Response Unit 1

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After you have completed your initial post, respond to at least two of your peers’ posts and provide substantive feedback on their initial responses. Consider their focus of interest and reasons for investigating those topic areas. What insights can you share about their areas of interest? What suggestions do you have for resources in those areas? To what extent do these topic areas also interest you?

Response # 1

My life event would have to be a career change going from a classroom teacher with nineteen years’ experience to a middle school counselor. After earning my masters in counseling, I immediately thought I would be hired as a school counselor but that took a long ten years. I remember going on interview after interview being asked the same questions and receiving the email, “congratulations you have been accepted into the counseling pool!’ and that was all. When I was called for the interview for the counseling position I currently have, I didn’t remember applying and after my interview, my mother asked how it went and I stated, “Oh, they asked the same questions!” A month later I was hired. I was so excited I got my dream job which was a middle school counseling position and a brand new school. What I didn’t expect was the huge pay cut that came along with the position. I’ve always worked in the public education school system and this position was at a charter school that pays a lot less. I was faced with the dilemma of do I continue teaching at a school that I hate and in a field that I no longer want to be in because of the pay or do I take my dream job and make it work? I chose to take the counseling position and haven’t regretted my decision not once.

In my career as a middle school counselor, I work with adolescents who have all types of issues related to mental disorders or just normal teen issues and just need someone to talk to or an ear to listen. I work in a low income, at-risk area with minority students. I feel in today’s society, there is becoming a huge public awareness for mental health whereas fifty years ago it wasn’t recognized. I work with a large population of African American Students and its normal for them to see a school counselor and have a therapist outside of school. I feel this is a change in the African American Culture because culture can be defined as shared basic value orientations, norms, beliefs and customary habits and ways of living (Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields, 2019). In past years in the African-American Culture no one was talking to a counselor or therapist, all problems were solved by praying, going to church, or within the family. If a child didn’t listen and what was considered a behavior problem that was solved by a punishment or spanking. In today’s society in order to live and have long healthy lives everything is taken into consideration such as the persons physical, mental, and medical health with the use of advanced screenings, resources, medications, etc.

Response# 2

Time Management

Time management is an important skill throughout the lifespan. Like money management, the first step in time management is knowledge of how you spend your time. Keep a log of how you spend your time each day for at least one week. Write down the time you begin and end an activity. Briefly describe the activity. Be honest.

Next, analyze your time log. Summarize/categorize the amount of time spent on each type of activity. Are you surprised at how much time you spent on some of your activities?

Next, develop a new daily schedule to maximize your time. Take into consideration where certain tasks fit best into your day as well as when you are at your best for certain tasks (such as studying); group similar tasks together for efficiency; and set aside time for doing uninterrupted work. Write down your new routine or schedule and post it where you will see it!

Be flexible. Re-visit and revise your schedule as needed.

Strategies for your new routine:
1) In addition to scheduling your day, prioritize your tasks. Which ones are high priorities or secondary priorities? Prioritize your people contacts, your telephone calls, and your email replies. Do this first thing in the morning or the night before (so that you are “ready to go” in the morning).

2) Build “cushion time” into your schedule so that you have some flexibility and “catch up” time.

3) Take time for yourself. Schedule “me time” — even if it is only 15 minutes — each day. Build “me time” into your normal routine. For example, walk, in place of riding cars or elevators, for daily exercise. Walk with a friend or colleague to maintain and build relationships.

4) Structure your telephone time. Set aside certain time periods of the day to accept, initiate, and return calls. The best time to accept incoming calls is just prior to lunch or at the end of the work day (the other person will not want to engage in extensive conversation). The best time for initiating or returning calls (to hard-to-reach people) is early in the morning, just before or after lunch, or late in the day. Plan in advance what you need to cover during the call. At the beginning of the call, you might say “I have about 10 minutes to spend with you, now. If we don’t finish, we can schedule another time.”

5) Don’t procrastinate. Tackle the unpleasant tasks first.

6) Negotiate a different work schedule with your employer (longer hours and fewer days; work-at-home days, etc.).

7) Reduce interruptions by creating stronger boundaries around work, study, personal, and family time. Let people know when you can and cannot be interrupted. Set up quiet-times and open-door times.

We only have 24 hours in a day; therefore, under-promise and over-deliver! Learn to say “NO.” Do not over-commit yourself. Develop a formula for making commitments. For example, one student created the following formula: One activity for me; one commitment to my community; one to my church; one to husband, and one to each child. Sometimes, two commitments were fulfilled with one activity.

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