The Way I Work

Erinn Murphy - School Counselor at Carbondale Community High School in Carbondale, IL

Another The Way I Work Interview – Erinn Murphy


Welcome back to a newer feature on The Counseling Geek – The Way I Work (TWIW). In TWIW posts – you get to take a virtual tour of fellow school counselors’ offices and learn about how they make their world run. You can check out the first post where I kick it off with a post about my own office here. You can check out the first post where I kick it off with a post about my own office here. 

This month’s post is with Erinn Murphy – HS counselor at Carbondale Community High School in Carbondale, IL. You may also know Erinn from Twitter. She posts from @_ErinnMurphy.

I am checking out @_ErinnMurphy and her office in The Way I Work series #TWIW #scchat Click To Tweet

Welcome to Erinn’s Office

 (View her office gallery below!)

My name is Erinn Murphy and this is The Way I Work.


Locale: Carbondale, IL

How would you describe your office?: Bright, comfortable, (mostly) tidy, and welcoming. I also always have snacks and candy available for visitors. A previous school counselor of the year candidate, Kim Reykdal inspired me to laminate the questions “Who Am I?”, “What can I become?” “How do I become that?” for students to see when they are sitting at my desk. These are questions that I find useful every day, and I believe that just reading them inspires thought in students (and adults?!) that adds meaning and value to their decisions about the present and the future.

What is one must have tool in your office you could not live without? My computer and lots of colored pens. I organize a lot of tasks and explanations with color coding! I love Sharpies and I love Tul pens!

This is a tech-centric blog, what are the top 5 apps or digital tools you use on a regular basis (on a laptop or mobile device): Twitter, Excel, Naviance, Tyler & Tyler Pulse (our school data reporting system). I also love my scanner. It allows me to keep so much info that I do not have to file. I really try to minimize paper in my workspace.

Describe your workspace: Bright office with purple walls, several (real) plants, lots of student artwork and a neat desk. I enjoy sentimental clutter, but I do not enjoy excess or unnecessary paperwork! Natural or lamp light – no fluorescent lights in my space!! Visitors learn from sitting in my space that I like color, I like dogs and that they are welcome in the space.

Do you do anything “old school”?: I love a paper calendar. I am always excited to purchase a new one, and I do keep old calendars, as I have found them helpful in planning for coming years and as a resource for time management. I also do too many tasks, like tables and charts in MS Word, and I am still unsure of how the “cloud” works or if I can really trust it. My co-workers are working on me to get with the program!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?: Never hurry, never worry. I don’t follow it all of the time, but it is a mantra that eases a lot of anxiety at necessary times.

If you could change or improve one thing about your office – what would it be?: I love my space. I am moving to an office next door over the summer, and I have had the walls painted a similar color and hope to maintain a similar energy that I have in my current office. I am thankful for the space in our building to share a hallway with fellow counselors and our social worker, and I appreciate the centralized, but quiet location for students to visit our offices. 

Is there anything else we didn’t cover that you think readers would love to know about you?: We spend a lot of time in our offices, and it is worth it to make it feel good to you! Be creative and allow some of your personality and love of your work to show in your office space. When a student tells me that they like how my office feels, I am so pleased. I think it is really important to put effort into one’s office surroundings, as it impacts our relationship with every visitor and with our relationship with our work.


Interested in being featured?

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The Way I Work: Erinn Murphy – Carbondale Community High Sc…

time to read: 6 min

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