The Spirited School Counselor

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Moving to the Middle School

Hi All,

I have exciting news to share, although if you follow me on twitter you already know this: I have officially accepted a middle school counseling position in Stafford County, Virginia! I am so excited to begin this adventure.

What does this mean for you?

I plan to change the blog theme since I am no longer “blogging through grad school, internship, and life.” Besides that I will still be posting information about what I am exploring as a professional, ideas I have found useful, and other things that I feel are relevant for aspiring and active school counselors. I do not expect or plan on only focusing on middle school. My heart and career has always focused on educating students of all ages. As a former preschool teacher I understand the importance of looking ahead as well as the past. My posts will reflect that.
Upcoming Posts

Since I just wrapped up the job hunting process for now I will be reflecting on the experience. Expect tips for applying for school counseling positions.

Look for a post about things to consider when looking for a school counseling graduate program.

Obviously this week is the ASCA conference in Orlando. I will be collecting exciting tips, quotes, and resources I have gathered while #NotatASCA14 through social media and the ASCA app.


Thanks for stopping by!



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#NotAtASCA14 – Top 5 Tips for the ASCA 2014 Conference (from home).

Untitled design (5)Not going to the ASCA conference this year? Afraid you are missing out on ALL the great information being shared in Orlando?
Have no fear! Below you will find my top 5 tips to getting the most out of the ASCA conference from HOME.


Last summer was the first summer I was aware of this magical conference held by the American School Counselor Association each year. I attended the VCA conference in November, 2012 and I became interested in going to as many conferences as possible… then reality set in. I was a graduate student on a shoestring budget. There was no way I could afford to go to ASCA last year (or this year, for that matter). With that said, I made the most of the conference from my couch. Yes, you read that correctly – my couch! As I prepare to enjoy ASCA 2014 from my home again this year I thought I would share a few tricks I picked up last year.


1. Use Twittertwitter

I finally learned how to use Twitter last summer during the ASCA conference. I was surprised and amazed by the number of people posting information, quotes, links, and pictures while attending ASCA. If you are not sure how to use twitter or where to begin read this article on SCOPE by Danielle Schultz from School Counselor Blog. You can also follow Danielle (@sch_counselor), as well Dr. Erin Mason (@ecmmason), the creator of SCOPE, on twitter. You can also follow me @ElizabethVASC.

Here are some great hashtags (#) to use during the conference: #ASCA14 #NotAtASCA14 #scchat #sccrowd  Towards the end of #ASCA14 you will likely see mentions of #ASCA15 as well. Searching for these hashtags will also help you connect with other school counselors from around the world. To really connect with them, join the conversation! Not sure what a hashtag is exactly? Let Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake explain (okay maybe it is not an explanation but it makes me laugh). The edublogger has a great article about using twitter for your professional development and HOW to use it successfully.


2. Use Tagboard.tagboard

Tagboard is awesome. Amber Shepherd (@AmberShepherd) reminded me of this fun website at the Virginia School Counselor Association conference this past March during her tech presentation. Tagboard is a website that collects information from all of the social media sites to create a board for a specific hashtag. By using the same hashtags above you can find tagboards are being created and constantly changing: #ASCA14, #NotAtASCA14, #scchat, #sccrowd


3. Use the ASCA AppASCA2014

ASCA has created an app, as well as a websiteWhen you open the website you will see in the top right hand corner links to the google play store and the apple store. You can download the app there. Here you will find the handouts that presenters have submitted to them. I found this EXTREMELY helpful last year and am already so excited by the great resources available this year. I wish I was able to attend many of these sessions, but this is the next best thing. I also so very grateful that presenters submit handouts to be shared. It really is helpful and greatly appreciated


4. Live Streaming. obama

This year the First Lady Michelle Obama will be speaking at the national conference. ASCA will be live streaming her speech for all of us to enjoy. The ASCA website says to check in to their site around 11:45 on Tuesday, July 1 to be able to watch for free. I plan on trying to check in a little earlier than that if possible. I also read that the screen will remain black until the First Lady takes the stage so do not be alarmed if nothing is showing up on your screen immediately. If you would like you can also live stream more of the conference for a fee. It costs $99 to register for one day of live streaming or to view the pre-conference RAMP information session or you can pay $199 to view three and a half days worth of conference sessions. Please note that the sessions are pre-selected for live streaming and are listed on the registration site.


5. Enjoy! LEARN-pic-4

Last year I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I was receiving from the conference and I wasn’t actually in attendance. The good news is that twitter hashtags, tagboards, the ASCA app, and all of the resources you are sure to hear about will be available after the conference is over. Enjoy gathering information and resources, as well as connecting with others who are either at home or in Orlando.


What are your tips for a successful #ASCA14 conference even if you are #NotAtASCA14 ?


Thanks for stopping by!


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Crosswalking Standards


Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post below are “affiliated links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item I will receive a small commission. With that said, I only recommend items that I have found useful as a school counselor and educator. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Recently I wrote about two lessons (mindfulness & Maya Angelou) that involved crosswalking school counseling standards with learning standards. In Virginia we have our own Standards of Learning (SOLs), but I understand many states use the Common Core Standards. No matter what learning standards your state’s Department of Education uses you can still crosswalk standards.


What is crosswalking?

Crosswalking is creating a lesson that covers standards from one of more subjects. For example, I created a GRIP to display data from a Salvaging Sisterhood group I did this past spring with middle school girls. Within the GRIP I stated the standards I was meeting, since addressing the standards would help us meet our goal for the group. Within the GRIP I list the ASCA student standards, the VA School Counseling Standards, and the Virginia SOLs covered during the five weeks we met.

Is it a lot of work?

Initially I thought it would be a ton of work, but once I became familiar with the SOLs it became much easier for me to align my lessons with all three sets of standards.

Why do it?

If teachers know that you are willing to address standards that they are also addressing in their classroom then it makes collaboration a lot easier. It also may make some teachers more willing to give up instructional time if they see that you are also covering learning standards during your classroom counseling lessons.

Are there any resources to help?

Of course! Check these out:

Wisconsin School Counseling Benchmarks Crosswalked

This website has examples of how school counselors in Altoona crosswalked school counseling standards with learning standards in grades 4, 8, 12. It is a great example to view. I could see using these documents as a template in the future.

The Center for Excellence in School Counseling & Leadership (CESCaL)

CESCaL has A TON of resources on crosswalking. I haven’t looked through them all since there are so many but hopefully you can find something that fits your needs here. You do have to have a log in but it is free. To find the resources just click on the ASCA model tab at the top of the home page. You should be able to find information on crosswalking at the top, under foundation.

ASCA National Standards: Developmental Crossswalk Tool

This tool lists all of the ASCA standards, as well as boxes to check off the standards you have covered. This could be extremely useful when planning your school counseling program for the year. It has the standards broken down by domain and then has separate check boxes for the grade levels.

Here you can find an example of the ASCA form filled in, but you have to be signed into CESCaL (its free to register!).

Virginia School Counseling Standards Crosswalk Tool 

Starting on page 30 you will find all the school counseling standards are written out and then an area to plan out activities or lessons to cover this topic.

West Virginia Crosswalk Tool

This tool lists the school counseling standards and then has areas to mark or make notes in relating to core content areas. Check out Appendix E to see what I am talking about.

Also try doing a Google search for your state + school counseling crosswalk standards to see if someone has a template that would be more applicable to you.

Thanks for stopping by!