JTMS Counseling Newsletter

November 30, 2020

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"Merci, au revoir" means "Thank you, see you again" in French!

The changes in this school year don't stop coming. Mrs. Carroll, the 6th grade counselor, has been asked to fill a temporary position teaching French and ESL for JTMS and JTHS. During this period, she will not be able to continue working as a counselor for the 6th grade, even though the 6th graders are near and dear to her heart! So, for the time being, if you need to speak with a counselor, please reach out to Ms. Martino at jmartino@jefftwp.org or either of the other two counselors, Mrs. LaCatena or Miss Ellingsen. We are all here for you and any of us would be happy to work with you.
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National Special Education Day

On December 2nd, National Special Education Day commemorates the day when the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law in 1972.

IDEA made education available to all American children and this day honors the progress that has been made in special education. Before IDEA, many individuals with disabilities received little to no education. Schools were not required to make accommodations for children with disabilities. While some states offered special schools, the education and resources were not necessarily equal. Additionally, many parents couldn’t afford to send their children away to a special school.

What we celebrate this day is that our country stands for equality and justice for all, just like we say in the pledge every day. People learn in many different ways, and special education allows all students to learn in a way that makes sense for them.

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Empathy: Putting Yourself in Someone Else's Shoes

Do you ever feel like other people have NO IDEA what you're going through, or how hard things can be for you sometimes?

Maybe you had something that was bothering you that was on your mind and you told a friend or a family member about it, hoping that they would say or do something that would make you feel better. But then, instead, what they said or did made you feel worse! What you wanted at that time was for that person to have empathy.

When people are feeling bad, often what they want from the people around them is EMPATHY. Empathy is being able to UNDERSTAND and SHARE the feelings of another person. One way to think of it is putting yourself in someone else's shoes.

Your sister's goldfish dies. How do you think she feels? Probably sad. Do you understand it? Do you feel a little sad, too? If you care about your sister, when she feels sad, you get it, and you feel a bit sad, too, because you don't want her to feel unhappy. It affects you.

Your best friend missed a free throw in the last minute of your team's basketball game, and your team loses by one point. You probably feel upset about the loss, but, can you put yourself in your friend's shoes? She probably feels even worse, like she made the whole team lose. What if it had been you who missed the shot, instead of her? What would you want someone to say to you?


"Good game!"

"Nice try..." or

"Hey, you must feel bad about missing that shot. How are you doing? Are you okay? I'm sorry."

Figuring this out, how to understand and feel what people around you are feeling, and using it in your everyday life, will help you have more empathy. It will help in all of your relationships, with friends, family and teachers. And, it will help you be the sort of person who doesn't make your upset friend even more upset, but you will help them feel better.

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Mindful Walkabout- Grade 6

Over the past few weeks, the 6th graders were learning about mindfulness during their Enrichment classes, including a technique for gaining mindfulness called the Mindful Walkabout. They had the option of going on a slow and mindful walk in their neighborhoods in nature, or even just in their yard to observe the simple, everyday things that they could notice. Some students chose to participate, and then wrote a short, two-line poem, or a couplet, about what they observed, with a picture, if they so chose. Below is one of their mindful observations.
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Essentials with Miss Ellingsen

Gentle Yoga

Gentle yoga can be a great way to start your day and slowly wake your body up. It can also be a great way to calm your body and destress when you’re having a long week. Take some time after this holiday weekend to start your week fresh with a short, gentle yoga session.
Morning Yoga for Beginners - Gentle Morning Yoga - Yoga With Adriene

Useful Links

We Are All Different - and THAT'S AWESOME! | Cole Blakeway | TEDxWestVancouverED
Just Like Me - Empathy Practice

JTMS Counseling Department

Your counselors are here for you! Parents, students, teachers: please get in touch with us any time you have a question or concern. We care about you!

Miss Ellingsen, Mrs. LaCatena, Mrs. Carroll and Ms. Martino