Fishing for Feelings

My favorite part of this lesson was it’s particular way of raging against my typical lesson format (story, lesson, written activity). Not that I’d say I’m stuck in a lesson format rut, but why change what’s not broken. I guess it’s the teacher in me that feels everything needs a written (assessment) component. Continue reading →

Using Heart Talk

There are very few things I remember about my school counselor when I was in elementary school, a few more things about my middle school counselor, and maybe one more after that about my high school counselor. Continue reading →

Home Run

In advisory this month, just like in our lower school classes, we are focusing on fairness. It seemed that last week’s discussion the boys had a fairly cut and dry explanation about what constituted as fair and what did not. To add a little spice in their life, if you will, we gave them a situation in which they had to use a moral decision and still classify it as being fair or not.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.05.38 AM Continue reading →

Who Makes Your Decisions?

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. Continue reading →

Let the Music Move You

Music Therapy is one branch of counseling used all around the world. In fact, there is an entire website dedicated to music therapy. The website states:

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • Promote Wellness
  • Manage Stress
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Express Feelings
  • Enhance Memory
  • Improve Communication
  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation

Continue reading →

Friendship Bandaids, The Right Way

I adapted my next lesson for 1st grade from my new Puzzle Pieces book. The original lesson, as it is written, was just a bit too “young” for our first graders. It had the perfect message, but I had to work to extend the ideas just a bit. Plus, I fully believe in teaching children that there is more to fixing a problem then just saying sorry. Continue reading →