Mandy Zeigler
School Closure Resources:

School counselors are responsible for covering an awful lot of territory! Mental/emotional well-being, personal/social needs, college and career readiness, academics, and more! I will try to post below about a variety of topics relating to all these areas. Due to the wide variety of needs a school counselor serves, my site may appear to jump from topic to topic. If you have a particular need or are looking for a certain resource, please email me, and I'll see what I can find. Stay safe and well! 


April 8th- I really miss my students! While the best form of therapy, in my opinion, is face to face, I did spend some time exploring the Mindshift CBT app, and I think it's a great tool. It gives tools to tackle worry, panic, perfectionism, social anxiety, test anxiety, and fears. It helps adjust your thinking patterns to more rational, calming thoughts. You can set goals within the app, practice healthy habits, log a journal, and even do meditation if that's your thing. I found it very intriguing and worth a look if you struggle with any of the issues mentioned. Download for free on the app store today!


April 7th- Today, I will be sending some AP Exam updates to AP teachers. There have been some major changes made to the exams, including allowing students to take exams from home! Each exam is 45 minutes and will only have essay questions, no multiple choice. Please note the College Board has enacted strict and severe consequences for cheating on the exams, including sharing names of those who cheat with colleges. Here is a good article about the best way to study for the exams. Within the article, there is a link to a page that discusses the changes to 2020 AP Exams due to the pandemic. I also posted a link to the YouTube AP Channel, which offers daily online classes and review sessions. Good luck and happy studying!

Best AP Practice Tests

Here is a link the YouTube AP Channel: AP Youtube Channel

April 6th- I didn't want to forget to include something for all of you who may be interested in a career with the military. I typically direct students to talk to a recruiter about joining the military because contracts, requirements, and offers seem to change often. I did find a resource you can visit to learn more about all the branches of the military. Todaysmilitary.com allows you to explore all the service branches in an unbiased way that you don't always have when talking to a recruiter. You can learn about full and part-time service options, eligibility criteria, military careers, salary and benefits, paths to become an officer versus just enlisting, and even options for employment once you leave the military.  As a parent, I like the "For Parents" page that talks about support for parents and what to expect as a military parent. This is a very comprehensive, easy to use site that should help you explore military options and make the best choice for you.

Today's Military


April 3rd- Similar to my March 24th post about No Zero Days, I wanted to share some general wellness tips for this uncertain time. 
HealthyChildren.org suggests a ten point plan to help manage stress for individuals ages 12-18. Four of their points mimic the concept of No Zero Days-- tackling the problem, taking care of my body, dealing with emotions, and making the world better. As you read the article I posted below, you should pick and choose tips and tactics you think will work well for you. Honestly, some of them I know wouldn't work well for me, so it's okay to pick and choose your own wellness plan. You can even download a sample plan and customize it to suit you. Remember, nothing is a quick and immediate fix. But baby steps towards wellness day by day will end up having a huge positive impact in the end! 

Wellness Plan

April 2nd- Sometimes, we are so busy with learning the Periodic Table for our chemistry test or the proper way to cite quotations in MLA style, we overlook some basic life skills that are important. "Adulting" is tough sometimes because there is sooooo much to know! In your down time, why not learn how to change the oil in a car or fix a flat tire? What does it mean when you are called for jury duty? Do you know what to do if you are a victim of identity theft? Do you know a thing about insurance since your parents typically handle that for you? Today's feature is an awesome Google site created by another school counselor called ""Things You'll Wish They Taught You in High School."  
Adulting 101

April 1st- Today, I'm sharing my second favorite resource next to Career Cruising. It's PA Career Zone. The great thing about this site is all data is particular to PA. Under the "Explore" tab, you can take various assessments to be paired with job possibilities. You can also search for jobs using a sliding scale for the education level required for the job and desired salary. A little red bullseye indicates the job is a high priority occupation in PA. This tab also features an area to explore colleges. 

The "Decide" tab provides additional ways for those who are undecided to search for careers. You can search for jobs by salary, or even jobs in PA that have the most openings.

The "Grow" tab helps you build a resume, create cover letters and thank you letters, and build your personal career portfolio summary report. I really love the "Budget Your Life" feature. You choose how you want to live...having a luxury car, eating out most nights, renting an apartment, and the program projects what salary you'd need to earn in order to live such a lifestyle in our state. Very eye-opening! 

Click the link to check out this site. I have only touched the tip of the iceberg as far as features go. It's very easy to use, too! PA Career Zone

March 31st- I'm going back to a classic today, and it's one of my favorite resources. Career Cruising. You can access your personal account through your Chromebook. Visit the high school page, click Students, Resources, Links, and when you click on the link, you will be automatically logged in. Visitors can go to www.careercruising.com and enter the username wphs and the password mustangs.
This website is so user-friendly! Here are some of my favorite features.

If you don't have any idea what you want to do with "the rest of your life", explore the careers tab. I love the "career selector", where you indicate what you would like in a career, and a list of careers that meet your criteria is given. You can search careers by a favorite school subject or a career cluster such as "Human Services" or "Construction". When you click on a career, you see a detailed career profile that includes information on the work setting, education required for that job, salary, and even how to advance within the field. On the careers tab, there is also a tab at the bottom for "Military Careers" if you are considering that route. 

If you know what career you'd like, but you are looking for a college,
all you need to do is pull up the career profile. While on that page, click the tab for "Education" and scroll down to "Related College Programs". When you click on a college major, it provides a list of colleges in PA that offer that major! You can then adjust the list by selecting states or a particular region.  Another way to search for colleges it to click the "Education" tab, then choose "School Selector". Just like the "career selector", you answer questions about your ideal colleges, and the program provides a list for you. 

You can also explore the Assessments tab to take short assessments to see where your career interests may lie. The Financial Aid tab is also helpful, and it's where I post local scholarships. Please email your counselor with any questions as you navigate this resource. 

March 30th- ‚ÄčIf you are struggling with schoolwork at all, a great resource to visit is Khan Academy. There are thousands of tutorials in every subject you can imagine.
Khan Academy


March 27th-  Sometimes we need a little help, but we don't know where to find it! If your family is in need of housing assistance, help with utility bills, food, or whatever it may be,  you can call 2-1-1. Yes, it's like 911, only 211. You can also text #898-211. A specialist will listen to your needs and give you information on programs in your community that might be able to help you. There are resources to help veterans, offer disaster relief, support senior citizens, and stop substance abuse just to name a few!
PA 211 Website

If you need someone to talk to, reach out to your school counselor. 

March 26th- Even though most college campuses are closed, don't let that stop you from researching your dream school! Take some time to do a virtual college tour. 
Virtual Campus Tours
And to prepare for the time when you can set foot on campus, visit this site to create a list of questions to ask. (You might not want to ask all 100 questions, or you might be a college visit overachiever.) :) 
College Visit Questions 



March 25th-  Today, I want to share a tool that few people know about that seems to be greatly underutilized. Did you know you can get an estimate on the amount of financial aid your family will receive? It works best the closer you are to attending college, but even elementary level parents can try it out to receive an estimate. Check out the FAFSA4caster at the link below. 

FAFSA4caster

March 24th-
Let's be honest. This is a time of great uncertainty, tensions are high, and many of us are REALLY worried and scared. My best advice to you is to focus on things in your life you CAN CONTROL and move in a positive direction. Let go of the things that are beyond your control. For example...

You cannot control...
If others follow social distancing rules
The actions of others
Predicting the future of the virus
How others react to things
How long this will last
The amount of toilet paper and supplies at the store

You can control...
Your positive attitude
How you will follow the CDC recommendations
Your own social distancing
Your kindness and grace during this time
Finding fun things to do at home or new things to learn
Turning off the news and social media

As far as moving in a positive direction, try to focus on one thing that you can do each day to make yourself better. Check out this youtube video about having a "non-zero day". Take baby steps to meet your goals!
Non-Zero Days

If you want to track your progress, an app I've found to help with these long days is "No Zero Days". The motto of the app is "Be someone you're proud of." It takes a positive look on life by helping you recognize that you can make a small difference each day by doing one small thing. It divides your days into four areas: Created, Helped, Learned, and Health. Every day, when you do something that goes towards any of these categories, you tap the button or enter a note about what you did. 

Use this time to work on being a more positive and productive person! 



March 23rd- Week two begins today! I hope all my students are staying well. I miss seeing you each day. During this time off, it's important to keep not only your mind active and well, but your body, too. Some of you might be feeling overwhelmed, down in the dumps, or stressed. A positive way to combat these feelings is through exercise! If you can go outside for a walk or run each day, you'll boost your immune system, burn calories, get a dose of Vitamin D, and hopefully feel more positive! Exercise also helps your mind stay alert and in the best possible shape it can be. It's been proven that exercising helps boost decision making skills, improves memory, and helps with your ability to multi-task and plan. Many gyms and organizations are offering free online workouts during this time. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Via Facebook, visit Momentum Female Fitness or Planet Fitness. Both gyms are live-streaming workouts each day. There are probably more gyms offering this service, but these are two I am familiar with. 
Via the app store, you can download Nike Training Club. Yoga, Cardio and HIT, and strength training workouts are all available. 
You can do an easy google search of "free workouts" and several articles will come up that show you many websites, apps, and pages that are offering free workout sessions.

YMCA 360- The Y has posted over 60 free workouts. They vary from yoga to weightlifting, Tai Chi, and even a "Youth Sports Performance", which helps develop overall athleticism and takes speed and agility to the next level. 

Stay positive and stay active!

March 19th- Too bad the SAT for May is cancelled, but you have a lot of spare time on your hands right now to practice! Here are some helpful sites. 

Daily SAT Practice
This app can become a part of your daily routine. Answer a question and receive feedback. You can reveal hints if you are struggling and even read answer explanations to learn from your mistakes.  

 Khan Academy Official SAT Practice
Take 8 full-length practice tests!
If you took the PSAT, this site will taylor personalized SAT practice for you based on PSAT scores. If you didn't take the PSAT, you can take an assessment to receive personalized practice based on your skills.

This app can become a part of your daily routine. Answer a question and receive feedback. You can reveal hints if you are struggling and even read answer explanations to learn from your mistakes.  

20 hours of practice on Khan Academy is associated with an average 115-point score increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT, nearly double the average gain without Khan, according to the website.


March 18th- Luckily, the counselors were able to see "most" students for scheduling before our unexpected two week closure. If you did not have a scheduling appointment, one of us will be reaching out via email. 

During the scheduling process, I met with many juniors who are unsure about their career choices. I know a few current seniors who aren't sure about their future plans, too.  It's certainly a HUGE decision! Spend some time checking out this resource if you are trying to decide. 

 My Next Move

- Search careers with key words such as "animals" or " build houses."

-Browse careers by industry.

-Answer questions about the type of work you might enjoy to receive suggestions. 

-Check out careers in groups, such as those with a "Bright Outlook" or those within a certain career cluster. 




About Me: 
     
This is my 19th year as an employee of West Perry School District.
          
I taught Language Arts at the middle school for six years and have been a high school counselor for thirteen years. I currently work with the 12th grade class. I love helping with college and career decisions.

I earned my English certification and my School Counseling certification at Shippensburg University.
I am currently the high school counseling department chair. I also serve on the Student Assistance Team.

I grew up in Elliottsburg, and I now live with my husband and two sons in Landisburg. I am a proud West Perry graduate and Perry County community member. 

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.