What is Bullying?

What is bullying? This has been the focus of all my classroom lessons for the month of September. We discuss, at length, that bullying is when one student is mean to another, it happens more than once, and they haven’t been able to get it to stop. We talked about how bullying is different from just being mean, and that while both are problems, if someone is being unkind, a student can usually use problem-solving steps they’ve learned through Second Step to solve the problem. Bullying is when the problem keeps happening, they’ve tried to solve it and can’t, and is one-sided. Being one-sided means that a problem is considered bullying when one person is being unkind to another, but that person is not being unkind back. Having an argument with another, then, while is might be a problem isn’t bullying.

We will continue to talk about what bullying is as well as what to do when you recognize bullying in the coming months.

Testing, Testing, Testing

As I look at my planner next to me, it is FILLED with testing times for all students! Kindergarten through fifth grade are all taking MAP tests this week so that we can use the results to formulate individualized plans for students who may need extra help. Hopefully this will help all students meet our high expectations! During this testing time, please encourage your students to try their best. Also, please help your student do his or her best by making sure they’ve gotten lots of sleep and have either had breakfast at home, or are coming to school for breakfast. Remember, we open the doors at 7:40 for breakfast!

 

End of August

Wow! It’s already the end of August. Those three weeks went by quickly and yet so much was accomplished!

I met with each classroom to review who I am, what I do, and how to find me. We also spent time in kindergarten, first, and second grade distinguishing between big and small problems. We talked about how big problems usually needed an adult to help us, but we can solve small problems by ourselves. Third, fourth, and fifth grade took on the task of joining my 2019-2020 Counselor Classroom (a Google Classroom) so that in the future we can quickly get on the website and I can assess how much students learned during our lessons.

All grade levels also participated in a discussion of what rules are, why we have them, and examples of rules. This was the mini-lesson that is included with the district bullying curriculum. Starting next week, I will be going into classrooms to start these bullying lessons.

As a reminder, there is no school on Monday for Labor Day. Also, CLC clubs start on the 9th.

Changes are Coming…

Part of my schedule as a school counselor is attending monthly Elementary School Counselor meetings. This morning, we had our first meeting, and discussed, among other things, changes to the report card for this year. You may be used to the “Character Development” section of the report card from previous years. However, since the district has now been utilizing the Second Step curriculum for a few years now, it seemed to make sense that it was represented on the report card. Thus, this year you will see new criteria represented on the report card which matches the skills taught in Second Step!

PLC Day!

Have you ever wondered what PLC is all about? PLC stands for Professional Learning Community, and it is when teachers can meet. During this time, teachers often are able to collaborate with other professionals in the school such as speech language pathologists, resource teachers, and ELL teachers. The teams are also able to reflect on the teaching over the past month and use data to identify what worked well and what didn’t work so well. Then, they use that information to plan for continued learning and perhaps reteaching. Often there are long discussions about how to make sure every student is meeting expectations and different instructional strategies they can use. The tables are typically covered with student assessment data, computers, and caffeinated drinks!

First Week Down

Our first week is done! It was a week of learning, making and reestablishing relationships, and finding our groove so to speak. We worked to build our classroom and school communities and welcome many, many new students. We even survived our first daytime thunderstorm and inside recess!

As a friendly reminder, please work on establishing routines at home to help your student be successful. These routines might include: setting a wake up time that allows everyone to be ready for the day in time for school, getting to school on time with everything your student needs, making sure all students know where you will pick them up after school, finding a time and place for students to complete their homework (homework should be coming home by now for most grade levels), and establishing a good bedtime routine. I know in our house, we have a very tired boy who has been asleep by 7:00 at night, and sometimes is still sleeping until after 6:00 in the morning!

CLC?

If you are new to Everett, or even if you aren’t, you may not be sure of what CLC is all about. We have a fantastic CLC program. They offer after school care where they provide homework help, a snack, outside play time, and more! They also help coordinate the many, many clubs offered throughout the year at Everett which are FREE OF CHARGE!!! We are lucky to have such a great CLC program, and I would encourage you to call our office to learn more about the services they provide!

TeamMates

Have you heard of the TeamMates program? It was started by Dr. Tom Osborne many years ago as a way to have football players act as mentors to Lincoln students. The program has grown and covers several states, but is still very active in Lincoln.

This year, I am lucky enough to be the TeamMates facilitator. Basically this means, I am in charge of the paperwork to help coordinate the program at our school. I hope to get several students on the waiting list so that as mentors become available, I can make a match quickly. Student nominations can come from anyone!

The TeamMates program has a challenge this year to recruit more mentors. While the word “mentor” may sound overwhelming, be assured that truly what we need is an adult who can spend some time each week with a student. Often the time is spent playing games or doing a craft. Sometimes it’s just coloring and chatting. Please let me know if you are interested, or know of anyone who is interested, in becoming a mentor!

First Day!

We have officially started the 2019-2020 school year! Walking around during breakfast this morning, it was so good to see so many returning students. I think we’re all a bit tired, but excited!

Quick reminder that students can come for breakfast, and will need to enter through Door 8 (west door). If they do not come from breakfast, they can enter through Door 3 on the east side or the main door, Door 1 on the north side. Adults are only to come in through Door 1, and need to check in with our Security Entrance Monitor.

We’re all excited, and ready to go!

Building Empathy

Hopefully, if you asked your student, they would be able to describe empathy to you, as it is one of the concepts presented in our social-emotional learning curriculum, Second Step. Empathy is the ability to understand how another person is feeling, and share that feeling with them. There was a line of thought about empathy being a fixed trait, but more and more research is showing that we can build empathy in all people, young and old. Part of my job is to help build empathy, so that Everett students are able to understand others’ feelings better. That was why I found this article to be so interesting!

Basically, it says that one way to build empathy is to read fiction books. Nonfiction books are great too, in that they build a lot of reading skills and strategies. However, when reading fiction books we are more likely to think about how a character is feeling, and we go through the book with them sharing their feelings. Therefore, we are building empathy. The empathy, though, doesn’t just stick with that character or for that book, but overall we have an increased level of empathy!

Therefore, while reading to you student was always something I encouraged, now I’m going to add to that with READ FICTION!