Counselor Corner

December 2020

I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy! I am aware that this is a challenging time for everyone, and I hope that we are all finding ways to bring joy and comfort to our lives.

I have been continuing my virtual lessons using the Second Step program. In our K - 5 classes, we have been learning about assertiveness, reviewing listening skills, and focusing on different ways to show our respect. We will also begin learning about how to handle stressful situations. In grades 6 - 8, we worked on goal setting, bullying awareness, and started to think about our future selves. I am also going to focus on coping skills, stress management, and strategies to handle anxiety.

We are lucky enough to have Detective Laird back this year to offer a virtual presentation on Cyber-safety to parents on December 10 at 7:30pm (details can be found below). He will also be recording a presentation that we will share with the middle school students!

Please remember that I am here to support the students however I can. I am available to meet via zoom if a student needs help or just wants to talk! Don't hesitate to reach out if I can support you in any way. Email is the best way to reach me while we are fully remote.

Please continue to read below for some information that I hope you will find useful! My website is updated regularly as well. You will find my virtual office there, and is updated regularly with links to resources and lessons.


Mrs. Stiles


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Parent Presentation on Internet Safety

Newton, Green Township and Andover parents and guardians are invited to attend this live presentation from Detective Thomas Laird. Detective Laird works for the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office. He will present information about staying safe on the internet. Click this link to view the flyer with additional information.
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What Can You Control?

Many young people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed right now. One way to help manage stress is to focus on letting go of things that are not in our control. I usually start talking with students about this in the early elementary grades when we discuss tattling vs. getting help, and recognizing that we cannot always control the behavior of others. Right now, there are many aspects of their lives that students cannot control: school being fully remote, sports and extracurricular activities being canceled, social lives being impacted, etc. But, there are many things that they can control: finding gratitude in small things, connecting with friends in different ways, learning something new, etc. The more they shift their focus away from the things outside of their control, and towards the things within their control, the more they likely they will be to build healthy coping and stress-management skills.
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Signs of Depression During COVID

It is absolutely normal for students to be struggling emotionally right now. We are going on nine months of incredible stress and uncertainty, and there are bound to be huge feelings about it. But, when does it move from the expected ups and downs and frustrations into something more serious like depression? It is important to be able to recognize the signs of depression in children, and I think this article does a good job of helping us do that. To paraphrase the article, "If you see the signs take note. If they last, take action." Click here to read the article.

Holidays During the Pandemic

For many of us, the holidays will look very different this year. This can be particularly difficult for children, who have been dealing with a lot of uncertainty (and often, disappointment) for much of this year. I found an article from the Child Mind Institute that I thought was helpful, and I wanted to share it with you. It includes tips for reducing stress, helping kids cope, and making new traditions. Click here to read the article.
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Dealing with Big Feelings

It is not unusual for children to have a difficult time navigating big emotions, even under the best of circumstances. It is no surprise, then, that managing these big feelings might be even more challenging during these times. As adults, it is important for us to equip ourselves with strategies to help our children cope when they feel overwhelmed. We may be seeing more anger or lashing out than we are accustomed to, and I read an article recently that I thought offered some useful suggestions about how to best help children handle their more difficult emotions. Click here to read the article.

Sussex Tech Applications

Sussex Tech is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year! Please let me know if you have any questions about the school or the application process. Detailed information can be found on their website (click here).
I have updated my webpage to include a virtual office where you will be able to find lessons and other helpful resources! It is a work in progress, so be sure to check in regularly for new information! Click on my bitmoji above to take a look around!
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We are thrilled to incorporate the Second Step social-emotional learning curriculum into our school this year for grades K-8. Second Step is a research-based social-emotional learning program designed to improve students’ social-emotional skills, such as emotion management, impulse control, problem solving, and empathy. Second Step skills and concepts are designed to help students both in and out of school. The curriculum includes an entire Bullying Prevention Unit, and it can be implemented both virtually and in-person!

Grades 6 - 8 will begin the year by focusing on mindsets & goals. We will learn more about developing a growth-mindset, building empathy, creating action plans, and goal-setting!

Grades K - 5 will begin with a focus on respect, assertiveness, empathy, and positive self-talk!