Yeah! We hit the print button today and 360 schedules rolled across the printer. I have worked 18 days this summer so far and I still have 2 to go. Most years I am still working on the final touches of the master schedule. Tweeking study halls, making sure all teachers have the right amount of classes and duties, adding AIS, making adjustments due to special requests. Right now, I feel good about all of this; even despite the fact that on Friday I lost everything. I stared at a blank screen. All of my hand scheduling, all of my adjustments, all of my “perfection” was lost when I had to move one last class. My advice to everyone who has anything to do with schedules, is to save all your notes, until school is well underway. My notes saved me from countless hours of work. Even with all the worry and sadness that I was experencing on Friday, I was able to recreate, without much pain, all the work that took the previous 17 summer work days.
So at 10:20 this morning, we hit print. But, now what?
One of the first things I wanted to do was get a Back To School Newsletter out and in the mail with the schedules. It is important to inform everyone what your plans are for the year. Since most of my newsletters are 4 pages long, I didn’t have enought material to cover that many pages. I decided on a 2 page, or front and back, newletter.
I tried to focus on several things:
- Something for students–Four Things To Do To Get Ready For School
- Something for parents–Coffee With The Counselor
- Something for our community–Fall Clothing Swap
- Something about my program–LMS Guidance Projects
- Something about our school–Dates To Know and Welcome Back Students!
This has been a pretty good rule for me to follow when putting together a newsletter. It’s a bit simplistic, but many parents have commented that they find them to be informative.
The last 2 days of work, will focus more on what my program will look like over the course of the school year. If you are a counselor, you really need to plan out your year. While my year is not 100% planned, I did gather many of the materials I will need to sketch it out before our school year begins. I will post again when my year is planned, but here is what I have gathered together to map it all out:
- 10 month calendar
- schedule of all know meetings–faculty meetings, known RtI meetings, Crisis Team meetings, department meetings, upcoming CSE dates, etc
- school year calendar
- upcoming trainings and conferences
- testing dates
- report card marking periods
- list of personal accomplishments
- list of groups
- list of individual and group counseling needs
- list of counseling projects I want to accomplish
- special days–like Mix It Up Day, Spirit Week, National School Counseling Week, etc
- themes I would like to incorporate into my program
While this is not everything, it is a pretty big list to start building into the school year. Hopefully by the end of this week, I will have more to post and a schedule to show you.
So, what do you put into your calendar? How do you plan out your year? What are your special projects that you build into your program?
Let me know. Add your comment below or join in the conversation with The Middle School Counselor by one of the ways below: