Counselor Corner

Hello from afar....

With uncertainties in the days to come, hoping to offer some assistance

Covid-19 has created an unexpected and unprecedented situation in public education. We have been thrown from routines and the familiar into a reality of social distancing and educating from home. Working in the same district your kids attend gives one a unique perspective, as a result, I know just how much the teachers want to help. The staff we have at Hanson are very much dedicated to continuing each student's academic success in this weird new time! So I'm not worried about the educating part... I'm concerned about providing the support and assistance all my K-12 kiddos might need in this uncertain time. With that in mind, I did a little research and have come across a ton of resources. I don't want to overwhelm anyone, but want to make you aware of what's available. Take a look at the thoughts I formed and resources below to see if any of them might be helpful for you!

  1. Create some structure even if it is flexible. You are the expert of your child(ren)- you know how much structure they need. Maintaining bedtimes and consider blocking off a certain time of day or amount of time for different subjects with brain breaks.
  2. Balance Technology/Schoolwork and Movement. Your child(ren) will be in front of a screen for the vast majority of their day for schoolwork and maybe even games and such. With the variance of weather, if your kid has to inside encourage brain break times of movement. Youtube is a great resource for silly movement - check out GoNoodle, CosmicYoga and for a little older children may be a yoga site like Tara Stiles.
  3. READ - if nothing else have your child(ren) read! Facetime/Skype a friend or a grandparent to read a story to. Call a cousin and read to them or read to a stuffed animal audience.
  4. Designate a space for schoolwork. This can help create a distinction between school time and playtime. No different then adults going to work and then home for downtime.
  5. Brain Breaks. Along with movement, students may just need a "brain break" where they are able to focus on other things or relax or destress. Many elementary students were taught "settle activities" Ask your child about the following: Tap, tap; push, pull, dangle; wave breathing and pencil breathing to name a few. Other resources include Headspace and Minds In Bloom Blog has a list of quick games to play. Here is a Bingo Challenge that could create an opportunity to acquire new skills and provide a little break for a few days.
  6. Be Kind to Yourself. This is new for everyone...and I know Hanson teachers are dedicated to helping your child(ren) be successful during this changing time. Whether you are home with your child(ren) all day or only in the afternoon or evening, try to maintain structure by planning ahead. Lastly, give yourself a nice long hug - you deserve it!
Big picture

All students matter - and all student feelings are ok (parent feelings too!)

I worry about all my students and their social/emotional well being as well as how parents are handling how to talk to their child(ren) about what is going on in the world. When I talk with students, most of the time it boils down to what we can control and what we cannot. Here are a few resources to talk to your child(ren) about COVID-19 and strategies to use.

Other things I offered were classroom lessons focusing on character building, emotion regulation, conflict resolution, and career exploration. Here are a few resources that could also provide a brain break or assist in regulating student emotions.

Last thing...

Know that I am thinking about you and your child(ren) and want to be available to students and parents in this uncertain time. So here is how you can get ahold of me.

  • I will be in my office and available via the school phone number 8a-10a daily M-F unless it is a scheduled day off from school (Good Friday, Easter Monday, etc.). The number is below.
  • Also available during this time to set up a Zoom/Google Hangout with students if they would like also during the above time or via appointment.
  • I check my email frequently throughout the normal school day hours of 7:45a-3:45p. If your child(ren) need to set up a face to face or chat or just want to have some email correspondence, my email is below.
  • After 10a until the close of the school day, I can be reached at 605-550-0455 via call, text or voicemail.
  • I do plan to call and check in on students from time to time throughout this, if you are opposed to me calling your home to chat with your child(ren), please email me that request.

Another resource available to all South Dakota High School Students 24/7 is the Text for Hope Helpline Center: They can text icare to 89821 to begin the conversation. The Helpline Center is also a great resource for a multitude of other things.