Polka Dots

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to School 2013 and Goals

I can't believe that my last post was from the beginning of LAST school year! I am going to try to do better - I'd even be happy with one update a week!

This year there are a lot of changes - several new faculty members, a couple teachers changed grades, almost every single classroom physically moved, the addition of two Junior Kindergarten classes, and I (with the help of a wonderful committee) am launching a new virtue-based program school-wide!

My office stayed in the same location - in the basement, still no window - but the middle school (grades 5-8) moved downstairs with me. It's very different being close to the "big kids". I have a few friends that stop by to say "hi" or wave as they walk by, but other than that, they are more concerned with carrying their heavy loads of books and changing classes. I guess that's a good thing but I always enjoyed waving to all the little ones as they passed.

 I added a new sign to my door - My door is closed... Please leave me a note - right above the handle. I am still pumping after lunch for my almost 10 month old daughter, so I'm hoping that this will help some of the "Mrs. Polan??? Are you in there???" *knocking, handle jiggling, more knocking*

I have also included some "Let's Talk" notes next to the door (pink sheets). Most of the younger grades get the sheets from their teachers, but I figured the middle schoolers might prefer to pick up their own when walking by. And my office is right across from the bathrooms (so glamorous), perfect for middle schoolers wanting to stop by without making a scene.

 The inside of my office is pretty much the same. I did get a "new" chair for in front of my desk. I thought that it would be nice to have an adult sized chair for parents and teachers to sit in when we meet. When I meet with multiple adults, we have to sit at the table, but if just one stops by, I like to have options. I always let the parent decide where they would like to sit.

My desk and individual counseling area haven't changed very much. A few new posters and my "new" parent chair, but other than that - same ol', same ol'.

My bookshelves. The left side holds all of my counseling resources, binders, grad school books, and counseling publications. The right side has picture books, craft and game supplies, coloring supplies, and a rice tray. I got the small crate from a teacher that was leaving last year. It was a faded maroon color and had math curriculum stickers all over it. I spent WAY too much time trying to get the stickers off. After a lot of Goo Gone and some elbow grease, it was finally clean and I gave it a nice coat of turquoise spray paint. I used the same paint to spray a thrifted frame, added some yellow/white chevron fabric, and an adorable picture of my little girl.

I asked for a drop ceiling for my office over the summer and really thought that I was going to get one. But I got an email from the maintenance supervisor over the summer saying that they could not put one in. So my office still has exposed pipes and duct work. I'm not a fan of the "industrial look" but I have to make do with what I have! 

Goals for the 2013-2014 School Year
  • Update my blog at least once a week!
  • Do at least one Pinterest inspired project for every 10 that I pin - especially for school and home improvement projects. 
  • No school outfit repeats - this is a goal every year, but I'm hoping to do a better job of mixing pieces rather than repeating the exact same outfits.
  • Provide at least one parent educational opportunity - I've already got this one in the works!
  • Provide four rounds of small groups for grades 1-5. 
  • Revamp my middle school small group curriculum. I have one group that has been successful in the past but I would love to include a new one. It's hard to get the parents AND the students on board at the middle school level. 
I'm sure there will be more as the year goes on, but that's what I'm starting with!

Here's to another great year! My 3rd at my current school and my 6th as a school counselor!

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