Kelly Counselor's Conversations

A discussion about life and how school counseling fits into it all

The Power of “Yet”

Something that has preoccupied my thoughts often lately is an opportunity I have to be considered for an MBA for Educators fellowship through the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation.  The MBA would be through the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and woud be a full-ride, 18-month hybrid program consisting of classes on the Bloomington, IN campus this summer and next, and online during the school year.  15 fellowships will be awarded between five school corporations on April 1, 2016.  I’m looking forward to traveling down there sometime in February or March to interview, but much less excited to have to take the GRE next Saturday.  While they made it clear this score was lower in terms of importance of who they would award the fellowships, those who know me know I never like to show up to anything unprepared.

This has forced me to face my high school math demons once again in reviewing statistics, algebra, and geometry and taking the subsequent practice tests.  Math will be much more of a component in a business program than it ever was in my school counseling graduate program, so I know a growth mindset will be critical not just for this test, but for the next 18 months should I be fortunate enough to earn a fellowship.

The past few weeks I have been preparing for the test, I have thought a lot about a lesson I did with our Alternative program students in the fall about re-phrasing negative thoughts into positive ones, like “I’ll never get math” (ha!) to “I just don’t understand this concept yet.”  This springboarded to a conversation about how much more confident we would all feel if we simply added that critical “yet” when our fixed mindset thoughts crept in.

I made sure to share that just a week later I corrected myself in Zumba class when a song with really hard steps came on to “I cannot do this dance…yet.”  And, for the first time in my 32 years, I am kind of enjoying algebra.  It feels awesome to know that as long as I keep watching (and re-watching) the videos on Khan Academy, I can do it.

Appreciate that your students, your colleagues, your supervisors, and everyone else (including you) have fixed mindset baggage.  It’s so easy to lose patience after a few times of not grasping a concept or falling back into counterproductive habits.  Remember whoever you’re frustrated with just doesn’t know it…yet.  Your support and encouragement could make all the difference.


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#ISCA13: Thoughts and Reflections

The Indiana School Counseling Association held its annual conference this past Thursday and Friday in Indianapolis. This is a “can’t miss” event for me and is worth missing two days at school, though it’s difficult to be away from the kids. This year’s conference held a different perspective for me, with now being on the ISCA board. After taking a few days to process the event as a whole, this is what I left with:

-I always leave the two days with what I affectionately call “brain melt”, where you have a headache and can’t think anymore except for what absolutely must be done to pack up and get home. Though you learn about 83 things at the conference, you only leave with about five good nuggets of knowledge that you retain- but the five nuggets are totally worth it.

-I really need to stop treating these events like, say, going to the gym- where you compare how fit you are compared to others, and you’re afraid to ask for help out of fear of looking incompetent. This profession leaves us all feeling incompetent much of the time; why am I any different?

-Establishing connections, networking, and seeing old friends is just as valuable (if not more) than the actual materials you receive and knowledge you gain. Relationships are everything, all the time.

-I am really good at being A leader, but not meant to be THE leader. My casual humor and ability to cry at the drop of a hat are too big of liabilities. And that’s ok.

-Always have a back-up plan if you’re presenting- Dropbox (and technology in general) and I will never be BFFs.

-Even if I feel there are others much more accomplished than I that could be better representatives on the ISCA board, I’m the one who stepped up to the plate and is giving my time, energy, and heart to the cause. That says something in itself.

-DON’T BE TOO BUSY AND STRESSED TO TAKE PICTURES! Sorry folks, no pictures of the conference to show you here, but I will leave you with words of wisdom:


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