Elementary School Counseling services are an integral part of the total school program and complement learning in the classroom. A school guidance program reaches every student and will focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for successful academic achievement, career development, and personal/social growth. Services are child-centered, proactive, and developmental. Our professional school counselors spend their time working directly with students to maximize the benefits every student will receive from the program. This will be accomplished through the use of School Counseling Curriculum, Individual Student Planning, Responsive Services, and System Support. School counseling services are comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, developmental in nature, and intended to enhance the potential of ALL elementary students.
Therefore, as an educational system we believe we can teach all children and all children can learn. We believe accessing knowledge, reasoning, questioning, and problem solving are the foundations for learning in an ever-changing world. We believe education enables students to recognize and strive for higher standards. Consequently, we will commit our efforts to help students acquire knowledge and attitudes considered valuable in order to develop their potential and/or their career and lifetime aspirations.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Helping Students Under Stress
I taught these 4 breathing techniques to my students a few weeks ago. Feedback from teachers and even a parent was really positive. Sometimes I think we, as adults tell kids to "calm down", but kids don't know how! And sometimes teachers aren't sure how to help kids calm down either.
These 4 techniques help students to slow their breathing and increase oxygen to the brain, therefore readying them to make better decisions and productively solve conflicts with others. I taught the S.T.A.R., balloon, drain and pretzel to each class and we practiced it together. I plan on doing the 4 techniques at the beginning of each lesson to get students comfortable with them and in the routine of recognizing when to use them. I left a poster with each teacher and asked them to put it in a place in their classroom where a child would be welcomed to go to "calm down" or "de-stress". I explained to students that they don't need to use all 4 techniques, in fact they will probably find one that works best or feels like a "good fit" for them, and prompted them to use it when they are feeling angry, overwhelmed, anxious or frustrated. I encouraged teachers who might notice a child feeling agitated to welcome him or her to take a break and use one of the breathing techniques, then join the activity again when they are feeling more capable and ready to learn.
Here is a link to the Conscious Discipline webpage that you can find the icons as well as a description of the techniques. Just click the green "download PDF" at the bottom of the webpage. You will get many pages; one with all 4 icons on it (the poster I gave to teachers), one icon on each page, and then the explanation of the techniques.
(I am also using this in individual counseling with students who are easily overwhelmed, anxious, and working through anger management issues.)