Friday, August 26, 2016

Welcome Back!!

What a great week back it has been!! It's always a little hard getting adjusted to waking up early again and getting back in the routine of things, but I am excited to start another school year off at OHE! This summer I had some fun and was able to travel to Alaska and then Lake Tahoe! They were both absolutely gorgeous and gave me the relaxation I needed so I could come back ready for a new year!
Here are some pictures from the Alaskan cruise I went on with my family:

Here are some photos from my trip to Lake Tahoe with my boyfriend:

Just a small peak into my summer!

If you are new to OHE, welcome!! Please check out the different sections of my blog to find out more about what my role is as a school counselor on our campus. I will be in your child's classroom once every other week teaching guidance lessons on various topics. I do individual counseling for students who have bigger problems they can't solve on their own or with the help of family and friends. I also do small group counseling where students who have similar issues can all work together with me in a group while they eat lunch. I am in charge of our Social Emotional Learning program and also our No Place for Hate program. I do many other things on campus, but those are the main areas I serve. 

Please let me know if you ever need anything from me and look for my blog to come out hopefully every other week! I usually blog about what I am working on with your children in the classrooms, so you can stay in the loop with guidance counseling. I will also blog about tips for home or events that may be coming up that would be useful to you. 

I also have a half-time counseling partner at OHE, Mayra Rosales! She will be serving the dual language classes for individual/small group classrooms, but we will mix up the class for guidance lessons so they can all get to know both of us. Please let us know if you ever have any questions or need anything!! 

Here is a link to some great resources for helping your children with any "Back to School" anxiety they may experiencing!

Have a great weekend!! :-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Student Council, Counselor for the Day, and Teamwork

Wow! We are just one day away from the school year being over! I can never believe how fast it goes once I am at the end. It has been a busy few weeks as a counselor and I wanted to be sure to share some of the fun end of the year things we had going on. First, Alexis from Mrs. Faulkner's class won the opportunity, through Silent Auction, to be Counselor for the Day. She was such a wonderful counselor and she even got to wear her own badge!

She helped me teach all my lessons in K-2nd grade! We did an activity focusing on being friends with all different types of people, learning to get along, and teamwork. First we watched a video clip of animals you normally wouldn't see together, cuddling and getting along great. Then, we played a game where two teams worked to get their whole team inside of a circle on the carpet as soon as they heard my music stop. They had to get the whole team in there quicker than the other team. This got trickier and really took teamwork as I made the circle smaller each round! We then talked about what they didn't do so well as a team, and what went great. We have to work in teams or with different people in some aspect of our lives, pretty much forever. The earlier we start working on these skills, the easier it will be to be part of a team and work together with people in the future. Alexis did such a great job helping me to get the game set up and going! I took her to Austin Pizza Garden with a friend of her choice as a thank you for all her hard work as a counselor. ;-)

Student Council 5th grade students got to go to the Leadership Symposium at the Blanton Museum of Art where they learned about Social Emotional Learning (SEL), being a leader, cultural differences, listened to a presentation by Dr. Cruz on leadership, and got to take a walk through the art gallery and have discussions on different art pieces, relating them to leadership. It was so much fun and I am glad we got to be a part of that. 

Finally, I ended the last two weeks with being in 3rd-5th grade classes also teaching about teamwork and getting along despite our differences. We also worked in two teams, like the younger grades, but we played "Human Knot" instead of our "Musical Teamwork" game. I had the two teams join hands with people opposite of them in a circle, which really mixed them all up and made them into a "human knot". They then had to try to untangle their team and get back into a circle without letting their hands go. This was tough and took a lot of communication and teamwork, but they were able to do it!! We talked about what makes a good team (communication, cooperation, being good sports, not letting each other down, being positive, helping each other, etc.). Next year they will have a whole new team to work with in their classes and we talked about how they don't get to choose their "team," so we have to all learn how to get along and work together. :-)

It has been such an amazing school year and I look forward to many more at OHE! To all the 5th graders moving on to middle school, know I will miss each and every one of you and I wish you nothing but the best. You all will do great!! 

I will be in Alaska with my family on an Alaskan cruise and then a day in Vancouver, B.C. in just 4 more days!!! I am very excited and looking forward to some downtime. 

I hope you all have a wonderful summer break!! 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Student Council End of the Year Field Trip and Celebration

It seems as though we were just inducting our Student Council members, and here we are already at the end, rewarding them for all the hard work they have done this year! On Friday of last week, we were able to do one more volunteer project for our community by visiting the Austin Diaper Bank and helping to package diapers for low-income families who cannot afford them for their babies. The kids were admittedly unsure of what it would be like when I mentioned we were going to a Diaper Bank; and I may have joked with them and said we would be changing babies diapers ;-)...BUT they LOVED it!!! They had so much fun getting to wrap the diapers up and some kids got to even take inventory while they were there. A few of our members decorated boxes that would be packaged and sent to organizations who help low-income families with painted hand prints and some worked on a "thank you" poster for a church that donated diapers to the Austin Diaper Bank. The majority of our members worked on the wrapping and counting of the diapers, which all of the kids said was a lot of fun! They were so quick, efficient, and really got into it, that we finished pretty quickly, so the coordinator had to find more for us to do! She was quite pleased with our group and was surprised at how quickly and well they worked. Here are some action shots from all our hard work!






After all their hard work at the Austin Diaper Bank, they were rewarded by going to Gatti Town to have a pizza celebration and play some arcade games! We also held our last Student Council meeting of the year with the Oak Hill Rotary Club while we were there and the Oak Hill Rotary Club provided them with certificates (for everyone) and plaques (for the officers)! We owe a big thank you to the Oak Hill Rotary Club, and specifically Tom Cripps, for all their help this year with our Student Council! They paid for our celebration at Gatti Town, helped us organize many of our events, helped pay a portion of our t-shirt costs, and have made donations to many of our service projects this year! I also want to give a big thank you to the parent volunteers who have helped this year! Our Vice President, Brini's, mom, Missy Bourque, has helped volunteer at every single one of our events in some capacity, even while having a full-time job, and because of this was named our Austin Partners in Education Volunteer of the Year. Also, accompanying us on this field trip was Lisa Moe and Marisa Fernandez, who we we were so thankful to have along to help us!! We have had many other parents involved throughout the year, and it is too hard to name you all, but know we appreciate you and everything you have done!! Here are some pictures from our celebration! 

Thanks to everyone who has supported Student Council and our service projects in any way, shape, or form!! We couldn't have had a successful year without the help and involvement of our whole school! :-)