Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NBCT School Counselor Candidacy

For some reason I have never given much serious thought to becoming a National Board Certified Teacher (School Counselor!) before this year.  However, when I found out this fall that they were making BIG changes to the process that will stretch the work that can currently be done in one year to a three year process, I knew I had to act quick.  I signed up and got to work.  It's very challenging, but so far it's been fairly maneageble.  I found a fantastic online symposium that covered 3 of the 4 portfolio entries in great detail:  WSU College of Ed.

Good news for those who are interested---there is still have time to sign up under the old rules!  But act fast friends, because this offer expires on February 28, 2014.  More info here:  School Counseling ECYA.  It's a lot of writing, some filming of lessons and individual work, a lot of self-reflection, and piecing together the puzzle of infusing their standards and rubric specifications into your writing.  I hope to complete my remaining 3 entries over the next couple of months, submit my portfolio in May, and take the assessment in June.  I'm excited for the professional growth aspect and more fancy letters to add to the end of my name, but mostly I want the extra $5,000 a year my state provides NBCTs.  Fingers crossed that I pass on my first try!

Are you a NBCT School Counselor?  Feel free to share your words of wisdom here!

Are you a current NBCT Candidate?  How's the process going for you?

Interest Inventory Fun for Upper Elementary Grades

Well, it's been a while, [insert really, really good excuses for not blogging here].  But I'm back with a fabulous resource to share!  In my search for a research based career lesson to use for my National Boards submission, I came across this gem:  My Next Move.  My Next Move is a great career resource sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.  I utilize the Interest Profiler, which is based on Holland's Codes, over a two part lesson with my fourth graders.
Part One:  I read a short story titled Roger the Vet from one of my Marco Products books.  We discuss how Roger didn't do his research about becoming a veterinarian which left him unprepared for the realities of that career.  The students do a "turn & talk" with their neighbors about how a person can figure out the career that is right for him/her.  Inevitably one of my smart students makes the connection between interests and careers which neatly leads us to the interest inventory activity.  I utilize my school's iPad lab for the inventory which my students LOVE, but you can use a computer lab just as well.  Students complete the 60 question inventory and record their results on a handout I created.  They read over the meanings of their high scores and write a quick blurb about whether or not their results surprised them.  They loved this activity!

Part Two:  The second lesson is all about career exploration.  Students get their original handout with their unique inventory results so they can search for careers that match their interests.  O*Net allows you to manually enter your results so there is not need to retake the inventory to get to the exploration section.  So far, I have only completed Part One with students, so I'm hoping the exploration portion goes over just as well or better.  Students will spend the lesson researching careers and recording specific information about their top 3 favorites on the handout.  They will keep the handout which has the website information should they want to do more research on their own.  

Have you used interest inventories with your students?  Which inventories and how did it go?