There is nothing like kids teaching kids – it is engaging, powerful, and another kid’s words can often be more meaningful than an adult’s. It’s great to have role models visit a classroom to talk about how they learned to solve conflicts or stop bullying, but this kind of presentation is not possible when it comes to abuse prevention. Here, though, is a way to provide meaningful kid-to-kid teaching about this important topic. The video, Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse is an amazing, must-have resource. In it, four real kids tell their stories and share the importance of telling an adult about physical and sexual abuse, and how doing so ends the abuse and brings them to safety. See below for suggestions about how you can get a copy. Continue reading
Recently, McKenzie Roman, a community educator from the YWCA in Kalamazoo, Michigan contacted me to ask if she could use some of the ideas in my posts about sexual abuse prevention in a coloring book that she was developing for classroom lessons in Kalamazoo elementary schools. Of course, I said “YES!” The coloring book is now complete and the Kalamazoo YWCA has generously shared it with me so that I can share it with all of you! It was pretty much like my birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and a dance party all wrapped up into one magical moment when I received my copy this week! Continue reading
Let’s be real: group counseling can be really hard. No matter how carefully you build the group membership and plan lessons and activities, sometimes things do not go as expected. Here are some ideas that I have found to be most helpful:
Think carefully about whether the group members are actually ready to be able to be in a group. Sometimes kids need some “pre-teaching” about things like how to listen, take turns, or manage their personal space. They may need a chance to Continue reading
I need an app that will create a 3-D to-do list. Two dimensions are not enough to wrangle all these tasks into manageability! #IthinkIcanIthinkIcan
Ask and Ye May Receive! I found a solution! But first, the problem:
Now, I’m a fairly well-organized person. I am a good list-maker and rememberer. I use Continue reading
Don’t you just love how the nutso stuff that happens at school somehow always winds up as the school counselor’s responsibility? Nothing like a little discomfort to clear everyone else out of the room, leaving you with . . . any number of situations, but today we’ll be talking about The Strange Things Kids Bring to School. I’d been planning to share my personal dooziest of doozies sometime in the future, but when I recently heard about the unbelievable “gift” a colleague in my district received, I knew this topic just couldn’t wait. Continue reading
Happy 2013! One of my favorite things about 2012 is that I met so many wonderful school counselors through the blogging world – those whose blogs I read as well as the many readers of School Counseling by Heart who have written to me. I feel so lucky to have such thoughtful, open, and generous people as my new friends and colleagues. I am beyond excited to meet lots of them (you!) in person at the ASCA conference in July! In the meantime, here’s a wonderful new way for us all to connect – the School Counseling Linky Party that Marissa over at Elementary School Counseling is so kindly hosting for us. Continue reading
It has been deeply gratifying to hear from so many people about how they have used the sexual abuse prevention lessons and resources that I have written about in various blog posts. I am passionate about the topic of sexual abuse prevention – I have seen such amazing changes in children who are able to report and avoid abuse – and am so glad to be able to help others as they do this important work. To make it easier for people to more easily locate all the posts I’ve written about sexual abuse prevention, I’ve put them all together, with a little help from a friend. Continue reading
I hope you’re feeling okay and that you are treating yourself gently as you continue to support your students, families, and coworkers. I’m sure that many of us had similar experiences today. Somehow, it helped to know that even though we were miles away from each other, we were all working together in support of our school families, and of each other.
Today was a busy, overwhelming day, but I do feel like we made a good beginning at helping our students feel safe and able to express and help themselves with their feelings. Continue reading
I’m sure all of you are heartbroken over the tragedy of the shooting at Sandy Hook. I’m also sure that you’ve been very busy trying to prepare for your response at school tomorrow and in the following week. I too have been busy trying to make sure that we have all our supports in place at my school, while also supporting the new elementary school counselors in my district as they plan their responses. And also while trying to care for myself as I process this horrible situation and steady myself for the work I need to do.
One of the things I did was to create a script for my colleagues, outlining how and what I will say when I go into the classrooms tomorrow. In case that is also helpful for you, I have linked to it here. Continue reading
My first grade sexual abuse prevention lessons revisit and build upon the skills and concepts covered in kindergarten. (See Kindergarten Lessons for Sexual Abuse Prevention.) For this series of three lessons you will need the books I Can Play It Safe by Alison Feigh, Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Maude Spelman, and Do You Have a Secret? by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos. For the activities you will also need some coloring pages, a Good Secrets Box, and Secrets Cards. (Find links for these resources below.) Continue reading