Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Office Tour

Welcome to my office tour!! I am always curious about what school counsellors do with the space that they have. I thought I'd share with you what I've done with my space. When you walk into my room this is what you see! 

I love that I have a couch and 4 chairs, which comfortably fits at least 8 kids or 6 adults. I am also really lucky to have windows that let in lots of natural light (when the sun decides to come out in England). I hold Student Support Team meetings in my office (they rotate and I meet with a different grade level each week), parent meetings, small groups and lots of individual sessions. 
You can also see my sand tray (under the little wooden table) which is new this year. Some of my students that have a hard time talking will open up more if they are talking while playing in the sand box or drawing, playing with clay...
I have started my thank you card collection on my back windowsill. If I am having a tough day at work, seeing appreciation from others usually makes me smile. :)
You can also see my small fan/space heater under the printer. I need white noise to sleep at night and find that sound very comforting and relaxing. The fan runs all day and helps keep our conversations private and drowns out background noises. I don't think I could comfortably work without that sound.

This is the view of my office from my desk. I pretty much always have 'to do' piles on the right. As you can clearly see I have lots to do. I still handwrite my schedule in a planner, I'm not quite ready to make the jump to my calendar on my iPad. Maybe next year? What do you use to keep track of your schedule?

In a previous post I mentioned this large world velcro map. I had my eye on it for a while and wrote a grant to get funding for it. I am so thankful that I was able to get it through our GIFT grant program. We ended up getting a thin wood board to nail it to. Whenever students come into my office they almost always first notice this beautiful map (some see my free hug bear and think it's someone else in the room). Students love to find places they have lived or have traveled to. The map also comes up with velcro pieces that are flags, animals and landmarks from all over the world. They love to move the pieces around.
International schools by nature are a very transient community. We constantly have students coming and students leaving, all year long. One of the many things I do with students before they prepare to leave our school is have them write their name on a small piece of cardstock. I attach a piece of velcro and they get to put their name up on the map wherever it is that they are heading. Throughout the school year as their friends come to my office they always look at the map and see the names of their friends and take a moment to think about them.
Yes, that's my red and white polka dot tea pot! I do live in England, and a meeting is so much more comfortable and relaxing with a cup of tea in hand.

I was overwhelmed with the number of my 'go to' books. I decided I will need to dedicate an entire post just to my favorites. My filing cabinet is sorted alphabetically. Most of my notes and records are typed on my computer and are backed up to my time machine. Another post for more details on my system.
I collect seashells and have them all around my room. My collection continues to grow thanks to my students. They know how much I love shells and always remember to bring some back from me when they go on holiday! 
The teal and green boxes are filled with candy. This comes out at grade level meetings, specials meetings and they are there for when a co-worker or I need a pick me up! One box is filled with sugary, sweet, sour candies the other is filled with chocolates. You never know when someone needs a little treat!

I am so lucky to share this space with the middle years counsellor. Her office is the second green door on the right. It is wonderful to have a counsellor to chat with, run ideas past, get/give advice throughout the day. We work very closely together so being a shout away is wonderful. We constantly share this space and I am always using it for lunch bunches, small groups, meetings, etc. We almost always have freshly brewed coffee and snacks so it is a nice place for teachers and staff to come by and chat too.

And I have saved the best for last. My school is absolutely beautiful. Every single day that I pull up to this view I feel like I am dreaming. I am one lucky school counsellor to work in a school that is so beautiful on the inside and outside.

Thanks for joining me on my office tour. Cheers!