Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Perceived Roles

High School Guidance Counselor...A couple of years ago when I was in high school.  I thought that Counselor was there to help me with my huge live problems(teenage Timothy). I thought their was a chair in which i could lay down and say, "Back when I was five," type deal. However I soon realized that they have a somewhat different purpose.  To either assign students to College Prep or Technical Prep. I now know from being a Teacher that the Guidance Counselor does more than simply put students into classes. They also print out transcripts, tell students about scholarship's other than HOPE, and somehow make sure that students are on track to graduate. Other than this I wait too see what the research will show me.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

sunshine and 70s please

Snow sounded like a great thing to start with but it really has missed up my classes. Its hard get everything in that you are supposed at best. With the last few weeks its been impossible. Go to school two days, out two days, come back for a day. I can't focus any better than the students can. My kids go to school in a different school district so they were out on days we went to school, and at school on days we were out. I hope all the snow is gone for good. I'm ready for sunny and 70s.

Snow days

Where do I start? At first I thought it would be nice to have a couple of days off because of the snow, I mean who wouldn’t want the time off to relax and maybe even play in the snow. Well let me tell you, not me because I have learned my lesson. The days have messed up my schedule in class and now I feel I’m behind and time is running out. HELP ME!!!!!! I don’t want to rush anything but I feel I have to hurry up and catch up because before I know it, the students will be gone. Is it me or does someone else feel this way?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hip Hip Snow Day!!

I am such a child at heart I was just too excited about the snow days! I was seriously the same staring out the window waiting for it to fall, changing clothes 3 times because I was wet from snow ball fights, snowman making, frozen nose and fingers child as I remember. Nothing excites me more than snow. I had a blast. I took off my teacher hat completely! I didn't think of work or school at all. I've come to the realization that if I decide to be OFF, than that's just what I need to be. I am at work enough of the time so I shouldn't be working while I am at home. It's kind of hard to do at first but once I go the hang of it, I felt so much less stressed and more relaxed. Now it does mean that when I am at work, I WORK. I don't have time to relax a little between tasks. I am pedal to the metal working. But it feels nice knowing that when I leave work, I'm not dragging home projects that need to be graded or tests. I am simply off. Now I do think of my kids and often think of ways I will better my lessons but I don't designate time during my off days to finish tasks from the week before. You all should try it. Totally makes me happy, it may you too!

Atlanta Snowmageddon 2014

While I'd like to keep working through Prosser's theorems, I think this is a good week to take a break and talk about "us." Please put on your "teacher hat" and your "favorite hat" to answer the following: How have the snow days and time away from school affected you? The snow days and time away from school has been positive from a relaxation point of view. I am mildly dreading our return to school for a few different reasons. Partly because the students act as though they have forgotten every classroom management technique that has been presented to them. It's always a battle the first few days back getting the students back on track. We have less time to prepare for the HOSA state leadership conference and the students are worried. We haven't had much time to fundraise and to prepare the students for competition. I have caught up on a lot of school work for myself and paperwork for both of my positions. Getting back into the swing of things will be difficult but I'm optimistic we can handle it.


Snow days in Georgia! I grew up in this state, meaning I spent 14 years in public schools here (pre-school included). During those 14 years I think I experienced 2 snow days, this year, we have had 4 and 1/2 snow days in 2 separate occasions. I have heard rumors that because the time was claimed to be a state of emergency by the governor that the students will not have to make up the lost time. This is a place of concern for me, though a free day off is nice, not at the expense of increased stress. Trying to hit all the standards and teach the students all they need to be prepared for the next classes, S.L.O., and or the end of pathway testing is hard enough in the time given, now we are a week behind! I did use the time to get some planning for projects done and grading, as well as some much needed relaxation. All and all the snow was a bit of a blessing for the break it gave, and a bit of a nuisance because of the time crunch it caused.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snowmaggeddon 2014

In the wake of the culmination of two weeks total of snow days, I must say my teaching anchor has been shifted. It's like there is this massive side that says thank goodness for the time off, while the other side says, days are ticking like a watch, never to be given back. In these times like this week I am, indeed, thankful for the time off to be closer to family and friends, but at the same time I yearn to be back in the classroom.

So many of my kids are different than last semester's and it pains me that there are several of them I simply have not connected to like I did the kids in first semester. I don't know what it is but I feel like all of these snow days have put a DENT in the proverbial learning curve. We honestly have not had a solid week of instruction at all this semester, unless it was spent on catch up, and even then it's a mute point.

I have tried to diversify my videos and lectures to what I can share on but that, I feel, is still not enough. I have more kids this semester more interested in Twitter and Facebook posts than giving concrete and sound input to my class and the separation anxiety I feel from the weeks of disruption only compounds this feeling.

My only hope is the coming weeks will have more continuity and I can reach these kids on a level at least SOMEWHAT to how I did first semester, Then , maybe, just maybe, I can reach them and share some knowledge with them that they will take beyond the brick and mortar walls of my classroom.

Mr. H.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow talk

For me, the snow days fell right before our winter break, so we were out for three days and then had a planning day, and are now out for an entire week. This unexpected time allowed me to catch up on many things I needed to work on including lesson plans and grades. This time also allowed me time for reflection and relaxation. I know that sounds crazy, but I have been overwhelmed this year with TKES, NTI, SLO's, and many other responsibilities. So, this time has been really good for me to catch up and renew my mind and spirit. I think this is critical especially for new teachers that can easily get burnt out quickly with all the demands put on them today. So over the snow days, I wore several different hats--all of which I feel helped make me much more productive. In the end, we all know that being flexible is a must as educators--last week was another lesson learned.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Mixed Feelings Toward the Snow

I have been thoroughly torn by all of the snow days we have experienced in Cobb County thus far this winter. The teacher/coach (adult) in me is not very happy. Each of my classes now has a week of catch up to do. We will endeavor to get the most important information taken care of so we can move forward with the rest of the semester; I have no doubt about that. In addition to my classes being behind, the off days could not have come at a worse time for the team I coach.

We were playing well heading into the end stretch of the regular season when the first snow occurred. Since that time we have had to cram multiple games into the few school days we had available with few practices in between. The second snow storm has only added to our time off and right before the Region Tournament. With little time to prepare for the most important game of the year I am very frustrated at the timing of it all.

Then there is the other (kid) me. As a child growing up in Georgia snow came rarely, maybe once every other year or two. This meant whenever snow did occur it was a big deal. Fast-forward to the present and the kid in me still relishes the excitement of seeing those magical white flakes pouring down from the sky. In addition, I have two children which show the same level of exhilaration I did during times of snowy weather.

Therefore, I am torn by all of this weather generated time off. I guess as long as I can get the important school related items done; the kid in me can still enjoy the snow.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

sNOw Thank You

I can honestly say that I am not one of the teachers glued to the television or my phone waiting on a snow day to be announced. I love my job, I love my kids, and I certainly love being in the classroom. I want to be at school! I did take advantage of the break, but I haven't been doing very many school things. I have used my "off days" to catch up on a lot of personal tasks that have been put off as a result of being in school. I despise cold weather, so during this most recent snow day I was an absolute bear, and hibernated the entire time indoors, and didn't accomplish much of anything. I am also frustrated with the cold weather because I had a fun outdoor activity planned for my class this week, and now we have to move it indoors. Plus, if the proposal for "no make-up days" does not pass, I don't want to be in the classroom when it is nice outside.

Snow Days.....very beneficial

The snow days have been very beneficial for me. I've put on my teacher hat to catch up on assignments and I'm eventually going to grade some papers that I've been procrastinating on finishing. When my teachers hat is off, one thing that I love to do when I have the chance to do it, is simply relax. One thing I love to do is take naps which is definitely out of the question during the school day. Something else that I do is watch football. Football is one of my passions and I love to simply scribble plays on paper and diagram them on my computer (Don't judge me haha). That is one of the most therapeutic activities that I love to do and I can't get enough of it!! One thing that I've been watching that I enjoy is the winter olympics. During years past that's something I haven't been able to focus on since we all work during the day. It's good to watch them without doing anything rather than grading papers or doing homework. Overall the snow days are not bad and I enjoy any time when I can "recharge" my batteries (Even though we will probably have to make them up at the end of the school year). I would rather the state be more safe than sorry!!!

Snow Days and Hats

The decision to close school on Tuesday was a little upsetting because nothing happened weather wise. I guess everyone was "snow shy" because of the previous disaster that caused students, administrators, and teachers to be stuck in school and parents to be stuck out on the roads. On the bright side of things, the time off has allowed me the opportunity to take off my teacher hat and put on my reading cap. I love to read and sadly I haven't had the opportunity since I started teaching. Over the past two days I read a 468 page novel. It was so nice to cuddle up on the couch with my dog and my fuzzy blanket and get lost in the pages. While the unscheduled time off from school brings its own set of issues, I put those worries aside and just READ. Today I am refreshed and ready to tackle lesson plans, blogs, and webpage assignments!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Prosser Theorem 5

I do not agree with Prosser on Theorem 5--"Vocational education is not for everyone, but for those individuals who need it, want it, and are able to profit from it." Plain and simple, every student one day is going to have a job. Almost every job requires knowing some type of skill or skills. In today’s society, it is those with skills that are in high demand. So knowing all that, how could anyone really agree with this statement? I think the school systems that require students to complete a career pathway as a part of their graduation requirements have the right idea. All students need to explore career options while they can and many of them can learn the foundational skills needed to pursue whatever field they desire. But again, I want to emphasize that all students will have to seek employment one day, so why would all students not need some type of CTE/vocational instruction? In my opinion, they all do!

Strongly Disagree with Prosser

If I read Prosser's theory prior to becoming a teacher, I would probably agree with the theorum. However, after experiencing teaching students who first had no interest in graphic design then suddenly obtain a skill with interest proves this theory wrong. Not every student knows what they want out of life and vocational skills can help give direction. I have some students now telling me of their interest of pursuing a career in graphic design, whereas months ago they had no clue of any desired major. Students need the opportunity of experimenting and getting involved in hands-on projects. Technical classes are clearly the pathway to help give students the option of exploring a new career and thus gain a skill for life.

Prosser Theorem 3

I do agree with Prosser’s Theorem 3—it is essential that students be taught critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. It is also important that students be taught the hands-on skills needed to perform a particular job. In my area of public safety, students are taught the basics, such as the laws and procedures that they are to follow. However, they need to be able to think critically and work quickly to solve problems when they are in a law enforcement setting. The earlier a student can begin to learn these types of skills, the more successful they will ultimately be on the job. Thus, CTE programs are critical in our high schools to begin exposing students to the workplace and its demands prior to graduation. 

Prosser Theorem 5

I would have to disagree with the statement made in theorem 5. I believe there is a strong need for for vocational education in the development of a student regardless of their background or their goal. Without the vocational classes students do not get the same exposure to a work like environment, nor do they have the opportunity to experience or expound upon a number of psycho-motor skills not available in common core class. Further more Vocational Education offers students the ability to relate the things taught in a common core class to real world application. Another great purpose for vocation in high school is that it gives the opportunity for students to earn the ability to learn enough of a trade to come right out of high school making enough money to support themselves through college or support a family. Vocational employment may not be suitable for everyone but the experience that a student receives in a vocational classes. Lastly the value of safety, students in vocational class are exposed to an extensive course in safety in a number of areas. In my experience alone I have come across one hundred or more students that had never received a full course in fire safety, what to do if caught in a fire, how to handle a grease fire, and how to operate a fire extinguisher. All of which being extremely important, no mater what your choice in career.

Theorem 5

Let's continue to comment on the work of Prosser. Do you agree or disagree with theorem 5, "Vocational education is not for everyone, but for those individuals who need it, want it, and are able to profit from it." Justify your response. I agree with theorem 5 because the idea behind this theorem can be applied to any type of education, college prep or vocational. As it pertains to vocational education, I feel we all need a vocational educational skill. Some look down upon vocational education and the skills that come with the vocational educational system. In my personal opinion, because bachelor degrees are becoming the norm, vocational educational skills are very important in today's workforce. This is an example of how theorem 5 proves to be true; vocational education is not for everyone, it is for those who need it, want it, and are able to profit from it. Some individuals need vocational education to be productive citizens and make a living. Certifications such as CDL, CNA, and EMT are vital to our workforce. This is another example of how theorem 5 proves to be true.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Prosser got it wrong this time

“Vocational education is not for everyone, but for those individuals who need it, want it, and are able to profit from it.” – Prosser I completely disagree with Prosser’s Theorem 5 because I believe vocational education can benefit every student, in at least one way. I can attest that the majority of my students in Broadcast Video Production do not want necessarily want to go into the broadcast field upon graduation, but I guarantee they learn a skill in my class that will help them. No matter what path they decide on for their future, they will utilize the skills learned in Broadcast Video Production. By taking my classes, students will become a better writer, build confidence with public speaking, enhance their conversation skills, and they will get hands-on experience with basic technology that could help them in a wide array of career paths. I also disagree with the statement because I don’t think vocational education should be geared towards just the topic at hand. I think it is our responsibility as educators to add to the curriculum standards with real-life content and information that will benefit the student as they get older.

We need it, We want it, and YES we're able to profit from it.

"Vocational education is not for everyone, but for those individuals who need it, want it, and are able to profit from it." I definitely agree with Prosser's theorem 5. Vocational education is not for everyone. Some students have no desire to learn a vocational trade or skill while others can't seem to get enough. Typically hands on learners thrive when it comes to vocational education. In the work force vocational careers are mostly hands on careers. Not everyone is up for that kind of task. But those students who are interested give it their all, they work hard to become the best they can be, and they are proud of the career ready skills they've learned. They then take those skills and dive head first into the work force, some may go to technical college to pursue higher education but regardless they profit from vocational education. I am a product of vocational education and I have definitely profited from my experience.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I disagree with Theorem 5

I disagree with theorem 5, "Vocational Education is not for everyone but for those individuals who need it, want it, and able to perform it." If you really break down what vocational education is, it's essentially everything but sports, however, to a certain extent it is used in sports as well. If someone is a businessman, salesman, in the field of law, education, or medicine, vocational education covers all of that and more. The one factor that I believe that vocational education covers that a lot of people don't realize is it prepares people for the working world. Skills such as interview preparation, planning, and people skills all are learned in vocational education. In some Division I colleges there are professionals who are brought in to help athletes prepare for business interviews, how to dress, talk, and the basic do's and don't of the business world. Even with with sports, vocational education is a big part of collegiate athletics. When I think about the statement that vocational education is not important, I know for a fact that is not true because again every course that is taught in high school relates somehow to vocational education. How much of it us used after high school? I would say, "A lot."

Theorem 5

I do agree with theorem 5, vocational education is not for everyone and in the past two years I have seen it. There are quite a few students that are placed in my class that do not want to be in there and unfortunately they are not removed from the class either. These students know they were not “built” for this class and they show it. They do not want to get dirty and it seems they don’t have the motor skills needed for the tasks given. The subject itself does not interest these students so they end up failing the class because they do not work and instead just stand there, sad. So as I stated, I do with agree with theorem 5, not everyone is “built” to be a Doctor, Lawyer, Clerk, Automotive Technician, Dentist, etc. We all have different skills and it’s up to us to find them. Apparently we as educators have found ours and it’s up to the counselors and us both to help the students find theirs.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I disagree with Theorem 5

I always like to use the analogy of, "When are we EVER going to use trigonometry in our everyday lives?" The idea that you weigh a program based on if you are going to choose it because it suits all your given paths or goals such as healthcare or construction fields is a tough pill to swallow.

In following with my above comment, I feel like ANYONE can get SOMETHING from any CTAE/Vocational class if they are ever enrolled in one. I learned this year at the GACTE conference that all of our pathways teach the fundamentals of employability skills. If you look at the standard 1, it is broken down in to all sorts of meaningful chunks like communication, teamwork, problem solving skills, etc.

In thought of this I can tell you that I do believe that everyone can get at least something from a vocational/CTAE class so I do not agree with number 5.

Mixed Emotions

I have mixed emotions about this theorem. I do agree that Vocational education is not for everyone. There are some folks that are not hands on learners and/or performers. They would rather sit in an office behind a computer working with numbers instead of people or their hands. The portion of the theorem I am struggling with states that individuals "are able to profit from it". While the goal of Vocational education is to produce a highly trained workforce, not every student that goes through the Vocational education process will wind up in the field that they studied. If that is the case, does it mean that the student who received a Vocational education is not a success because they are not earning a living via that education? I believe that vocational education produces well rounded individuals that can succeed in a vocational or cerebral environment. Anyone that chooses Vocational education will learn soft skills, customer service skills, and money management skills in addition to the specialty tied to their degree. The experience of Vocational education is a profitable one even if you choose not to enter the field of your study.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

disagree with 5

I would have to disagree. Not every class is something that every student needs, but Vocational education as a whole offers something that is useful to everyone. When I first read this I was reminded of a demo we did this summer at N.T.I. Terry did his on writing a check. When he began to talk about teaching this in his class, I remember thinking “this is something every student should learn”. I was impressed that they had to write down their transaction in their register, and keep a balance. I have also heard this theory from some students, that state “I’m not gonna be a construction worker”. I answer them with this question “are you going to live in a house?” Usually they say yes and I explain to them that if they need a carpenter to come to their house that it will usually cost a minimum of $150.00. I continue with “if you can nail on a shingle, or unclog your drain, or put on a door knob yourself, you have saved lots of your hard earned money. Every student that Cabrera teaches isn’t going to be a technician, but they will all need their oil changed at some time. Career Tech or Vocational Education, whatever you call it has lifelong benefits that everyone needs in one way or another.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rewards and Challenges

Truly guidance counselors have a lot to handle to make sure students stay on top of their classes and responsibilities in school. When students first enter high school, it could be a bit intimidating from leaving a nuturing environment to a new atmosphere set to train students to become responsible on their own. I believe it would be rewarding for guidance counselors to see shy freshmens blossom from the ninth grade to become scholarly seniors ready to pursue their career. At the same time, I believe it could be challenging as a guidance counselor to counselor students who show no desire to be in school and yet prove that it has nothing to do with a guidance counselor's imcompetence to guide. Since guidance counselors have to account for so many students, the challenge would be to simply prove that each student is different and that you can't save everyone. I believe it's also challenging for guidance counselors to work with students who may have the desire to excel in school but yet have no support from parents.

Changed Impressions

The impression I perceived towards guidance counselors have changed due to realizing the amount of work that goes into this profession. Guidance counselors not only cater towards the benefits of students, but they are also accountable to administrators and have to communicate with teachers including CTE teachers. After reading the history of guidance counselors, I also realize they too have to abide by the code of ethics. A guidance counselor also shares similarities of a CTE teacher that have to report to more than one administrator. I also learned that a guidance counselor may have prior years of teaching experience whereas I was under the impression that they just studied about kids. Guidance Counselors also are one of the first ones to be approached by students who may be going through hard times, versus the teacher who feels that they too carry that load.

Perceived Roles

My personal impression of the roles and responsibilities of guidance counselors are basically to ensure students are placed in the right courses required for graduation, and to assist students in finding colleges suitable to their career goals. I find that many students rely on guidance counselors to have their best interest at heart when placing them in classes, especially in CTE courses. Most students don't heavily rely on guidance counselors as much in the first two years versus their junior and senior years. At the same time, I perceive guidance counselors to spend more time with junior and seniors ensuring that they take the proper classes, pass their courses and constantly prepare them to gain scholarships and other financial gains. I also get the impression that guidance counselors continually seek out the best colleges and universities for students. Guidance counselors also prepare college field trips for students to gain the experience of what it's like to choose a college that will be the pathway to their career.

Reward and Challenges

I think that one of the most rewarding things for a counselor is to see that you made a difference in a person’s life. You may be the reason they made it to college instead of dropping out, or maybe you are the reason they come to school at all. A counselor has a limitless amount of students to pore into and make a difference in. One the hardest things to me would be getting involved in problems at home or a child being mistreated, sexually, physically, or emotionally. Sometimes to make a difference you have to, what the kids call “get in their business”. I think that there would be many rewarding aspect of being a counselor.

Changed impression

The counselor’s role is a hard one today. I do believe in prevention over remediation, but for a counselor to be a real impact on a child they must first know the student. It is so important for the counselors of today to really get to know these kids. Today’s student have so many distractions, and can very easily get off track. The students we teach on a daily basis have the pressures from every direction. Some are pulled by friends, drugs, sex, and even trying to live up to someone else’s ideas of who they should be. The counselors have to know the student before they know what they are dealing with. The counselor’s role has changed, because the students and their needs have changed. My view of what counselor’s jobs are may have changed, but my perception of my counselors has not.

Rewards and Challenges

Well, the only way for me to imagine the most rewarding and most difficult part of being a counselor is to imagine myself as a counselor (a role I do play in class from time to time). The most rewarding part for me would be similar to that of mine as a teacher, the success of the student. That success could only be measured by the student of course, whether it be success in a career, college, or life. The most difficult part of the job would be giving the students guidance that are troubled with abusiveness in the home, students without a home or family, and the students that are dealing with a loss of a family member. I could not even begin to know the weight the counselors took on in the schools that have endeavored during these atrocities that have taken place in recent years. In all I do believe the counselors do carry a heavy load and are a vital part of a healthy school. Without the aid of the counseling dept. the tasks of a teacher would be even more cumbersome and stressful.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Theorem 3: "Vocational education should provide students with thinking habits - technical knowledge and scientific problem solving skills - and the manipulative skills required in the occupation itself."

Theorem 3: "Vocational education should provide students with thinking habits - technical knowledge and scientific problem solving skills - and the manipulative skills required in the occupation itself."

Yes I agree with theorem 3.  My knowledge and training did not come from vocational education but on the job training. However, my training encompasses theorem 3. Coming from the pharmacy industry, I didn’t always have someone looking over my shoulder, time was of essence, the ability to think and problem solve was crucial. When patients dropped off prescriptions, I had to think, and give an estimate on wait time. Having an idea on how long it will take comes with assessing the situation at hand. If there were difficulties with insurance cards, I had to troubleshoot the claim by getting the necessary information from the patient or calling the insurance company to determine whether a claim is going to be paid or is in need of a preauthorization. Completing mental calculation to draw an IV for a patient awaiting medication to prevent paralysis is another example of how manipulative skills are required.


Rewards and Challenges

Rewards and Challenges

I think the most rewarding for guidance counselors would be to see their hard work come to full manifestation. This can come in terms of acceptance letters to colleges, successful completion of classes scheduled, students overcoming obstacles, graduation ceremony, seeing students after they graduate and they are doing something productive, and even a thank you. I think the most challenging will be to know a student will have to learn by experience. To know the talks, the shielding from harm, keeping them from falling will not be enough at that moment for success.


Changed Impressions

Changed Impressions

My prior knowledge of a guidance counselor I thought was detailed. I've never doubted that guidance counselors had their share of responsibilities and have always felt they were a vital part of a student's success. However, after the readings I am now more certain than ever that counselors have their fair share of administrative duties, strict deadlines to adhere to. Within this semester, I see some of the actions taking place by our counselors that were noted on their calendar activity reading. Some duties that were mentioned in the reading I would have never contributed to the counselors seeing that I see others present the information. Now looking back, the data had to come from somewhere, the counselors.

I will even go as far to say, guidance counselors are teachers in their own right. They wear multiple hats as we do. Their dealings with the student body are the same as ours in the classroom, serving as counselor, cheerleader, ATM, Marta, the list goes on.


Advice: Unleash Your Alter Ego

Unleash your alter ego.

 I will tell my neighboring teacher to unleash their alter ego. The alter ego is that person inside that is just as crazy as the students and isn’t afraid to think outside the box.  Worried about behaviors, being overwhelmed, filled classrooms, inadequate supplies, lesson plans? Yes some students will try you but your alter ego is just as crazy as them.  The classrooms are filled with students staring at you to see if you know what you are doing.  Share your interesting career stories to keep them engaged. They don’t know more than you. Use that information in your teachings. No, you don’t have the necessary supplies, but borrow or make do. It’s like having Bio-Rad equipment desire but only Wal-Mart’s money to spend. It’s not the same quality but the goal was accomplished, hands-on still occurred.  Meetings and workshops take them in stride. You’ll be surprised how much information you learn not form the meetings but from your colleagues sitting next to you. When it comes to lesson plans, don’t try to reinvent the wheel, Google. Eventually you and your alter ego will merge into one person to make a brilliant educator.  

Perceived Roles

Perceived Roles

I believe the roles and responsibilities of a guidance counselor is a vital instrument in the success of our students. Guidance counselors assist students and their parents with creating the best four year plan or choosing the best diploma choice based upon the student’s career interest. Their role in this matter can be quite hectic as students may not adhere to appointment times by either being late or not coming at all. Schedule changes, failing classes also become obstacles in trying to keep students on the right track.

Testing is another responsibility of guidance counselors. Counselors do their best to ensure that students preferably 10-12 grade have taken either the PSAT, SAT or ACT. Equipping the students with the knowledge needed to successfully register for these exams. I am still surprised at how many students still do not take their IDs to take their tests.

As an instructor, if I have a student that may be pregnant, come to school with defying odor, or may have issues that need to be addressed, the guidance counselor is usually the first point of contact before other school’s personnel is involved.

Guidance counselors also provide exposure to the students by having representatives from not only local colleges but out of state colleges to come to campus for the students to gather information, field trips to colleges giving students an opportunity to apply on the spot, financial workshops to assist with FAFSA forms, and apply to college day to assist seniors with an opportunity to apply to one school of their choice.

And most importantly, guidance counselors are an important part of CTAE. I’m sure we can all attest to having students who have no desire to be in our pathway however they are scheduled in our classes. The communication between CTAE and the counselors and information and knowledge of our programs is mandatory so they may schedule the “interested” student into the appropriate program.


Changed Impressions

My impression of the guidance counselor’s role has not changed much. The role they serve is one that I still find to be very important, possibly even more so. I was very interested in the history and origin of counseling in the U.S. I found it intriguing that teachers held the role of counselor in the beginning and that it was mostly to do with the vocational direction of the students. I was surprised to learn that it is the counselors’ role to give more individual direction for the students’ future and that the counselors are trying to be a preventative to the irresponsible decisions that a young person can at times be persuaded into making. I believe that, just as the teachers, the main responsibility for the counselor can be watered down and diverted away from the students by all of the outside requirements placed on them by the administrations and districts. These very informative articles have opened my eyes more so to their role in the school and even sparked my interest in the possibility of take on one of these types of positions in the future.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rewards and Challenges

I feel as if school counseling is a very rewarding career. It would be most rewarding to see that scared freshman entering the realm of high school transform into the proud and educated senior walking across the stage at graduation. School counselors have a hand in their high school career every step of the way. I know they must feel accomplished to see their dedication and hard work finally pay off. I think the most challenging aspect would be just trying to stay on top of things. I can’t imagine keeping up with all of the responsibilities they have. Not to mention the communication aspect, they are responsible with keeping faculty, administration, students and parents in the know. That alone must be overwhelming. After these readings I have a lot more respect for our school counselors.

Changed Impressions

I definitely have a changed impression of school counselors. I didn’t realize the level of education required of school counselors. Previously, I felt like counselors had an easy job but I wasn’t at aware of all the responsibilities that they have. I almost feel bad for them, as a teacher I am all over the place trying to complete all of my tasks. Often times, I feel completely overwhelmed but after my readings I realize my job has NOTHING on a counselor. I don’t know how there is enough time in the day to accomplish the tasks they are responsible for. I know how tough it is to individualize for a classroom but I can’t imagine being responsible for individualizing for an entire grade level or even school wide. I always wondered why I never saw the counselors very often, now I know. They are probably in their offices scheduling the SAT, communicating with parents, teachers, and administration, helping a special needs student reach their goals, counseling a pregnant teen, meeting the requirements of the state, and trying to survive doing all of these things at once.

Perceived Roles

In my opinion the role of a guidance counselor is to assist students with personal, academic, and social problems. They are to keep track of students academic accomplishments as well as failures to keep students on the right track. They are the ones who the student should feel the most comfortable speaking to about personal problems they may be experiencing at home or in school. I personally have had very little contact in my life dealing with guidance counselors. Even as a teacher, I do not typically work with them. One time in high school I can remember having to speak with a counselor to make sure I was aligned to graduate. Other than that I knew they were available but never needed them so to speak. As a teacher, I send students to guidance when they are angered, upset, or have some type of scheduling problem. Other than that I don't really know what they do. I am looking forward to learning more.

Changed Impressions

The one thing that I read from the material that I really didn't think about was that secondary counselors are preparing the students into adult life. The quote which really made me thing about that is, "High school is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and exploring and defining their independence." With all the issues that teens have to deal with it, it really sunk in that yes, this is the final source of guidance outside of their families to prepare them for adult life. If they don't have the family support at home, I can see how much more of a challenge a counselors job can be. One thing that I mentioned in my post about what do I believe counselors do on a daily basis, a quote sums up everything that I thought believed they do. "This mission is accomplished through the design, development, implementation, and evaluation, of a comprehensive, developmental and systematic, school-counseling program." When I look at that quote, I immediately thought, that's a lot to deal with one student, however if you have the students with the last name of A-D, that is a lot of students to deal with! Even though I don't come into contact with a lot of counselors during the day, I know now that they definitely have a lot on their plate to deal with. I just wish that a lot more people knew the information that we know about them, as well as the workload for teachers.