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  • SDSCA Spring NewsletterApril 2009Looking Back: How Far We Have Come and Where are We Going? By: Stacy Solsaa, SDSCA President It is time that community members, teachers and administrators understand how school counselors help students daily. The role of the school counselor has changed over the years from someone who guides students in making career choices into an educator with mental health expertise. It is time to clearly define the roll of the school counselor, so that everyone knows the services professional school counselors can bring to the school curriculum. Advocacy is often a difficult balance for school counselors. It is easy to get so busy helping students that school counselors dont really pay attention to how visible the work they do is. A lot of what professional school counselors do happens behind closed doors, so unless we share what we do with others they do not necessarily know. The question is how can school counselors share what is happening in their school counseling program with others? One possible way is provide parents with a newsletter. Counseling Department newsletters can provide parents with articles on topics such as helping students with homework, children and grief or college planning information. Mixed in with helpful articles counselors can add information about classroom guidance topics, groups being offered or other counseling department activities. Newsletters can be sent home with report cards or with students two to four times a year. Visit http://ss005.k12.sd.us and click on newsletters for a couple examples. Another possibility might be writing an article for the school paper or the local newspaper about a special project or program the counseling department has offered to students. Professional school counselors could even write a newspaper article about a topic that could help parents or community members. Examples might be an article about using positive behavior plans with children at home, signs of depression or managing stress. Other advocacy efforts might include; a brochure about your school counseling program, holding advisory board meetings, (advisor board members are great people to talk to others about school counseling programs) presentations to the school board, and even parent meetings allow school counselors to share information with parents or community members. The possibilities are endless. School counselors can also advocate for themselves by getting involved in professional organizations. Professional organizations allow counselors to stand together in order to make changes in state, local, and national policies that effect students. Over the past several years the South Dakota Counseling Association (SDCA) and the South Dakota School Counseling Association (SDSCA) have been working together to make changes that will benefit students and the school counseling profession. It can be difficult for school counselors to highlight their programs because it feels like bragging, but if we dont share our successes with the public it is easier for them to say . . . . . The counselor doesnt do anything, maybe we dont need one. If school counselors dont help others understand how students are different because of the services they provide, who will? We need to take responsibility for preserving the school counseling profession. As school counselors finish the school year and look towards next year, they should think about how they can advocate for the school counseling profession. It is important that school counselors in South Dakota begin moving from good to great. As my time of being your leader comes to an end, I am excited for the future that lies before us.

  • Page *Page 2SDSCA Fall NewsletterPresident-Elect MessageBy: John Hegg, SDSCA President-Elect About a month ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Wisconsin School Counselors Association winter conference in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, as an invited guest. It is hard to believe that their conference has never been cancelled due to bad weather in February. It might be a bit risky in South Dakota! I do extend greetings to SDSCA members from the Wisconsin School Counselors Association. The Wisconsin conference which is not held in conjunction with the WCA was attended by an astounding 1,400 professional school counselors. There were 14 preconference workshops and 94 different break-out sessions during the two days! I couldnt help but be impressed with the energy, enthusiasm and camaraderie that was everywhere during the conference. This is not unlike the spirit that invades the SDCA/SDSCA spring conference every year. I encourage all of you to attend the 2009 spring conference in Sioux Falls. There is no better way to absorb some new counseling information, be rejuvenated in your chosen profession and work on networking with fellow colleagues. The big buzz at the Wisconsin conference was about professionalism. It was all about acting professional if we want to be treated as a professional. It seems it is crucial at this time to stand up and be identified as a professional. It means such things as: Eliminating guidance counselor as an identification in place of professional school counselor. It means a must for all professional school counselors to join their professional organization so we can speak as one voice. (I know I am speaking to the choir here since all who receive this newsletter are SDSCA members. Thank you for that! Lets encourage our colleagues who are not members to join.) It means an emphasis on being a life-long learner in our chosen profession by such things as attending state and national conferences. It means seeking state and national licensure. I hope to see you all at the state conference in Sioux Falls in a few weeks. I am ready for some of that South Dakota energy and enthusiasm!! John D. Hegg NCC LPC john.hegg@k12.sd.us or johnhegg@sio.midco.net I encourage all of you to attend the 2009 spring conference in Sioux Falls. Building Healthy Relationships WorkshopBy: Valerie Horacek and Andree Johnson, SDSCA Special Projects

    SDSCA, Sioux Chapter and University of Sioux Falls are proud to present Building Healthy Relationships, a two day workshop focusing on ethics in counseling and relational aggression. CEUs and college credit will be available. On Friday several topics will be presented, including the ethical side of mediation and elements in counseling. There will also be sessions on gang relations and the Teen Violence Project/Teen Relationships Group. Julia Taylor, national author and speaker, will present her research and work with relational aggression on Saturday. As a practicing School Counselor, she will present practical techniques that can be used with clients/students of all ages. She is the author of Salvaging Sisterhood and Girls in Real Life Situations. This workshop will be an excellent opportunity to network and hear national speakers while earning CEUs or graduate credit. The registration form is included in this newsletter. Dont delay, space is limited. You may also contact Kari Godwin at University of Sioux Falls at 605-331-6781 for further information.

  • Page 3Being a Counselor McGyver Flexibility, Creativity, and Stepping Out of the BoxBy: Steve Fisher, SDSCA Middle School VP

    After being a school counselor for nine years, I have learned a few things. I have learned that being flexible, creative and having the ability to step out of the box thus stretching your comfort zone every once in a while are very important traits. I believe these traits rank up there with being empathic, knowledgeable and conscientious. So with these three traits in mind I would like to share a poem I wrote..

    Well, there you have it. The character in this poem definitely demonstrates flexibility and creativity. As far as stepping out of the box ? I think I did that by putting out this little poem. A Demonstration of Being Flexible, Creative and Stepping out of the BoxCars turned to boatsAnd roads turned to riversSo I became a sailorAnd an excellent swimmerI would catch and eat fish for lunch and dinnerSometimes even breakfast tooI built me a boat With a great big sailChanged my name to AhabAnd hunted a whaleThe Coast Guard came and threw me in jailFor fishing without a licenseWhile in jailI met a guy named MarkHis nose was pointedAnd his teeth were sharpHe looked like a cross between a human and a sharkAnd man it really weirded me outI asked Mark If he had a tough jawThen used his teethJust like a hacksawWe cut them bars and escaped the lawAnd sailed out to freedomJust before this Story endsMe and Shark man Became best friendsWe settled down on a tiny islandDown in the Aegean SeaWe met local womenWho became our wivesWe lived on sushi And wild riceWe both got lazy and enjoyed our livesAnd were happy as can be

  • Page *Page 4SDSCA Spring NewsletterSchool Counselor InternshipsBy: Joan Huber, SDSCA Graduate Student Liaison

    Thank you to each and every Professional School Counselor who opens their doors to graduate students doing their practicum and internship in their schools. Supervisors provide training in the final step toward graduation of school counseling students. However, the internship experience is more than just a step toward graduation, it is the opportunity for students to learn from seasoned professionals and hone skills under supervision which will launch them into the profession. As described by Kaffenberger & Murphy (2007), supervision is a means of transmitting the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of a particular profession to the next generation of that profession. This relationship is evaluative, extends over time, and has the simultaneous purpose of enhancing the professional functioning of the junior member, monitoring the quality of services offered