Counselor's Corner

December 2014

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Keep Calm & Enjoy The Holidays!

Welcome to the time of year between Thanksgiving Break and Holiday Break. The next couple weeks are going to be fast and furious. Here are some things you can do that might make life a little easier during this time (Aimee Bartis, Getting Smart 2013):

  1. Overplan and stay flexible – Make sure you have enough to keep students busy and on track. But not busy work, regular work --> You still have standards to teach. The quickest way to lose control of a classroom is for students to think their work doesn’t matter. However, these three weeks are notorious for assemblies, concerts and parties. Enjoy these with your students.

  2. Attend special events – There will be holiday parties, concerts and events. Make plans to attend them. I know you’re tired but your attendance will mean so much to your students and their parents. Attending staff parties will show you’re a team player and it’s so much fun to see your colleagues in a different setting.

  3. Know your students – Know what holidays they celebrate and highlight it. Kids love to learn about holiday traditions and celebrations. Let the students teach each other. You’ll find you learn a lot as well.

  4. Create classroom traditions – Examples: Elf On The Shelf, Holiday gifts for parents, Christmas stations/rotations, Polar Express Day, etc.

  5. Ask for help – You have parents that want to help in your classroom, many are just waiting to be asked. If you are feeling overwhelmed, send out an email asking for help. Be specific about what you need and when you need it. Parents will come through.

  6. Keep a list – Students will bring you gifts during this time so keep a list of who brings you what. You have the awesome opportunity to model gratitude to your students by writing thank you notes. Please treasure the gifts that students bring. They are usually so excited to give it and you don’t want to crush their spirit.

  7. Give – Try to give your students some kind of small gift. Organize a giving opportunity for your students as well. These opportunities should not involve money: the point is to instill a giving spirit in students and develop a culture of kindness in the classroom.

  8. Breathe – Be the STAR, balloon, drain or pretzel!!! This is supposed to be a happy time. Don’t over do it- Stay within your limits and do things for yourself to restore a positive outlook.



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You Are The Decisive Element.

Remember that you are the decisive element in your classroom. Be the element that models positive social interactions and connections with kids. Not convinced of the huge influence and power you have over your students? Watch this video and I promise it will change your mind!
Children See Children Do - 2013

On A Much Lighter Note....

Here are some feel-good holiday favorites to look forward to!


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Caring Counselor Lesson

All students will receive a counselor guidance lesson with their class during the week of Dec. 1- Dec. 5 and participate in activities which revolve around the monthly district focus of caring. Students will learn the true meaning and understand the importance of caring for ourselves, others, the community, and our environment. Students will learn that their actions are impactful, thus realizing that they have an effect on others. Students will identify strategies such as being kind, compassionate, helpful, thankful, and forgiving to show that they care. Students will also identify kind vs. hurtful behavior. Additionally, students will continue to demonstrate their knowledge beyond the guidance lesson by applying learned skills/strategies to real life situations on a daily basis through kind interactions with others while at school.

Take Responsibility for Instilling Kindness In Your Students

"Kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it."

Make sure your classroom culture encourages kindness and caring; show your students that you care by loving and connecting with them every day. Set up opportunities for children to participate in kind acts themselves. See the ideas below.

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Kindness Elves

"Kindness Elves" are an alternative to the popular "Elf On The Shelf" concept which focuses on positive, character-building activities that teach love, kindness, and gratitude. These elves provide children with "Acts of Kindness" to perform, which reinforce the idea that Christmas is a time for giving; the "best" gift you can/should give everyone is the gift of kindness. To learn more about Kindness Elves and how to implement this great tradition, visit the Kindness Elves Facebook Community at

Additional Ways To Demonstrate Caring...

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Spreading Holiday Cheer

Another favorite holiday past time is watching Christmas movies.. Gotta love the Hallmark Channel!! Here are some quotes to cheer you up & get you in the Christmas spirit:
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Happy Holidays!

May God bless your family with peace, love and joy this Christmas and best wishes in 2015! Enjoy the break!
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