Blog

Do you like podcasts?

I have to say I’m behind the times on this one. I didn’t really start listening to podcasts until last year when I was taking a class in Wayne, Nebraska and was often making drives late at night with poor radio signals. I started downloading some podcasts and found so many of them very enlightening! I still enjoy listening to them now even without the drives.

One podcast I really enjoy is “Hidden Brain” from NPR. I’ve linked below interesting podcasts on the importance of teaching “soft skills” such as empathy and kindness, and barriers to meeting goals you’ve set for yourself (timely as we usher in our new year).

Hidden Brain: The Persistent Power of State and Education

Hidden Brain: Creatures of Habit

2020!!!

It’s 2020! How exciting it is to always start a fresh, new year! We are hard at work today, and look forward to welcoming students tomorrow!

The counseling program starts in full swing tomorrow too! We are welcoming new students, and I always look forward to meeting new students, giving them a tour, telling them about my job as a school counselor, and going over important information like how recess and lunch work. I will also start with the January lessons this week. In January, all grade levels except for 2nd grade will be working on how to be kind online and digital etiquette. Of course, these lessons look very different for the different age levels, but the overall theme of being kind is important for all. 2nd graders will be finishing the last bullying lesson, and then will do their digital etiquette lesson in February.

The other big thing starting tomorrow is Connection Clubs. I spent 2nd quarter meeting with students individually to ask about who they would feel like talking to if they were “having a bad day.” Students were shown pictures of the adults in our building and could select as many as they felt were appropriate, but also didn’t have to select anyone. I then compiled all the data (and boy was there a lot of it!) Every student who did not identify any adults in our building were placed in a Connection Club with me. I am excited to spend time with these students during their recess and/or lunch. We will talk about how we are all connected and do fun activities. I also hope to have additional adults from the building join us to further those student/adult relationships.

Research shows again and again the importance of students feeling connected to their school including the adults in their building. I am hoping to provide those benefits starting tomorrow!

A Long Break, Now What?

Next week we get to celebrate Thanksgiving, and as a result, students will have four school days off. Including the weekend, it will be a six day break. If you are wondering what to do with that time, you are in luck. I have a few ideas!

As your student to read to you. Our public library system is amazing! You can spend a lot of time just browsing, reading, talking, and doing whatever craft is set up for the week. Check the library’s website for more events too!

Another website that is AWESOME for finding ideas is Macaroni Kid. They always have a list of events with information including the cost. Many of their activities are free too!

Electromagnetic Field?

Did you know?

 

Did you know the heart generates electrical amplitude and the electromagnetic field of the heart extends 10 feet out from the body? A person’s heartbeat can actually be measured in another person’s brainwave and a connection is created.

This is very powerful when thinking of working with students. When an emotionally regulated and calm adult is next to, or gently touches the should of a dysregulated and disruptive student, an energy exchange happens. Thus, it is imperative that the adult’s emotional state be positive. This can create “heart coherence,” driven by a state of love, gratitude, and happiness, the waveform is ordered and stable.

 

 

However, when someone is angry and resentful, the waveform is disordered, jagged, and unpredictable. This feeds negativity and fear into an interaction between an adult and student.

 

Adults’ emotions cannot be suppressed; they have to be processed and acknowledged, otherwise they will show up in resentment and anger. It is critical for adults to monitor their thoughts, reactions, and feelings while around stude

November Bullying Lesson

Each month, I get to go into classrooms for a lesson. I love this part of my job for many reasons, but one is that I get to interact with each student monthly.

Throughout first semester, we use the Second Step bullying curriculum for our lessons. So far, all grade levels have had a lesson on what bullying is and what to do if you see bullying. We consider bullying to be more than just someone being mean or arguing with someone else. For it to be considered bullying, it needs to happen more than once and be one-sided. Thus, two students would not “bully each other” because the implication is that both are being unkind. Rather that would be an argument/problem/conflict that needs to be resolved. Bullying is when one student continues to be unkind to another.

We discuss that you need to report bullying to an adult whether it happens to you or you are a bystander and see it happen to someone else. We have identified who those adults are that we could report to as well as practiced how to report bullying if we see it. Kindergarten through 2nd grade will be practicing how to refuse bullying during this month. Third through fifth grade, instead, will discuss and practice how to be a helpful, supportive bystander. As always, look for handouts to come home this month.

Book Fair!

I love books and I love shopping, so a book fair is right up my alley. I always am so excited to see those Scholastic boxes show up because they signal, “Book Fair Time!” If you can find time to stop in this week before or after school, you will find a wonderful selection of books available. They are usually fairly inexpensive too. Go see Mrs. Anderson at the BOOK FAIR!

Conferences

Tonight we start with our first night of parent-teacher conferences for the 2019-2020 school year! It is always such a great opportunity to see what your student is learning, ask questions, and learn about how you can continue to support your student in school. We always look forward to meeting with families, and encourage students to come along so they can be part of the conversation. If you need to reschedule your conference, please just let your student’s teacher know and you can work together to find a time to reschedule.

2nd Quarter!

It’s so exciting to think we’re 1/4 of the way through the year! I think the students were excited to be back from Fall Break, and we’re all rejuvenated to get back to learning.

I’ll be finishing up the October lessons in the next two weeks. I’ve really been enjoying going into the classrooms. They’ve been able to share a lot that they retained from last year. I’ve also incorporated giving “Calm Down Kits” to each classroom, so we’ve been discussing the rules around the kits.

In November, we’re going to start on the 3rd bullying lesson. The topic varies from grade to grade, so ask your student what Mrs. Harris talked about! You can also look for the Home Links to come home with your student monthly.

It Finally Feels Like Fall!

I am so happy that the weather is finally cooler! It seems like fall took a long time to come. With the predictions being a long, cold, snowy winter, I’m trying to appreciate the nice weather even more!

We’ve been busy here at Everett with lots of learning! I have finished up all of the first bullying lessons, and have started Bullying Lesson #2. For older students, this lesson focuses on who bystanders are and how they can help when they see bullying. For younger students, we are talking more specifically about how to report bullying, and who they can report bullying to.

The groups I’ve been meeting with are finishing up, and we will be starting new groups second quarter. Second quarter is, afterall, just around the corner! I’ve also been lucky enough to meet with lots of students individually!

As a reminder, the Everett Goodie Hunt is Thursday, the 10th, from 6:00-7:00.

What are these papers?

If your student has brought home papers with a Second Step Bullying heading on them, they’re from me. For each lesson, there is a Home Link that goes home. These can serve as great conversation pieces with your student. The handout outlines the information we discussed in the lesson as well as prompts for talking about the material. These do not have to be returned, but are good information for you and your student!