The Counseling Corner

Ms. Fisher & Ms. Hughes

Dear Families,

Welcome to the Counseling Corner! Here you will find information and resources on social/emotional learning and wellness, as well as general community resources. We will focus on informative tips on a different social emotional learning skill each trimester, and bring you up to date information on community resources throughout the year.


Julie Fisher ~ School Counselor Counseling Corner Website and

Jennifer Hughes ~ School Psychologist

Book Recommendations for Transitioning Back to School

Dear Families,

Since it will be some students first time at school, or their first time in class on campus in a year, you child might be experiencing a range of emotions about this, from excited to nervous to everything in between. You might as well! This is normal. I thought it would be helpful to recommend some books that help with transition to school and/or on separation anxiety, since I have heard from quite a few families that this is something that they are experiencing. Here are a few books that you can read together that help support your child with this:

The Kissing Hand by Barbara Bain

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

I have linked read alouds of them for your reference.

Feelings Check-In

Have you heard the phrase "name it to tame it"? A foundational part of social emotional learning is developing a student's feelings vocabulary. When they can name how they feel, then they can begin to handle (tame) those feelings. Here is a feelings chart for you to use if you'd like to post it at home or use it to help your child continue to learn to identify their feelings. It's important to remember that all feelings are okay. We aren't always supposed to be happy or calm. Sometimes we are sad or jealous or angry. It then opens up the conversation that how we handle those feelings makes all the difference.
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Holidays During the Pandemic

The holiday season usually is a joyful time but can also come with its share of stress under normal (not 2020!) circumstances. Many families look forward to gathering with relatives and friends, exchanging gifts and celebrating traditions. But COVID-19 and physical distancing have brought a new kind of stress and change this holiday season.

There are ways families can cut down their stress during the holidays, especially this year. Sticking to routines as much as possible, exercising, eating healthy food, and getting plenty of sleep can help. Pay attention to how much time your kids—​and you—spend on screens. And avoid the pressure to spend a lot on gifts, focusing on the simple joy of spending time together. It might even be a good time to start a new tradition.

Here is an article I found helpful and wanted to share with you all on tips for reducing stress, helping kids cope, and making new traditions.

Be well, stay safe.

Ms. Fisher, School Counselor

How to respond to, "It's Not Fair"

Does your child say, “It’s not fair” whenever things don’t go their way or they don't get what they want? Mine does!

How are some ideas for how to respond if your child complains that something is not fair:

1) My favorite phrase: Name it to Tame it! Often our children use the word "unfair" because they don't have other words to describe how they feel. In this case, what you can do is to help your child find the word that best fits how they're feeling. You can say something like, "You didn't get what you wanted and now you feel disappointed." or "You feel angry because you expected something different."

Here's another reason why we need to help our children identify and name their emotions. When we teach children about different kinds of emotions, we help them build emotional knowledge or emotional literacy. And this is very important because it helps them understand and manage their own feelings AND understand the emotions of other people and respond to them appropriately.

2) Help them understand the difference between "fair" and "equal". You can explain that your job as a parent is to make sure that everyone gets what they NEED. And everyone doesn't need the same things or at the same time. So things are not usually equal but they are usually fair. You can say something like:

"Your brother got new shoes because his feet grew. No one else got new shoes because our feet can still fit in out current shoes. Is it equal? No. Is it fair? Yes. When your feet grow and your current shoes become uncomfortable, you let me know so we can get you new shoes."

So you're essentially emphasizing that things might not be equal but they are FAIR and you will make sure that everyone in the family has what they NEED.

I hope this was helpful. Happy holidays!

*Adapted from Big Life Journal

Gratitude and Mindfulness

Hello Proctor families,

With the holidays approaching, it's important to remember that no matter what you celebrate, even during these uncertain times, we all have something that we can be grateful for. I have included below 10 Gratitude Prompts, as well as this article that lists 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude. I am grateful to be a part of our wonderful Proctor community!

Another way to de-stress over the holidays or any time is to practice mindfulness (focusing on the present moment, not thinking about the past or future). It's easier than it sounds, I promise! Below are 10 ways to practice mindfulness. Here is a link to a rainbow breath and a flower breath, which are both techniques to practice mindfulness. They can be done any time. Check out my website for more mindfulness information and techniques, as well as other information on supporting children's mental health during the pandemic, community resources, and lots of other helpful tips and information.

Take care, and stay safe,

Ms. Fisher

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Tips on Creating a Daily Routine or Schedule for your Family

It’s a new school year and a new way of teaching and learning for everyone. We are probably all experiencing some level of anxiety, worry, and stress due to the uncertainty surrounding the Pandemic.

Establishing a routine helps you plan, organize, and structure a schedule that best fits the needs of your family. This allows children a sense of security and safety knowing that there is consistency, familiarity, and predictability.

Some tips on creating a daily routine or schedule include:

  • Scheduling time in blocks to have it structured but leave flexibility

  • Have it posted so everyone can see it

  • Include your student in creating the schedule

  • Be patient and flexible, this is new for everyone

  • Set up your schedule to fit your student’s and family’s day

  • Schedule time for non-screen time breaks throughout the day

What about those times when you’re working or busy and the kids say they're bored, and need to do something independently? Try an activity jar!

Below is a template for a daily schedule below and more schedule templates here

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Hot Cocoa Breaths

Here is a video of the Hot Cocoa Breaths that Ms. Fisher showed students in her Community Circle. This can be used as a relaxation technique or calming strategy.



Since we are starting a new school year, we thought it would be fitting for our first Social Emotional Learning skill to select growth mindset to focus on, so that we will have an optimistic and positive outlook on the year.

What's a growth mindset? A growth mindset is a belief that with hard work and perseverance, we can develop the skills needed to take on challenges. Our talents and strengths are just a starting point—we can get better at anything with hard work. Rather than seeing mistakes as failures, mistakes become opportunities to learn and grow. When adults have a growth mindset, it helps us feel more positive—and it sets a good example for our kids!

Here are some tips to foster a growth mindset in your family:

Praise effort rather than results. Whether your child strikes out or hits a home run during the baseball game, tell them you’re proud of their hard work.

End negative statements with “yet.” If you start to say “I can’t” or “I’m bad at,” try ending your sentence with “yet.” You’ll feel more determined and hopeful when you say, “I’m not good at this… yet!”

Learn from mistakes. Making mistakes is frustrating. Take a deep breath and ask, “What can I do differently next time? What can I learn from this?”

Make a plan to improve. A written plan can give concrete steps of what to do next to get better. Celebrate even small steps towards improvement!

10 Growth Mindset Statements:



Resources for Food, Housing, and Counseling

Food and Housing resources

Proctor PTA Food Distribution every Tuesday at Proctor at 3:30

General Health, Housing, Human Services Resources

Crisis Support Services of Alameda County or call 211

Castro Valley Food Pantries

Alameda County Food Bank: (510) 635-3663 Or, visit

Counseling Services

Call National Suicide Hotline (800) 784-2433

Text HOME to 741741 to text with a crisis counselor

After hours:

Alameda County 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 1-800-309-2131

Family Paths- Parenting Stress Help-1-800-829-3777 to call their parenting support hotline

Eden Counseling

Axis Community Health

Asian Community Mental Health Services

General Health, Housing, Human Services Resources

Crisis Support Services of Alameda County

Alameda County Youth and Family Services (510) 667-3642

La Familia Counseling Service