Thursday, October 23, 2014

Putting together your School Counseling Portfolio! Step 2: Gathering and Organizing

Hello again! :)

This is my second post in the school counseling portfolio series! :) If you missed the first post on planning and preparation, you can read it HERE. Once you've planned and prepared your portfolio and its content, the next step is to begin gathering what you need and organizing the contents 

For organizing, I purchased an accordion file for about $3 at Walmart. I used this to keep my portfolio contents organized by topic! For example, I have a section for each of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) domains. I have a section in each domain in my portfolio, so I have my materials organized in my accordion file. By doing this, I collect and organize all of my portfolio contents prior to putting it together, making the process easier and less overwhelming :)  File folders can work well also! 

For example, I have a section titled "Academic" in my accordion file. Everything labeled "Academic" will appear in my academic divider section in my portfolio! I do the same for each section so that everything stays organized. This is something that you can do as you go along. Doing little by little can also make the process less overwhelming! I will be doing a third post on assembling your portfolio soon! 

Keep Track- Know what you need to buy! Having a list of what you need can will be beneficial at the time of assembly! You may already have many things on hand, but it is good to know what you need, I have listed some of the items that I am using below: 

  • Hole Punch (I purchased one for about $5 at walmart)
  • Accordion File for organizing the content and materials
  • 3 Ring Binder (Target has a great selection in awesome colors- mine is 1 1/2" in size)
  • Clear sheet protectors- I bought a 50 pack just in case 
  • Table of Contents- I plan to create this for easy access of my portfolio contents- this will go in the front of my binder
  •  Dividers
Other materials that you may need if you wish to add decoration to your portfolio:
  • Construction Paper/Card Stock 
  • Glue Sticks
  • Scissors
This about sums up this post! This is the gathering and organizing step in the portfolio process. Stay tuned for my third post on assembling your portfolio. Again, if you missed the first step you can read it here:

Do you have any questions/comments, or topics that you would like me to cover? Feel free to comment on the blog, facebook, or email at! I would love to hear from you! 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Putting Together Your School Counseling Portfolio! Step 1: Planning & Preparation

Hello again counseling friends!

Now that I am nearing the end of my school counseling program, I've decided to write a few posts on putting together a school counseling portfolio! This can serve as a great tool, and it can be done in 3 steps: planning & preparation, gathering & organizing, and assembling! This is a great opportunity to show what you have to offer and what you have done! In this post, we will discuss what can be done in step 1 of the portfolio process :)

Brainstorm: This is a great way to decide your layout and what you wish to include! The ASCA National Model is an excellent resource guide! In the ASCA National Model book, there are a number of different ways that you can organize your portfolio: by developmental domains or the ASCA model theme are just a few ideas. Creating lessons and activities based on the 3 domains can show that you are able to provide services in each domain. You can also decide your layout based on the items that you wish to include :) I have included a list of some materials you can possibly include:

  • Classroom Guidance Lesson Plans 
  • Small Group Lessson Plans & ideas 
  • Things that you've created in your work with children 
  • Use of Data in your internship 
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Pictures (I will talk about this one in more detail)

Look at what you've already done: Taking a look at your past accomplishments and projects is a great way to discover portfolio material! This can also give you ideas that you can implement now.

Create a written plan for your lessons: Creating your own classroom and small group lessons is great idea to add more content to your portfolio. By having a written lesson plan, the idea can be easily implemented in your future work as a School Counselor. It also shows some ideas of what you've done in your direct work with students. I follow the ASCA Lesson Plan Template when writing my lesson plans. You can view all of the ASCA templates by clicking HERE. It also gives yourself something to follow during the lesson as opposed to just "winging it".

Get the most out of your internship: Going above & beyond is a great way to get more out of the internship experience, and taking additional things on at your school. Be sure not to take on too much, and practice self care, Be sure to check on my self care blog post for more tips!

Show Use of Data: In the school counseling world, data is extremely important, Being able to display data and show what you can do with it is great portfolio material!

Take Pictures: A picture is worth a thousand words...and can help others visually see what was done in a particular event, classroom lesson, or small group. Be careful about pictures with kiddos and protecting privacy! For example, taking a picture of any tangible items, displays, or diagrams used in the lessons can help to show the work that you do.

A School Counselor Portfolio is an excellent way to highlight the things that you've done, and to let yourself shine :) You can check out the second post in the portfolio series by clicking here: Putting together your school counseling portfolio! Step 2: Gathering and Organizing

What materials do you plan to include in your School Counseling Portfolio? Practicing School Counselors: Do you have any portfolio ideas or resources for current graduate students? Feel free to comment below! :)


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Resources every school counselor intern should know about!

Hello counselors!!

I can't believe that October is here already! ! Fall is here, and I’m having a blast at my internship and loving every minute of it! I have been super busy lately, but I am happy to be working on another blog post!

For this post, I am linking up with Traci R Brown to discuss resources that every school counseling intern should know about!  I have listed mine below, and be sure to check out Traci's post on awesome intern resources by clicking HERE.

1.      FREE Publications: There are a number of websites where you can download and/or order great resources and publications! The U.S. Department of Education  has many FREE publications on topics such as bullying, financial aid materials for college bound students, and more! Another one of my favorites is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website. They also have FREE resources and materials that you can order! You can see what they have to offer by clicking HERE. I have recieved items such as a suicide hotline magnet, childhood grief curriculum guide, and much more! Also, sure to check out resources at the National Education Association (NEA) including the Bullying Prevention Kit and Bully Pledge! Great resources and information to use in your work with students

2.      Libraries: As an intern, we are surrounded by many resources for books: The School Library & librarian, your nearby local library, and your university library. These are all great places to look for books to use in lessons, working with students, etc. The best part is…it’s FREE! If you are looking for books for a lesson  or a specific topic, the library is a great place to start! Also, the librarian is a great resource in your school on books, and to answer questions that you may have! If your local library doesn't  have the book you need, you can always check and see if another location does! 

3. EZ Analyze: I love this tool! This is also a FREE resource, and it allows you to record and analyze data, track time spent with students, track session, documentation, and much more! If you have Microsoft excel, you can use EZ Analyze! Click HERE to get started with it! Data is a resource in itself, and it is extremely useful for your work with students! Data is a great jumping point to plan & provide services for the students in the school! Even as an intern, the use of data is important as well! If you plan on putting together a School Counselor Portfolio, you can include how you used data in your internship!

I hope that you found this post useful! :) I am excited to have collaborated with Traci R Brown with this post! She is also a school counseling grad student blogger, and you can check out her post and blog by clicking HERE

Good luck with internship!

 Do you know any resources for counseling graduate students that you would like to share? Feel free to comment below!


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