Mission Trail Elementary

Mrs. VanGaasbeek's Counselor's Corner

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I was back in the upper grades this week. We focused on learning which of the multiple intelligences connected most with us in third grade. This can be beneficial as we look toward the future and what careers might interest us. Plus, it is a great tool to utilize within the classroom so teachers can help tailor activities toward each student’s strengths. In fourth grade we focused on emotional regulation. Specifically how to not “flip your lid” when you are upset. In order to do so we become emotional ninjas to showcase our inner calmness and strength. When we feel big emotions we should name the feeling, understand what our bodies are trying to say, and then come up with a healthy plan to overcome. This is much easier said than done in the moment, but practice can be very beneficial. In fifth grade we are working on embracing our own diversity and accepting others who are different than us. The students were quite interested to share about their different traditions, customs and beliefs that make them stand out in a crowd.

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Can You Do Me a Favor?

I am always on a quest to better myself. In order to do so I am always looking for constructive criticism from other perspectives. As a first year counselor I have learned a TREMENDOUS amount and understand that I have a long way to go to be the best. I am asking parents to complete a brief survey in order for me to find what is working and what needs some adjustments in the coming years. I would be so grateful to know your honest opinions. So, if you are willing to help me out please click on the link below.

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Fun and Easy Strategies for Calming Down

  • Learning to regulate our emotional responses, especially during times of stress, can be difficult. Calming strategies can help a child to work through strong emotions. When calming strategies are practiced regularly throughout the day, the possibility for use at times of anxiety is increased. Below is a list of ideas to think outside of the box…I recommend number seventy-four fort building!
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Spotlight on Kindness

  • Here at school, we have been very busy learning about kindness- what it means, why it’s important and how to get better at it! Learning happens best when it is done both at school and at home. Below are many ways that you can help your child continue to learn about the theme of kindness through reading about it, talking about it, and practicing it! We have really enjoyed exploring this topic at school, and I hope your family will enjoy it just as much!

Read About It!

Here are some books to help you learn more about kindness:

•How Kind! by Mary Murphy

•The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
•The Lion and The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Practice It!

Help your kids learn kindness:

Spend time writing encouraging notes to people in your community.

This could be neighbors, policeman, teachers, nursing home residents, firefighters, anyone!

Have your child go with you to deliver your notes of kindness!

Talk About It!

Here are some discussion points to help you talk about kindness with your child:
•Tell me about a time when someone was kind to you. How did it make you feel?
•What do you think kindness means and why is it important?

•Who is someone in your class you can be kind to?
•What are ways you can be kind to people at home, at school and in the community?

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Additional Resources

  • If you need food or clothing, fill out this anonymous request form, and your items will be delivered to MTE's loading dock within a week. You will create your own ID number on the form, which you'll then use to identify your items in the loading dock. This process is completely anonymous.
  • IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE A COMPLETE ORDER, please contact me. There is a request that has not been picked up. I will be happy to help connect you with the goodies!

Back Snack Program

  • We are excited to offer a great community resource through our partnership with Community for Kids.
  • Community for Kids is a local non-profit organization that has the mission “to alleviate food insecurity for students in the Blue Valley Community by providing weekend food packs”.
  • Here’s how it works: If your family would like to participate in the program please email Quisha Mitchell, MTE’s social worker, at qmitchell@bluevalleyk12.org to express your interest.
  • After providing consent, any child in your family ages pre-school through middle school is eligible to receive a weekend food pack throughout the school year each week.
  • There is no cost to participate in the program and participation is voluntary.
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Dinner Table Discussion


  • If you were able to design and create your classroom what would it be like? If you were able to change things at school, what would you do? Why do you think these are good plans?

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or celebrations!

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