The beach is always ideal but I'd compromise and just be willing to live where I have the freedom to travel and see the world.

-What are your top 5 tech tools?
Google Docs
My iPad (of course)

So that's a little about me!  On a side note, I am really looking forward to reading the #ASCA14 recap posts from other bloggers that were there.  I was able to be a little bit in the loop from social media, but I can't wait to hear from them.  So now I know that I must make plans to be at #asca15 next year in Phoenix.

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