We're all coming back different due to this pandemic. It doesn't mean we are all traumatized. A lot of our students had a great time at home, some kids are excited to come back to school to see their previous teacher and friends, some kids are dreading the start of school because of the unknown. Some kids had loss, some did not.
It's going to be important to find out how our students are doing, while implementing SEL skills. We might not have "open house" or parent night. However, this is an area where we can grow and implement new innovative ideas when we think about building relationships with families.
As a school counselor my goal for the first few weeks of school will be devoted to community building. Our district has already concentrated on our MTSS-B model. Our ATT team uses data based problem solving to proactivity identify students who might need additional support. We have dissected the Universal Screening tool, implemented an Action plan, what our referral process looks like and what our students need to be successful as we re-enter.
Some kids are not ok. For a variety of reasons, their world has been turned upside down and they need more help. Psychological safety is just as important as physical safety in welcoming our students. If students feel unsafe at school, their ability to learn and grow is negativity impacted. As Dr. Bryan Pearlman states, "Maslow before Bloom."
That being said, I'm going to try and make a plan more than ever this year. I'm taking the time to make a comprehensive counseling plan for all students. I personally use the ASCA National Model but I know that's not everyone's jam. To get started, I have created a SMART goal, made a core lesson scope and sequence for the year and will keep a detailed calendar (maybe even more than one calendar - it keeps me on track). Furthermore, I will be attending a Dr. Marc Brackett virtual conference on Emotional Intelligence, hoping to implement RULER and use some of Dr. Bryan Pearlman techniques he expresses through his books, "Maslow Before Bloom" and "Whatever it Takes."
While implementing these suggestions, I'm hoping we will see a positive impact on our ability to be proactive and productive.
Let's get started! WE GOT THIS!