So What’s the Deal with Bullying?

As I finished my lessons today, I thought about how much more knowledgeable the students at Everett are about bullying and how to handle bullying when it happens. Then I realized this information might not be shared with our families. I thought it might be a good idea to share what we’re discussing.

The first bullying lessons all covered the difference between bullying and a problem or conflict. We discussed bullying as something unkind that happens over and over again and on purpose. It is one-sided and you haven’t been able to get it to stop. We talked about how if someone accidentally steps on your toe when you are lining up, it isn’t bullying. We also talked about how if something happens just once, it probably isn’t bullying. It can still be a problem, but it isn’t bullying. Fourth and fifth graders also spent time the first lesson practicing reporting and refusing bullying as well.

The second bullying lessons were different for kindergarten through third grade, and fourth and fifth grades. The younger students focused on reporting bullying. We talked about how reporting bullying is different than tattling, and identified who caring adults are in our building to whom you can report bullying. We also practiced saying, “I need to report bullying,” in an assertive voice (head up, looking at the person you are talking to, and using a strong, respectful voice).

The fourth and fifth graders focused on the role of bystanders in their second lesson. We discussed the conflicting feelings bystanders to bullying may experience, and how it is important to report bullying to an adult even if you aren’t the one being bullied. The also were able to make a visual about the role of a supportive bystanders (posters for fourth graders and comic strips for fifth graders).

The third bullying lesson for kindergarten through third grade will focus on refusing bullying. We will talk about how to refuse bullying, and get to practice. The older students will continue our focus on bystanders and the steps they can take as a bystander to be helpful.

The final bullying lesson for kindergarten through third grade discusses the role of a supportive bystander. Fourth and fifth grade will focus on cyberbullying for this final lesson.

I asked teachers to send home the family links before the bullying lessons began, and the home link for the first bullying lesson. The family link included an activation code for the Second Step Bullying website, and the home links cover what we talked about during our lesson. Please use these resources to help further your student’s learning. As always, let me know if you need another copy of anything!

A Quarter Down!

The teachers here at Everett keep looking at each other with shock and saying, “The first quarter is over?!” It seems amazing that we have already completed the first quarter. Mr. Long was joking that he probably should take down the “Welcome Back” sign that he has up!

These last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy. Ms. Imel and I were able to attend a lengthy training about family involvement, and Mrs. Johnson, Ms. Charity, and I were all able to go to Chicago for three days to learn more about PBIS (our district’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program). I also had to be gone for a couple of days for family emergencies, so I feel like I wasn’t at school near as much as I’d like to be!

The good news is, all classrooms except for one have now had the first lesson of the bullying curriculum. Look for the first Home Link to be coming home. You do not need to return the Home Link, but rather can use it as a discussion tool with your student. Also, remember all parents and guardians have access to the Second Step website. Please let me know if you need another copy of the code for access.

I’ve also been able to meet with a lot of students to problem solve. I enjoy many parts of my job, but that part is probably my favorite!

Coming up for second quarter, I will be in all classrooms teaching the remaining three bullying lessons. I will also continue to be available for individual students. In addition, I will start meeting with groups of students who are of the same age and struggling with similar issues. These will likely happen once or twice a week during their recess time.

On a final note, I LOVE data, and have collected data for my first round of lessons. Each grade level (except for kindergarten) was given a post-test about being able to differentiate bullying from a conflict or problem. First, second, and third grades were given two scenarios for which they had to either circle “Bullying” or “Not Bullying”. Fourth and fifth graders were given four scenarios with the same directions. The graphs are below.


This is the graph I’m most proud of. It shows that 83% of Everett students answered ALL the questions right in terms of identifying bullying versus a conflict or problem!


September is Done!

Wowza! I keep remembering Monday is October, and can’t believe it! We’re also almost done with first quarter!

I was happy to start our new bullying lessons this week! They are a fun mix of videos, demonstrations, questions, and discussion. I also created a post-assessment to check if the students had successfully learned the difference between conflict and bullying. I am happy to report every single student thus far has correctly answered at least three of the four questions correctly. I’ll continue to teach these lessons to classrooms for the next few weeks. I’m excited!

3rd Grade Needs

I have completed all the 3rd grade introductory lessons and had them complete a needs assessment. Here are the results when asked, “What are two things you would like your school counselor to talk about this year?”


Friendships and careers seem to be on their mind, and topics I hope to cover this year!

Needs Assessment Data

I have now officially met with all 4th and 5th grade students. As part of my lesson, I asked them what they’d like me to focus on this year with the prompt, “Two things I would like the counselor to teach me about this year are…”. I have compiled the data, and here are the responses.


It is clear most 4th and 5th graders would like me to focus my time on friendships and careers. This is part of why I asked the question, because I likely wouldn’t have predicted these results. When planning upcoming classroom lessons, I will share this information with staff as well to help us guide our planning.

Only a Month?

I was thinking yesterday, being the 13th, it had only been one month since school started! Thinking of everything that’s happened since the first day of school, it seems like we’ve been hard at work for a much longer time.

I’ve been able to get into most of the classrooms to introduce myself and what my job is. I’ve also had several students use the “Help Ticket” to let me know they’d like to talk. I’ve helped students solve friendship problems, discuss grief and loss, find community resources, and problem solve around problems at home. It’s good to feel needed!

I have also been spending a lot of time preparing for the bullying lessons which will begin the 24th. I’m hoping to make them as fun and informative as possible. Look for information to be coming home about the bullying curriculum, as well as a home link each time I do a lesson.

September is Here!

Wow! It’s already September! I’m happy to report we are fully into our school year, and into learning. During these first weeks, I’ve worked to meet with every student who is new to Everett. I was able to have some new student groups the first few weeks, but since then have worked to make sure every new student to Everett feels welcomed. I’ve also completed an introductory lesson about myself and the services I provide to half of the grade-level classrooms. I’ll be finishing these lessons in the next couple of weeks, and then starting on the bullying curriculum lessons which are new to LPS this year! I’m excited to start these lessons!

Please know you can always reach out to me if you have any questions. You can call the school at 436-1159, but the best way to reach me is at my e-mail address:

We’re Rolling…Almost!

We are in our third day of school, and our final shortened schedule day! This week has been very different for me as a school counselor than it had been as a teacher. I’ve had the chance to get a lot of “behind the scenes” work done. I’ve ordered books and supplies for the counseling room, created forms, made lists, and done lots and lots of reading!

I’m hoping to spend the next few days meeting new-to-Everett students. Then in the next few weeks, I’ll start going into every classroom to introduce myself as well as introduce students to what a school counselor is. I thought I would share some of that information here too.

A school counselor is someone who is available for ALL students within a school. There is no special “list” a student needs to be on in order for them to speak with the counselor. I will be doing classroom lessons once a month, as well as working with small groups of students and at times, individual students. However, a school counselor is not a therapist. If a student is in need of long term and/or intensive treatment, I will work with the family and other school personnel to identify a different person for them to meet with.