Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Student Picnic & Bookmarks

We have more than 40 new students to Lee Elementary this school year!  Over the next few days I will be meeting with each grade level's new students to welcome them to our family.  We will meet outside the cafeteria, then walk outside together to the picnic tables to meet other new students, talk about our worries, ask questions, get to know each other, and enjoy some yummy ORANGES too!

During the picnic I took pictures of each of the students to make them personalized bookmarks.  The bookmark will help them remember that I am here for them when they need something.

Each bookmark says: "Hang in there! You'll have a great year at Lee! Love, Ms. Sepp"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Feeling Puzzled?!?!

This week I will spend a lot of my time introducing myself to students and explaining what a school counselor can help you with at school.  I created this bulletin board (inspired by Danielle Schultz) in our main hallway downstairs for students to see examples of what I can do for them.

Below is a close-up of some of the ideas:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to a new school year! I have taken a new job this school year as the elementary counselor at Lee Elementary. I am so excited to meet all your wonderful children and become a part of your family!

I will be doing lessons the first few weeks of school on getting to know the counselor, breaking the ice activities, the word confidentiality, and I also share with the students ways that they can notify me that they would like to visit.  It's important to discuss different things that a student may want to come to talk to the counselor about.

If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by and chat! Students can fill out self-referral forms and place them in the "Monster Mailbox" outside my office to see me.


Who is the guidance counselor and what does she do at my school?

I found this creative idea on Karin Thiele's blog, School Counselor Blog, and thought it was perfect for helping students understand the multitude of ways I can help them at school!  During the first week of school I plan on visiting each classroom to introduce myself and give them a taste of what they have in store for the year with me.  First, ask for volunteers to come up and help explain the guidance program on our campus.  Make sure they are comfortable with wearing a disguise!  Each student will receive some costume pieces to put on for the class.  Then, ask the remaining students about their observations of their disguised classmates.  Pay close attention to what they notice and elaborate on how it describes each role of a school counselor:

Clown Wig – “Coming to see the counselor is no big HAIRY deal.”
I enjoy seeing all students at Lee Elementary. I am here for each and every one of you. It’s a really good thing to be able to come down to my room, sit, and visit with me about whatever you choose.

Big Ears - “If you come visit me, I’ll be all EARS.”
I am all EARS! I love listening to all of you, and I am looking forward to getting to know you better.

Big Glasses – “Maybe I can help you SEE things a little more clearly.”
I am here to help you see things from another person’s viewpoint. There is always more than one way look at things, especially when there are disagreements between people.

Animal Nose – “I promise I won’t try to NOSE into your business.”
I will try not to be NOSEY about you I care about all of you and if I can ever help you, please let me know. I will not nose into your business, unless you want me to.

Mask – So the next time you’re NOT FEELING LIKE YOURSELF . . .”
Sometimes we are happy, sad, frightened, mad, confused, upset, or excited. WE all have these feelings, and it’s OK.

Clown Shoes and Gloves – STEP into my office and let me give you a HAND with your problem. That is what I am here for. 

Original idea from K Thiele. (2010, September 14). Getting to know the counselor [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monster Repellant Spray for Anxious Bedtimes

For those young ones who believe there is a monster in their closet or under the bed, try...

 Retrieved from:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Transitioning Back Into School

Read through this great checklist from iMOM of how to prepare your child for the back to school routine...

Back to School Tips

Connecting with Your Child’s School Counselor for a Successful School Year from the American School Counselor Association

1. Understand the expertise and responsibilities of your child’s school counselor. School counselors make a measurable impact in every student’s life, assisting with academic, career and personal/social development.  Professional school counselors are trained in both educating and counseling, allowing them to function as a facilitator between parents, teachers and the student in matters concerning the student’s goals, abilities and any areas needing improvement. School counselors provide services not only to students in need, but to all students.

2. Meet or contact your child’s school counselor at least three times per school year. The beginning of a school year is an excellent opportunity to initiate contact with your child’s school counselor and doing so can ensure your child’s positive school experience. Find out who the counselor is and what his or her experience and background are.  By communicating with one another at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year, parents and counselors can have a definite impact on a child’s success.

3. Discuss your child’s challenges and concerns with the school counselor. As a parent, you know your child best.  However, the school counselor can help you better understand your child as a student.  It’s important to encourage your child’s expression of needs, hopes and frustrations.  School counselors are trained to help your children. 

4. Learn about your child’s school and social connections from the school counselor. When you need information or assistance, your child’s school counselor can help you get in touch with the appropriate school officials; learn about school policies on behavior, attendance, and dress; know the school calendar of important dates and stay connected with the school in many other ways. The school counselor can also help you locate resources in the community when you need them.

5. Work with the school counselor to identify resources and find solutions to problems. If your child is having a problem at school, it is important to work with your child’s school counselor to find solutions.  Discuss resources available within and outside of the school, and get information on how such programs can benefit your child.  Your school counselor can be a valuable partner in your child’s education and preparation for life beyond school.

ASCA. Back-to-school tips [Web log post]. Retrieved from