Counselor Connection

September Happenings in the Counseling Department

September Character Focus

Initiative is the character word of the month. Initiative is "Seeing what needs to be done and doing it". Your student of the month name is due to me by Wednesday, September 16th. The Student of the Month Breakfast will be Thursday, October 1.
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Counseling Units will begin for 3rd and 4th grade on Monday, September 28th. Scheduling will open up for these units next week.

Classroom Guidance signups will continue to be completed on Sign Up Genius. Watch your inbox for links to the next available schedule.

Student Needs

As you are getting to know your students more, let me know if you discover students that need any services or extra counseling such as the Backpack Program. Students will be invited to begin small groups beginning next week. Also, remember we have a school supply closet as well as a clothes closet for kids that may need weather appropriate clothing or shoes. Other needs could be the need to pair up with an older student or an adult mentor.

Counseling Department Advisory Committee Meeting

Tuesday, Sep. 29th, 3pm

Room 303

If you are interested in helping to shape the direction of the Counseling Department at Rock Spring, I am looking for volunteers to serve on the Advisory Committee. There are several members of the community that will be joining us for this short meeting to review the data from the Needs Assessment given earlier this year, and plan where the department will go this year. I hope you will join us! (I'll bring bagels!)

Tips for Dealing with Difficult Parents

I love these 5 tips for dealing with difficult parents (especially with Curriculum Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences around the corner). I know it's lengthy, but hopefully you will find something worthwhile. And, remember, if you ever want someone else in the meeting with you, I am happy to do that.

1. Let upset parents know that your goal is to help every child succeed. Look for ways to find common ground. Tell parents that both of you want what’s best for their child and that you want to find ways to work together. When parents are able to look at the big picture and realize that you are on the same side, you can begin to work together to help their child succeed.

2. Be sensitive! No matter how tense a situation becomes, always remember that your student is someone’s precious baby. Open your conversation with parents by acknowledging the child’s strengths before you focus on areas of concern.

3. Good records that document dates, times, notes and decisions about students can be invaluable if problems arise. Keep track of communication you’ve had with parents throughout the school year. Make a set of parent communication folders by labeling file folders with the names of your students. Staple a few blank sheets of paper inside each folder. Use these folders to jot notes with details of important conversations and keep notes from parents organized. Inside each folder, write the date, name of the parent with whom you spoke, and any actions that need to be taken. Make sure to date notes that you receive from parents before you file them in the folders. If you respond to a parent’s note in writing, make a copy of your response and staple it to the parent’s note. After making phone calls to parents to discuss problems, take a few minutes to record any important information that was discussed. Parent Communication Files come in handy if you ever need to document how you’ve involved and informed parents after an incident at school. Keep these important folders inside the front of your desk drawer so they are at your fingertips instantly.

4. Be proactive! Contact parents as soon as you see academic problems or negative behavior patterns develop. You’ll have a better chance to change these patterns if you catch them early. Here are some things to discuss with parents:

  • areas where their child excels
  • if their child is attentive during lessons
  • where their child stands academically
  • specific areas where their child experiences difficulties
  • specific ways they can help their child at home
  • how well their child gets along with classmates
  • how long homework should take to complete
  • allow parents to share their concerns and ask questions
  • if you are unsure what a parent asks about, request specific examples

5. Be prepared to give specific examples to illustrate the points you make.

from Gazette Barbara and Sue Gruber

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