Online Kindness

January’s focus for classroom lessons has been online kindness and safety. I’ve discussed this with different grade levels using different terms and fun videos. We’ve talked about what is good and bad about technology, how to make sure you are clear online, rules such as “don’t type anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face”, the consequences of taking a picture of someone without their permission, and what cyberbullying is as well as what to do if you are a bystander to cyberbullying. Ask your student what they learned!

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


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!