By Kelly Curtis, WSCA President
As we end the 2014-15 school year, we also complete a WSCA year as well, one which has been very productive and successful. This issue of WSCAlink also marks not only the end of my WSCA Presidency, but also the end of all WSCA presidencies. Next month will mark our official transition to Policy Governance, which will divide our WSCA Leadership Team into two sections: elected Governing Board and Committee Chairs/Staff, with an Executive Director working between the two groups. No longer will be elect a WSCA President, but rather a Board of Directors who select a Board Chair and Assistant Board Chair each year.
Transitioning to Next School Year
Paula Haugle: WSCA Professional Development Chair
The end of another school year is upon us, and if you’re like me, you’re thinking about all of the things you want to implement next year. Then the craziness of fall begins and you lose track of all of the wonderful things you wanted to do. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little foresight and planning, you can make next year the best yet!
In my eight years as a practicing school counselor, I have found the ASCA and Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Models to be extremely helpful. If you follow the models, you are organized, you plan ahead, and you can work smarter, not harder. Here are five tips to help transition to next school year:
By taking a few moments this year, you’ll be able to start the new school year rejuvenated and organized. Best wishes on a seamless transition for yourself and your program!
Liz Singer WSCA Graduate Student Representative
Transitioning from the role of school counselor intern to professional school counselor is an exciting--and slightly terrifying--time. A unique opportunity to bridge these roles is possible through a long-term substitute position.
While it can be tricky (and emotional) to end internship early, I decided that the experience I would gain working full-time in a school, not juggling other jobs and struggling to find time to prepare for small groups and counseling sessions late at night, plus the chance to see if I could spread my wings and fly on my own, was worth the sudden change in my plans. With some careful planning (often being at multiple schools in one day), I was able to wrap up my small groups--as closely to fidelity as I could--and wrapped up my individual counseling sessions as well. It wasn't easy to say goodbye, but knowing I would have had to say goodbye a month and a half later made it a little easier. (If only we all had the opportunity to be employed at the same school we interned at and could skip all the goodbyes!)
I recommend seeking out long-term subbing opportunities if you are able to communicate with your department, internship instructor, and site supervisor to clarify logistics early on. This will alleviate any extra stress during the interview process, knowing you are supported. I also recommend spending time reflecting on all the great work you have done over the year, and make sure your resume is updated to include those things. Take time to feel proud of what you've accomplished, to calm any fears you have about competing with more qualified school counselors when applying for a position. Know that you are especially valuable to districts because of your recent coursework and current knowledge of the ASCA Model and the Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Model. That being said, make sure you are prepared to shine in those areas in an interview! Do your homework--and study up on the school! Come to the interview ready to suggest what you would do as their school counselor. No matter what the outcome, be grateful for the experience to interview in (hopefully!) a less threatening environment so you feel more calm about full-time interviews.
And if you do get hired as a long-term sub...then, the real work begins! Spend time shadowing in the school, get to know the principal and student services team, and introduce yourself to staff before you start. If you hit the ground running and get some prep work done ahead of time, it will make the transition easier for you and for the school. Be prepared to learn a lot, and also draw from your previous experiences. Say 'yes' to many things--attend meetings, do classroom observations, and check out what's going on with students at recess and during lunch. Don't hide in your office! Show faculty and students that you are visible and ready to take on your role. Make sure to take time for self-care during your new busy schedule--and be prepared to fall in love with a new school and hopefully make a positive impact on many students' lives.
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As the school year comes to a close, it’s easy to remember the challenges we faced and all of the woulda/coulda/shouldas that made up our school year. I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for the heart, sweat, and soul that you put into working with all of Wisconsin’s students…your students. You may never be lucky enough to know of the lives you’ve touched or the trajectories you’ve changed through your work; but I assure you, you make a difference.
Tabitha Stelter: 2015-2018 WSCA Publications Chair
Thank you for allowing me to serve WSCA as your 2015-2018 Publications Chair!
I have some experience in writing/editing from my days at Carroll University (then Carroll College) where I served as staff writer and editor for The New Perspective. When I enrolled at Marquette University for School Counseling I had no idea that my term as Graduate Student Representative during the 2005-06 school year would bring me back to editing/writing. I served as the Publications Chair from 2006-09 and saw so many positive changes with the newsletter that I am excited to be back in time for the amazing growth in our professional organization's governance.
I've just completed my first year as Elementary Counselor in the School District of Wisconsin Dells. Prior to serving Spring Hill Elementary I worked as a middle school counselor for 8 years in Adams-Friendship where I developed the Restorative Practices Program and worked with colleagues to create the comprehensive school counseling program, which included student planning conferences that consistently had 70%+ parent participation. I miss middle school humor, but enjoy the many hugs and high-fives I get from elementary friends!
I graduated from Badger High School in Lake Geneva and will enjoy the reunion this summer that marks 15 years since I began the journey towards my professional career as school counselor. In that 15 years, I feel that my biggest accomplishment is becoming the mother to two amazing children; almost 2 and 4 years old. My husband and I are excited to move closer to family over the summer so that our children can bring smiles to their grandparents as much as possible!
Plan to Attend WSCA's 9th Annual Summer Leadership Academy
This year's topics: Data Boot Camp or Academic and Career Plans (ACPs). Choose from two levels of data training or choose to learn more about ACPs. Join us for some excellent professional development and to network with other professionals from across the state!
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
9:00 - 4:00 pm - Oshkosh, WI
CLICK HERE for more information
Thursday, Oct 22, 2015
9:00 - 4:00 pm - Turtle Lake, WI
CLICK HERE for more information
WISCONSIN SCENE! Network with Statewide School Counselors Today!
The Wisconsin School Counselor Association is excited to announce the addition of "Wisconsin SCENE" to the American School Counselor Association discussion board,
ASCA SCENE, located at www.schoolcounselor.org/SCENE. For directions on how to use Wisconsin Scene Click Here. We hope this new tool helps enhance and support the important work you do as a school counseling professional in Wisconsin.
By Kelly Curtis
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