Our 4th new character skill was curiosity. This one was especially hard to teach because so many students were taught that curiosity would get them into trouble. I had to reframe their thinking into remembering that curiosity leads us to learn new things. All learning starts when we are first curious about something. Read more
I apologize for the throughly lame title to this post . . . but I honestly couldn’t think of a cute, witty title . . . Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I promise this will be worth the read!
Last year, I started writing up monthly newsletters for the parents. I wanted to promote my program, so they knew what their child was learning during “Character Education.” During my first year of counseling (as the first counselor at the school), I kept battling parents who were truly angry when they heard their child came to see me or that I went into the classroom to teach a lesson. They figured if their child saw the counselor then there was one of two problems:
1. Their child was spilling all the family secrets
2. Something was wrong with their child and he would come talk to me
and inadvertently, even though he was only 4, he would spill all the family secrets. Read more
* Newsflash! This is by far my favorite lesson I’ve taught this year. Remember how excited I used to get about Jellybean Jamboree? Well, this lesson is comparable to that same excited feeling. The boys absolutely loved it! And it even taught me a little bit about the people around me and what kind of decision makers they are.
During the month of September, we are talking about fairness. A seemingly easy topic until you work at a boys’ school and they are always thinking things are unfair . . . “He cheated.” “No, that is mine.” “My teacher won’t let us play at recess because all she wants to do is sit inside.” “We want more freedom.” “Really it’s only fair if I win.”
No joke, these are all things I hear on a weekly basis . . . from all grade levels. You want to tell them, “Hello! Live and learn fellas.” But then again that wouldn’t be very counselor-y of me.
So instead I teach them things like how to be fair, how to assess if situations are fair, and yes . . . I teach them about decisions . . . because Lord knows some decisions are just flat out unfair, like jury duty, or pay days, or having to work . . . it seems in the life of a boy if you don’t get your way, it’s unfair. If I ran around doing the same thing, I’d be half as productive. So we move from focusing on the problem to understanding why decisions are the way they are. Read more
I started my 3rd year as school counselor with a fresh new room (well really I just rearranged the furniture) and fresh new lessons.
I am extremely blessed to have such a large room to be working in, but at times (during these past two years) it turned into a race track. With no division of work space and play space, my computer area turned into a tennis court, with balls bouncing on the back walls.
I thought this year I would rearrange so that each different section of my room had a purpose. Read more
There are so many things that have surprised me about counseling this year. How often I’m needed, how much the boys love coming to me, how many times the boys can tell me they’ve had lunch bunch, how many times I see boys doing exactly what my textbooks told me they’d be doing, how often I’d actually have parents thanking me . . . I could probably write an entire post about all the things that have surprised me.
But NOTHING surprised me more than the amount of boys I’ve seen who struggle with self-esteem issues. I thought this was primarily a “girl” issue. Yes, I know . . . way to be sexist, way to hold misconceptions, way to totally miss that by 3rd grade (even though I spent most of my teaching years in this grade) boys are becoming hard on themselves, embarrassed by most things, insecure about their decisions, the list goes on! I’m ashamed to even admit it. Read more