A quick quote from Psychology Today from a recent article regarding the importance of teaching bullying prevention in schools. Finally, somebody at PT gets it. Read the rest of the article for more great info.
Anti-bullying legislation at the state level has laid the groundwork for local schools and communities to develop specific policies that clearly define unacceptable behaviors, specify desirable behaviors, and outline discipline procedures. Perhaps even more importantly, this “big” solution has shed light on the wide range of behaviors that fall under the bullying umbrella. Whereas the gold standard of this behavior was once limited to physical violence, adults now know for certain that cyberbullying and relational aggression can be just as painful and even more destructive.
Quick: What do you get when you combine Common, Colbie Callat, and Sesame Street? Answer: Something I’ll be using when kindergarten is learning about emotion management later this year. Don’t tell me that the Committee for Children wasn’t in on this.
Because of some schedule challenges this year, we decided to do our fifth grade Second Step curriculum as an entire fifth grade and meet in the cafeteria. We have an excellent AV and sound system in there, so keeping them engaged in that part of the curriculum won’t be a problem. But how do we solve the problem of doing group work and completing the written handouts in an environment like this?
We’re solving that problem by sitting them in groups of 6-7, each at their own table, with a large sheet of butcher paper and some colored pencils. All written work this year will take place right there, and not by making 88 copies of everything we do. Each group will have a leader who will lead discussions, manage the pencils, etc… These are chosen beforehand by the classroom teachers. All that’s left is for me to tie it all together in a visually meaningful way, so what better way to accomplish that than with a Prezi? We’re also going to discuss our Pride Club, which is a fifth grade leadership group. That may or may not pertain to your school, but you’re welcome to use the rest of this in your setting if you so desire. Here goes nothing!
One of my projects over spring break was putting together a video and finishing a Prezi for our I’m Going to College curriculum. Our fifth grade will be learning about postsecondary options, including what kind of degrees are needed for different careers, how to pay for college, and what to look for when high school is done. We will end our curriculum with a trip to EOU to speak with college students and find out what life is like in college.
This Prezi and Youtube upload are just the first part in this series. Many thanks to the staff members at our school who were willing to take a few minutes to help me out with this project. One note about Prezi and Youtube: Although it’s cool to be able to embed a Youtube video within Prezi, I’m not sure I like how Prezi manipulates screen space to not take advantage of standard 16:9 resolution. I’m a full-screen, 1080HD kind of guy. In any event, here are both. I’ll post subsequent lessons/videos as we get to them over the next few weeks.
So how was your National School Counseling week? I have to say, we had several good things happen at our school and in our district that directly affects our counseling program, and the school counseling profession in general. Take a look:
On Sunday of last weekend, our regional newspaper ran a front-page story that was very supportive of the school counseling profession. It featured my friends and colleagues in our district. (Unfortunately, this same newspaper doesn’t open up their content to non-subscribers.)
On Wednesday, we learned that a proposal to take fifth graders to visit Eastern Oregon University had been approved and fully funded! This will be accompanied by a curriculum to teach students about post-secondary learning options.
Just before a fire drill on Thursday, I was pulled aside by the principal. He wanted me to “make extra sure that the doors are closed, locked and lights are out in the hallway” on my way outside. It might take me a few minutes extra to get out there, he said. So, I performed my new fire drill duty to the best of my ability, only to be met outside by all 608 of our kids with balloons, cards and signs for me! I was humbled to say the least. If you’ve never been greeted by 608 adoring fans like that, you’re missing out on quite an experience. Our staff also got me a gift card to my favorite printing service to use for my photos.
Valentine’s parties were today, so as to not interfere with regular school activities next Tuesday. I scored some great Valentines, but I have to admit my favorite was the Lego Star Wars Yoda.
And today, my first blog post at the Committee for Children was published! I will be a regular contributor there for the foreseeable future, posting twice a month. I was approached by them a few weeks ago, and asked to write on topics of social-emotional learning from a school counselor’s point of view. That’d be me. I’m honored to be a part of that crew.
It’s been a great week, and one that came just at the right time. I have a huge “Thank You” to our entire staff for the incredible show of support!