A few years ago, a 4th-grade student I had worked with regularly since kindergarten sulked into my office. Her head was down and her arms were crossed. I could tell she had been crying. She had just created a memory book with her classroom teacher when it suddenly hit her: elementary school was really over. Among other big changes on her horizon, she realized that her daily hugs and weekly check-ins with me, her school counselor, were coming to an end. I was "her person" at school, and our ... VIEW POST
Picture this...you’re 11-years-old and have been happy as a clam at your elementary school for as long as you can remember. But, your small, safe world is about to be turned upside down with a big move to the middle school down the street! Your mind is FLOODED with questions and worries: "How do I open my locker? How many teachers will I have? Will I get lost? Where do I sit for lunch? Will my friends be in my classes? Is the homework really hard? Will I fit in? Will I make the sports team? ... VIEW POST
I was a first-year school counselor standing at the front door greeting students as they walked into school for the day. A new second grader approached me and asked for a snack. I noticed right away that she looked unkempt - her clothes were dirty and her hair was matted. I had some treats in my office and asked her to join me. When we arrived at my office, she ate and asked if she could tell me a secret. She then shared that her mom had been gone all weekend and left her in her room to watch TV ... VIEW POST
An overwhelmed, exhausted, and overworked 3rd grade teacher walked into my office. It was April - standardized testing season. With panic in her voice, she shared that she was up all night worrying about whether she had prepared her students well enough for THE TEST. Had she done enough intervention with Sally, or had she reviewed sufficiently with the whole class? If her students didn’t do well, what did that mean about her as a teacher? Despite her best efforts each and every day, was she ... VIEW POST
Into my office stomped an obviously upset fourth grader: his fists were clenched, his face was as red as his shirt, and his body was trembling. Behavior is communication, and it’s not uncommon for kids who have trouble handling emotions to lose control. Just like adults, kids experience big emotions as they navigate through life, one of the strongest of which is anger. Anger is one of our most basic emotions and although it is often seen as a negative feeling, it does serve a purpose. Anger ... VIEW POST
I’ll never forget the phone call from my best friend, my precious student DeShawn’s kindergarten teacher. She explained, through tears, that DeShawn and his sweet older sister Deja had ridden the bus home from school like they did every day, expecting to see their mom waiting for them at the bus stop. When she wasn’t there, they walked home and knocked on the front door. No one answered. They decided to go to their next-door neighbor’s house, who kept a key to their home in case of emergency. ... VIEW POST
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