A Fresh Lens

Our school is being mentored by another school in NY as part of a grant project.  It has been a great learning experience for everyone who was involved but today was the icing on the cake.  I got to spend the day at their school.

A group of us left this morning at 7am and drove to our mentor school.  We arrived by 8:30 and went straight into a team meeting.  It was interesting how differently theirs was run in comparison to ours.  After team we met as a group in a conference room and talked about our plans and ideals.  We continued this conversation through lunch and then I was able to break out with Jen, their school counselor.  Jen was great!  I saw her office, learned how she structured her time, and what her typical week looked like.  We talked about master schedules, our roles within our buildings and things we struggled with and what we did that worked well.  We each are a department of 1 school counselor in our respective buildings, so I know that we both relished the opportunity to meet.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to try different things now that I was given a new lens to look through.

I love my PLN on Twitter and Facebook, but having a face-to-face sit down at another school was more than fantastic.  I am ready to visit other local schools and would love to share this experience at our next local counselor association meeting.  Maybe the other counselors in my area would like to do this.

Sometimes a fresh lens is really all we need to both appreciate what we have and recognize the areas we need to change.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy, and a field trip to a nearby school can be just motivation to make the changes you need to do so.

I am really interested in how other schools/counselors are building a master schedule, how their team times are structured, what their RtI process looks like, handle counseling caseloads, do group counseling, and structure their day.  It would be really nice for other counselors out there to share what you do.  Please join me in this conversation.  It really could be the fresh lens someone is looking for.

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