Thursday, December 20, 2012

I LOVE my job!

There are times that being an elementary school counselor can be very stressful.  There are times that we may feel pulled in many directions.  There are times that we wonder if we are making a difference.  There are times that we question our effectiveness.

Even through the midst of doubt there are numerous times that make everything worth it!  Here is my "Christmas List."  Instead of making a list of things that I want to receive, I have made a list of why I absolutely love and treasure my job!

Top 10 Reasons I LOVE my job:

  1. I work with EVERY student in the school.
  2. I help kiddos calm down when upset.
  3. I am able support teachers during stressful situations.
  4. I get the reward of watching kiddos grow from kindergarten to 5th grade.
  5. I am able to provide a safe place for students, parents and teachers to talk and share.
  6. I work with AMAZING people!
  7. I work in a community that embraces and supports anyone and everyone.
  8. I still get to teach!
  9. I get to advocate for kids.
  10. I have the privilege of organizing our "Adopt a Family" program and see the joy on the faces of the parents who did not know if their kids would get to have Christmas.

This Christmas will be horribly difficult for many due to the recent events in Newtown, CT.  I hope everyone takes a minute to reflect on why they do their jobs, especially those who work with children.  Being a counselor and former teacher has its ups and downs but I cannot imagine a more rewarding career!

Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sexual Abuse Prevention

My school district has been very proactive in the education of our staff and students about the subject of childhood sexual abuse.  There are several lessons taught by the school counselors and community agencies who come into the schools for sexual abuse prevention programs.  There are trainings for counselors and teachers on mandated reporting and warning signs of physical and sexual abuse.  Most recently, the district has asked the counselors to read Off Limits: A Parent's Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse.  I am reading this book as both a counselor and a mother.  It is certainly not easy to read this type of book because of the graphic nature of the content.  With that being said, I feel that it is important for EVERY parent, teacher, counselor, school administrator and child care professional to be educated in preventing childhood sexual abuse. 

Below is the book description.  The cost of the book is $20.00 on Amazon but I would be more than happy to lend out my copy if anyone is interested.  

"Sexual abuse of children is a very real danger, from big cities to rural towns. But by following the practical advice in Off Limits, parents and teachers responsible for the safety and welfare of children - from toddlers to teens - can make their children's worlds much safer. The book, written by two leading experts on sexual abuse prevention, gives an understanding of what child sexual abuse is; who sexually abuses children; how to recognize warning signs that someone may be sexually abusing a child; how and where abusers gain sexual access to children; now abusers keep their victims quiet; how to help a child who has been sexually abused; how to help a child who is abusing other children; and how to keep children safe from abuse."

Monday, December 10, 2012

3rd Grade Lesson

Third grade students played character bingo as a way to explore positive character traits.  Below is the newsletter that I sent home.

4th Grade Lesson

Fourth graders explored differences of others.  They partnered with another person in class to discuss what they had in common and what their differences were.  They had a great time getting to know someone better in their class.  Here is the newsletter that was sent home.

5th Grade Lesson

This week my 5th graders learned about positive self-talk.  I often worry about kiddos with all of the advertisements out there.  Kids are bombarded with images of "perfect" people.  Too often, children are faced with growing up feeling that they don't quite measure up.  I hope that this lesson at least gets them to think about the positive qualities that they possess.  I have attached the newsletter that I sent home with each student.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Motor Lab

Thanks to the help of a few district Physical Therapists, our Ready Bodies Learning Minds motor lab is up and going! We are so excited about all of the positive benefits for our students! We are hoping to see an increase in task focus, hand-eye coordination, reading comprehension, motor strength, and overall academic success. Stay tuned for updates as we explore this program!

Friday, December 7, 2012

2nd Grade Lesson

Second graders learned an important skill for making and keeping friendships (Cooperation).  Below is the newsletter that I sent home with each student.

1st Grade Lesson

First graders learned how to identify different types of feelings.  Here is the Newsletter shared with each student.

Kindergarten Lesson

Kindergarten students learned how to be good friends this week.  Below is the newsletter that went home with students.