Polka Dots

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Changes

The past few months have brought about some pretty big changes. I know I have not been keeping up with my blog very well, and I have resolved to do better this school year (although I am making this resolution later than I would have liked). I am hoping that I can document all of these changes with better constancy.

My husband's job was transferred from Washington DC to St. Louis, our hometown. He moved back around Easter, while I still had to finish out the school year in Northern VA. I officially moved back to St. Louis at the end of June. We are finally settling down, having found a house not too far from our parents. We have been enjoying getting to spend time with family and friends and working on our new house.

I was very fortunate to find another school counseling position before I left Northern VA. I am working at another Catholic K-8 school very similar to the one I left. There is one major difference - my new school has never had a school counselor. I am starting a program from scratch. I walked into a completely empty office in April when I came to meet my principal and tour the school. When I came back in August, the office contained a desk, filing cabinet, u-shaped table, and five chairs. While the furniture was there to fill up the space, I was still missing a crucial part - all of the counseling materials. Luckily, I have been a packrat since graduate school and have been collecting materials, lessons, books, and other resources. I was able to fill up the office pretty well without having to purchase very much. I have pictures that I will include in another post.

I am very excited to be starting my own program and having the freedom to define my role in the school community. It has been thrilling and stressful all at the same time. I am modeling my new program after my program in VA, with a few changes. I have been trying to get as much information about my program through my website, newsletters, notes home, and at both Back to School Nights. I am working on educating the student, parents, and faculty about what a school counselor is and what a school counselor does.

The one thing that I am still struggling with is having a professional network. In VA, I had a great network of school counselors in both public and Catholic schools. The Diocese of Arlington held several school counselor meetings each year and we were able to communicate with one another through online forums in between meetings. Although one of my friends in St. Louis is a public school counselor, I have not been able to form a solid network of Catholic school counselors.

I am hoping to keep up with my blog to help me chronicle the start of my new counseling program. Here's to a new school year, a new program, and a new life in St. Louis!

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