Polka Dots

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back to School

Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year! We have been in school for about 3 weeks now, so I figured that it was time to update my blog. 

As always, I'm hoping that this school year goes smoothly and that I am able to assist my students in any way that I can. This year will be a little different, though. I am expecting my first child in November, so I will be out on maternity leave for a few months. I have been working very hard to get everything organized for my absence. I have also been combing through my calendar, trying to optimize the time that I will be in school, fitting in as many lessons, groups, and individual meetings as possible. 

My office is virtually the same as last year, with a few additions. Thanks to my nesting sprees, I have been organizing my filing cabinets and shelves. I have also created several great office items on VistaPrint (more on that later).

Here is my door. I still have my "Mrs. Polan" sign that I made last year and my "counselor" window cover. I found some great posters on Pinterest and made a counselor poster on VistaPrint. I'm hoping that my door is inviting and makes the students want to come in. The door is usually open unless I am meeting with students. The younger students love to wave to me if I am at my desk when they walk by and I often get a few drop-ins who just want a check in. My office is in the basement, along with 3rd, 4th, 5th, a computer lab, and the Spanish classroom. All classes have Spanish at least once a week, so I do get the opportunity to see the students as they walk by. I would love a more centrally located office, along with a window, and a drop ceiling, but the office works just fine for me and the students. 

 Here is a view of my desk and one filing cabinet. This is probably the cleanest my desk will ever be. I spent some time right before school started to organize my small filing cabinet attached to my desk as well as both of my larger cabinets. I also found a cute little magnetic chalkboard at a garage sale this summer. It needed a fresh coat of spray paint and a fun ribbon. It holds the school monthly calendar and any notes and reminders. 

 In front of my desk is my group counseling table. I can fit myself and 6 students at the table, although my middle school students make it a pretty tight squeeze. If I am meeting with a middle school group, I usually borrow a classroom so that we have a little more elbow room. You can also see two banners that I created on VistaPrint. I am just about to start my lunch groups in all grades. I am hoping to get one round in before I go on leave and hopefully two rounds when I get back.  

Here is a view of my desk and individual counseling area. Same rug and chair as last year. You can also see my shelves in the background. I would love some hidden storage, but the open shelving helps me to keep everything organized. I keep all of my counseling supplies in bins, baskets, and binders. I am also working on cataloguing all of my counseling books. I'll have another post on that once I get that project underway. 

So that's my 2012-2013 office. I'll go into more detail about my VistaPrint orders, book cataloging, and some counseling documents that I created over the summer to help me stay organized. 

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