Recently, I was taught how to download YouTube videos to use with my students. A very techy co-worker taught me, and now I'm obsessed! I have been finding tons of videos that are great to use in classroom lessons. Pixar make great short films that have meaningful messages for our kids. Here are two of my favorites that address differences.
Day and Night
I love this video! It is so entertaining. It is a great way to teach children about differences. It can lead to discussions on what makes people different. It is important to talk about things that the two have in common as well. When using this video in a classroom, I would follow it with a Venn Diagram group activity. I would pair the students to complete a Venn Diagram about characteristics they have that make them alike and different.
For the Birds
It doesn't matter what age you are, you will think this short film is so funny! This video is another great way to talk about differences we have. I love that this movie address how we should treat people that are different than we are. In the video the birds don't make the best choices. They treat a bird who is different with disrespect. They make fun of the bird, they isolate the bird, and they gossip about the bird. All of these issues can be addressed using this video. Here is an activity page that goes along with this video.
I have always had a love for games. I have great childhood memorizes playing board and card games with my family. I'll admit that tradition continues now, even though we are all adults.
I love that I have a job that allows me to play games with children for a meaningful purpose. This past week I used the game Consequences with one of my students on a behavior plan. It was such a great experience I wanted to share it. She is a first grader that actually asked me to play the game as a reward for a week free of conduct marks. We had played the game earlier in the year before her behavior plan was written. When I agreed to play with her, she cheered! :)
I love using this game with kids. It can be used to emphasis so many different things. I like to make my own game cards in order to focus on the skills that specifically apply to the child I am working with. Here are a few examples.
Early I mentioned a behavior plan. I have attached an example of a behavior plan. I write these for my teachers, and the teachers implement them. This is partly because I have to travel between three locations, so I am not on one campus every day. However, counseling is always a part of behavior plans in order for me to monitor the plan according to the student's progress. I have generalized the plan in order to not compromise my student's plan.
The student whom I played Consequences with this week did great throughout the time she was on her behavior plan. She got her rewards four times over a period of about three months. I wrote notes to her parents and teacher every time she received a reward telling them how proud I was of her. The last time she reached her goal, in our Friday counseling session she told me that she thought she could continue her good behavior without the plan. I loved that she came to this conclusion on her own. The first week she was not on her behavior plan was this past week. She was conduct mark free for the week. I was SO proud. When asked how she felt about making good choices this week, the student cheered!
Behavior Plans are designed to be temporary. The goal is to aid in the student's progress. They are not meant to create dependency for the student.
Join the party!
When I interview I like to take a portfolio of some kinds. It helps my nerves to have something I can hold. My portfolio is like my security blanket. Inside I have my resume, cover letter, teaching and counseling philosophy, scope of practice, reference letters, example lessons, and some of my grad work. In one interview I went on, the head of personnel asked to copy my whole portfolio because she was so impressed by it. Portfolios are great to reference during the interview process.
What you wear is also very important. I always wear a dress suit or dress pants with a blazer and a bright solid color dress shirt under my jacket. I pick a bright solid color because I want the interviewers to remember me. Also, I always wear comfortable shoes. To me, comfortable shoes are a must. I want to feel comfortable and relaxed during the interview.
I believe you need to highlight your passion, knowledge, and personality.
* Your passion for counseling can set you apart from others. Talk about the parts of the job that you LOVE. Always answer with your students interests at heart. If you do this, they will see your passion for kids.
* It is important for you to completely explain your knowledge of counseling and what it should look like in a school setting. I would have a few new and innovative ideas to share which them, maybe about programs or lessons you want to implement.
* It is so important to show off your personality. It is important to answer the questions honestly and professionally, but your personality needs to shine through.
Expect for them to want you to understand the workings of a classroom and school building. For those of you that have not taught before, I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the school district you are applying to. For those of you that have taught, share your classroom experiences.
When interviewing with a private and/or Christian school, be prepared to talk about what counseling will look like in a setting different from a public school. Be prepared to answer the question: "Why did you want to become a counselor?"
This question will mostly likely be asked. Before I went on my first interview, I googled questions asked in school counseling interviews. I brainstormed answers to those questions. When I went in for my interview, it was like they were reading off the list I had looked at. I would suggest doing that to prepare for the questions they might ask.