Saturday, September 28, 2013

Counseling Office 2013-2014

I am thrilled to have new office space this year. The kids love it and so do I!

View from Doorway

Feelings Monsters

Library & Games

Individual Counseling Area

Small Group Counseling Area

Calming Tent

Kindness Project Bully Prevention Rules

No Place for Hate Pledge

Peace Train (our mascot)


Sunday, June 9, 2013

#ESCChat #8 School Counselor + Principal Relationship 6/6/13

This week's #escchat was moderated by Tamica Collard (@TamicaCollard) and the topic was School Counselor + Principal Relationship. The American School Counseling Association has been researching and emphasizing the importance of this relationship over the past few years, so it was a very important topic to discuss! As always, here is the chat transcript and the summary is below.

Q1: Why is it important for the Principal/Counselor to have a good working relationship?
  • Student SUCCESS! Both want to see students succeed. When working together we have a better chance at making a difference.
  • If Principal, teachers and counselors have a collaborative relationship with the same vision things go well.
  • Fortunate to have that shared vision with my principals and it often eliminates the need to over communicate.

Q2: What does an effective Principal/Counselor Relationship look like?

  • A collaborative relationship that is built on mutual trust & respect that creates a shared vision impacting student success.
  • Respect, trust, goes without saying. A pleasure to go into work.
  • Important elements in the P/SC Relationship are effective communication, collaboration, respect and shared vision.
  • If you are following best practices and know their vision it is a piece of cake. Recipe for school and student success.
  • Trust. They don't check up on you every minute. In a poor relationship, I find that happens.
  • Regular staff development helps. If I know their vision I tweak mine to fit.
Q3: What are some barriers to a successful Principal/Counselor Relationship?
  • Time to collaborate & communicate. Not a clear understanding of each others' role.
  • Not taking time to meet. Assuming things. Lack of clear school vision.
  • All our grade levels have regular meetings with admin, but often the counseling team meetings can get lost in the mix.
Q4: How can school counselors help principals to better understand their role?
  • I think it helps that we have PowerSchool to document things. I put discipline things in and they can see what I did/vice versa.
  • When they don't have time to listen..... bad things can happen.
  • Having close and regular communication with principals is very helpful. We can then mesh our goals and building goals as well
Q5: Where are some areas of job responsiblity where Principal & School Counselor may overlap?
  • Discipline when they are out, leadership. Setting the tone with kids.
  • Situations related to discipline, our roles can get mixed up.
  • I agree, we are often seen as next in line when they are out which can cloud our role.
  • Counselor working as disciplinarian is not my ideal but the team must work together
Q6: What personality/professional traits do school counselors hope for in their principal?
  • Student focused! 
  • A good principal has a strong consistent vision, is a leader, listens, is visible, models, gives feedback and trust. 
  • Clear vision and ability to inspire others to meet that vision. Communication. Consistency. Empathy.
  • Strong leader who can let you just do it. Understanding and encourager. POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
  • Listening is such a hard skill to learn but so valuable.
  • Mutual listening, collaborating and having shared goals for kids is a great relationship to have.
Q7: What personality/professional traits do principals hope for in their counselor?
  • I think this really depends on how principals view the counselor's role.
  • Initiative, good communication skills, flexibility.
  • Strong leader/collaborate with staff, a presence in the school, visionary.
  • Someone who can engage varied audiences - kids, parents, teachers, community. Innovative. Patient. Problem solver.
  • Empathy and inspiring... 
  • A good counselor loves kids, is a reflective listener, is empathetic, consistent, and develops individual and building goals.
Q8: What can we do to improve the Principal/School Counselor Relationship?
  • Listening as a part of communication. Some people have a difficult time with this. It takes practice.
  • Trust, communication, shared vision, mutual support, positive environment.
  • Set a regularly scheduled time to collaborate.
  • Brainstorm and collaborate as much as possible. Attend PD together.
  • It all starts with communication & trust as the foundation of a relationship. Build a shared vision & collaboration from there.
  • Results. Use data to show your value. That's been a challenge for me but its one of my goals for next year.
  • Humor. Willingness to not take everything so seriously and just band together sometimes.
Q9: How can Principals & School Counselors formally/informally measure the impact of their teamwork? 
  • Can it be measured?? You can see and feel it in the school environment. Maybe by result of shared goals.
Do you have input to share? Comment here or join the conversation on Twitter at #escchat! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

#ESCchat #7 Self Care 5-30-13

Ah, it's that time of the school year: Burnout season! This is why it was appropriate to host an #escchat focusing on the importance of self care. Our chat participants were able to brainstorm answers to a variety of self care and burnout related questions. The complete chat transcript can be found here, and a summary of the Qs and As are below. 

==>Q1: How would you define both “self care” and “burnout”?

  • Self care is time you take for yourself and your family away from everyday stress. It's about creating appropriate boundaries.
  • burnout = exhaustion, hopelessness, self-care is preventative
  • Self-care is meant to prevent burnout! Can't forget Self Care is a medical term-- keeping mentally healthy.
  • Self-care: balancing work, life & making time for taking care of self. Burnout: lack of desire to grow, overwhelmed w/ situation.
  • Burnout would be the opposite of self-care, letting the stress catch up with you, overwhelm you and wear you down.
  • When we burn out, we become ineffective counselors. However in our field there is a fine line. Self care prevents us from burn out.
==>Q2: What are some (physical, mental, etc) symptoms that you are approaching burnout & need to practice self care?
  • Tired, achy, cranky.
  • Not enjoying your job like you used to, or collaborate with others, learn new things. Checking-out. Time to intervene!
  • Exhaustion, headache, lack of sleep.
  • grinding my teeth or being sad about having to see a kid--I love seeing kids, so when I don't, it's self care time! 
  • I figure it out from feedback from others. This week colleagues have noted "you're not as chipper as usual!"
  • I get headaches too, and can't sleep due to anxiety. Our bodies are aware of burnout before our brains sometimes.
  • That moment when you wake up 10x a night counseling kids in your sleep...
==>Q3? If we are in “burnout” mode, what is the potential impact on our students?
  • If we can't focus well, can't be grounded, it will take it's toll with the kids; we need self-care & should prescribe it for others.
  • They can recognize our moods and will steer clear of us. We become 1 more adult to give them grief.
  • Sometimes we are kids only advocates in certain situations..if we burn out, who do they have left?
  • When I was feeling "exhausted" last week, I found I was getting annoyed with one of my kids I see all the time.  It is not good for our kids when we feel this way. Despite our intentions we do not give it our all when we feel that way.
  • Sometimes our body language communicates our feelings to the kids, even when we put on a brave happy face.
  • Very true, and when we're burnt out it feels like we're working harder but we're accomplishing less!
  • I am someone who wears her feelings and thoughts all over her face. I realized I have to be conscious of this.
  • We would give the same advice to our kids; how are they going to get through school not taking care of themselves?
  • Our kids lose when we are burnt out. They don't get what they deserve.
  •  In "7 Habits of Happy Kids" Habit 7 is "Balance Feels Best" all about self care! 
==>Q4: What are some professional (work-related) reasons we may approach or reach burnout?
  • On my end, it's 140 evaluations a year. Way to many, which takes me a way from a more traditional psychologist role.
  • When we are asked to do things that go against our core beliefs.
  •  Lack of support & a non-collaborative environment. 
  • Too many non counselor duties, parents/administrators/teachers not supporting us, long hours and no time for self.
  • The pop. I serve is very high need. Which means I am ask to do a lot and we wear many different hats.
  • I find when I'm pulled away from direct counseling w kids I feel burnout. And getting tangled in minutiae. Ugh!
  • A lack of support is a key factor as well. WIthout a supportive environment, it makes it much more difficult in schools. 
  • So sad how many of us automatically think "lack of support" when we're THERE to support all!
  • When I worked in an emotional support program, vicarious trauma was a huge cause of my burnout.
  • Ratio of students to counselors or students to psychologist is way too high. The case load is challenging. 
  • We sometimes have to deliver info to parents that is hard to hear.
==>Q5: Related: WHEN might you require more self care than others (time of year, events, etc)?
  • College counseling in fall, scheduling all spring, testing in between...and then if you have time you can see kids!
  • My busy time is summer. I know I need to watch my pacing and plan for leave.
  • March seems to be toughest time of yr. High stress and bad weather here. It is predictable:)
  • I need the most self-care and feel the most stress right about now, April through June. Busiest time of year for the psych!
  • I'll need self care in mid fall and mid spring. It gets tedious.
  • March is extra stressful because of state testing. Also the home stretch right now is tough to get through.
  • Hard not to feel the pressure to get everything wrapped up this time of year.
==>Q6: Here’s the fun question: What activities do you engage in to practice self care?
  • I run every morning before work. I start the day refreshed.
  • Fortunate here to have a close group of sch counselors that meet regularly w'in our county. Chatting with them helps!
  • I also took up the ukulele for fun. Gotta have fun!
  • Our school has a community choir that sings every Thurs morning before school. Singing is so relaxing!
  • Walking, reading, getting out of town, beaches, recently knit a hat, and making sure I have time to cook dinner @ least 3x week
  • Playing guitar, banjo.
  • I also try to practice meditation, time away from work with family, and travel when we can. 
  • Just went bass fishing this weekend...sunshine always helps!
  • I also began painting! Super relaxing. Local pottery shop offers BYOB Painting classes.. haven't been yet but sounds fun!
  • Thank goodness for my ROCKIN' PLN!
  • I love blogging and connecting w/others!
  • I tend to go back to school for my down time. Night classes are my nights out. Lol 
  • Surfing educational blogs and such. Can't stop learning!
  • I run and exercise. And playing with my 2 yr old can be great self care.
==>Q7: Given that we work with school climate, is it our job to support colleagues experiencing burnout? If so, how?
  • I believe so. I have become a sounding board for some colleagues. It will help them be more effective teachers. 
  • I try to build fun into meetings. We had a Preakness theme meeting last year and raced wind up toys. 
  • Most SCs I know avoid that role to avoid dual roles, but I know some that teach stress prevention at the beginning of year. 
  • I view supporting colleagues/climate as a huge part of my job. It should take some portion of everyday. Directly helps kids too.
  • I have mixed feelings on this. Can be helpful, can be toxic, depending on relationship with colleague! 
  • Being sensitive to colleagues and lending a hand when needed. Collaboration on projects.
  • I think we play a part in it, but we must be careful to not get too consumed with it. Students come first! 
  • I dont know if it is on our duty list but I feel the need 2help support staff. 
  • If they are not there mentally our students miss out.
  • My old school used to have Wellness Days on half days. Cooking classes and other fun things to boost morale.
  • We do a wellness conference in the summer. Combination prof PD with self care.
  • Pointing out the progress that HAS been made. Celebrating each success validates our effort throughout the year. 
  •  We're also a great stepping stone to help teachers get resources outside of school to help with their stress/burnout.
  • One of my principals had a bean bag championship in the teachers lounge - complete with leader boards! Tons of FUN!!!
  • Making a smile file! Put little moments that made you smile into a file or doc to open up when you're feeling blue.
==>Q8 (last one): Are there ways to work self care into our WORK routine?
  • That's why I need to run in the mornings.
  • I don't know, except to make sure you find the right environment where you can operate effectively and feel valued.
  • Next year I'm going to try to take a lunch break. Even if its 10 minutes to eat and relax. I'll let you know how that goes.
  • Take the time to eat lunch. Even if its only 10min, it's a small break, and you get fed so you aren't cranky.
  • Slow down. Remember that someone's lack of planning is not your emergency.
  • I've used "Kid Yoga" with a K class.. I wonder if I can incorporate 10 minute "kid yoga" mornings every day alternating classes?
  • Had an admin who insisted on lunch w'out work EVERYday. I take a break to nourish myself in quiet each day. Feed body and soul.
  • I am valued by my administration and staff which REALLY helps with the stress.
  • I love games and color coding things (nerdy!), but I can use those things with students. It serves as self care AND counseling.
  • I find peace in reflecting and planning. I also like making new activities for my kids. Keeps me engaged.
  • If I'm feeling burnout coming on I take a walk outside for 10-15 min.
  • Reflecting is a key component of the job too. Reflecting on successes, and how to rework difficult situations.
  • Listening to music while doing paperwork is also helpful!
  • I keep small containers of playdoh in my desk. Nice to tug at something instead of being tugged at.
Have something to add to our discussion? Leave a comment here or tweet it using the #escchat hashtag! 

Friday, May 31, 2013

#ESCChat #6 5/23/13 Tech Savvy School Counseling

This week's #escchat was moderated by the fabulous Danielle Schultz, owner and operator of School Counselor Blog and a huge advocate for tech savvy school counseling! As always, a full transcript for this chat can be found here and the summary of questions and answers is below. 

==>Q1: What is one technology tool you use each day as a school counselor and how?
  • Does the ipad count? I use it for lessons, taking notes, researching stuff quick, my calendar, my to-do list....
  • I use the student data portal to check student attendance and grades.
  • Google docs for creating forms, collecting data, etc.
  • My favorite tech tool is @googledrive! I love that I can easily collaborate with others! I use it daily!
  • We are also working on using an excel spreadsheet to track student attendance and collect data on school performance.
  • Google drive/Dropbox/Sky to collaborate as a department on various curriculum, scheduling and presentations. Love it!
  • I use excel for all of my tracking, scheduling, notes I'm hoping incorporate iPad in the future!
  • I also use EZ-Analyze time tracker every day, too
==>Q2: What is your favorite tech device or tool to use for collecting data? Share how you use it.
  • I love creating surveys in @googledrive forms! They are very user friendly and are able to be embedded into a website!
  • Right now I use iPad and One Note. I still have to transfer the info but it is handy and easy to access.
  • We also use survey monkey.
  • Ez-Analyze's Time Tracker is a great way to track hours. I also love google docs for surveys-I did 4 surveys this week alone!
  • Check out the blog post by @andreajburston about using an iPad for Minute Meetings using google forms:

==>Q3: What is your favorite tech device or tool to use in individual counseling? Share how you use it! 
  • Sounds silly, but I got a lot of use out of a simple timer app on my phone! 
  • At this time, I've only used a few websites with games-usually anti-bullying stuff.
  • A countdown of how much time they have left in your office helps them to transition. Plus who doesn't love funny alarm sounds?!
  • Check out this list of apps that @andreajburston suggests for#schoolcounselors! She is the #schoolcounselor iPad guru!

==>Q4: What is your favorite tech tool or device to use in group counseling? Share how you use it 
  • I like using wordle and tagzedo to summarize what we've learned/explored/talked about. My 4th/5th grade girls love it!
  • Wordle
  • I also use fotovidea to make slideshows. It is great to pass on to the boe and admin
  • I like using Prezi to do short lessons or presentations in a small group or one on one.

==>Q5: What is your favorite tech tool or device to use in classroom lessons? Share how you use it
  • @prezi! I can throw together a quick prezi to intro or review a lesson.
  • I use a program called Guidance Direct. It is for career and college planning.
  • I recently was trained in the basics of using a @SMART_Techinteractive whiteboard! It was really cool!
  • Interactive whiteboards can be a great tool for#schoolcounselors to utilize in the classroom!
  • I also am an old fashioned PowerPoint girl.
  • has tutorials and tons of resources! 
  • My university offers FREE trainings for faculty and grad students!
  • We have promethian boards. I use it for scheduling.
  • Another brand of interactive whiteboard is @PrometheanUSA they have tons of info/resources on
  • Next year I am getting a large screen tv that they are supposed to link to my iPad so I can use it like a smartboard. 
==>Q6: What area of your job do you wish you could integrate technology into more?
  • I would set two goals. One would be my planning. This summer I plan to explore ways to organize time, collect data, etc. 
  • Communicating to parents
  • Planning on going to the @ASCAtweets #asca13 conference? Lots of tech tools will be shared in Web 2.0 & Tech Smackdown session!
  • The Harlem Shake App for iPhone is awesome.
  • I used it to make a video for our kids for a Pep Rally. It's free, easyset up and creates a video for you.
  • Don't forget abt @scopeistech4scs for tech needs!
Do you have school counseling tech ideas to add to the conversation?? Comment below or tweet using #escchat hashtag! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

#ESCchat #5: Supporting Students Coping with Grief & Loss

Last week's chat was an engaging discussion on many aspects of student grief & loss. As always, here is the storify transcript for the whole chat, and a summary of the questions and answers are below. 
==>Q1: In what ways might a student display signs of dealing with grief & loss?
  • Students may be withdrawn, may stop doing the things they used to like to do, their grades might suffer, outward signs of sadness.
  • Outburst of anger, short temper, or sometimes a complete personality change are ways kids express grief
  • Also, emotional outbursts and acting out behavior. Immature behavior (needing to be held, etc).
  • All signs of depression could come up, not wanting to show up to school, somatization difficulties as well.
  • Tired, withdrawn, angry.
  • Attendance - not wanting to come to school, not engaging with friends, clinging to family.
  • Student running away and hiding out in the building.

==>Q2: Aside from death of a loved one, what else could a student lose that may cause grief? 

  • Friends moving away, fights that end friendships, break ups with a bf or gf.
  • Divorce, family separation, losing a home, doesn't have to be about death!
  • Another form of loss... Personal health, limb...
  • Losing an identity. I've seen this with middle/high schoolers grieving who they thought they were.
  • Parent going to jail. Even a parent that travels for long period with work.
  • Parent getting deployed was hard.
  • I've had students grieve lost stuffed animals! It's still real, still grief!
  • I think children grow a strong connection with pets and certainly the loss of a friend/peer.
  • School closings! Chicago, Philly, other cities dealing w this kind of loss.
  • Student teacher leaving mid year or teacher leaving for maternity leave or long term illness.

==>Q3: In 1:1 school counseling sessions, what are some techniques/activities you would use to help these students?

  • Start with normalizing the grief. Letting the child know that it is normal to have these feelings, and it's ok to express them.
  • Empty chair technique-talking to that person as if they were in the seat across from them or writing a letter they never send.
  • NASP had a great quote- "Allow children to teach you about their own grief experiences." Each kid understands death differently.
  • Or even a letter to the family expressing how much the person meant to them. Taking action is good mourning.
  • "When Dinosaurs Die" is a helpful book to help elem students understand the concept of death. Get parent permission first!
  • I encourage them to talk to their parents and go back to what they believe related to their religion.
  • I used to have students write letters, tie to a balloon and have ceremony to let them go. 
  • I've had kids in a class create a banner, and we've planted living memorials as well.
==>Q4: What might you say to other students who express concern for their grieving friend?
  • You just have to be there to listen empathetically for support. Just being there through difficult times helps a great deal!
  • I make sure to praise friends for concern & ask them to keep school "as normal as possible" for the student-- usually helpful.
  • Everyone grieves differently and help them understand they may not share sadness and grief in the same way as their friend.
  • Keep an eye out for vicarious trauma-- if one student is very close to a grieving student, the friend may experience grief too.
==>Q5: Grief & loss small counseling groups: What potential difficulties do we need to consider in creating/running this group?
  • The biggest difficulty with grief groups is the type of loss. Suicide vs. loss from other types of death often separate groups.
  • May be difficulty in defining "loss" if death is still abstract. Also, differences in religious beliefs may come into play?
  • Stage of grief will be different and the amount of time that has passed.
  • There would be positives to running a G/L small group, too. I have not yet done this. I'd try a pair counseling experience first.
  • Sometimes you have to separate kids out for individual counseling instead if some of those issues come up.
  • I think the type of loss between students can be a challenge with groups.
==>Q6: As schcounselors, we're not therapists. Where do we draw the line in how much support to give these students? When to refer?
  • I personally struggle with this because I was a therapist before I was a school counselor.
  • I always give P's referral information regardless, but if it's a close relationship & S really struggling, def. referral.
  • Our school groups are generally short lived, 6 / 8 weeks. If it's turning into depression they need more.
  • Much overlap! I'm a trained therapist too. I frame schoolcounseling "brief therapy". If interfering w/ academics I refer.
  • Always good to have constant open convo with parents, esp in this situation. Therapy is less stigmatized with G&L.
  • I'm still surprised to see S's who never get therapy, even after a parent died. That really causes long term difficulties.
  • It certainly can, but some students surprise me with their resiliency!
==>Q7: In what ways could you offer support to the student’s family?
  • Main support could be connecting them with community resources. Counseling resources, school social worker, anything they need.
  • Find grief/loss resources in your community before you need them! That way you have connections on the ready! 
  • Activities, referral information, what to look for, listening to their concerns.
  • Let parents/families know you are there and can be a resource for facilitating services.
  • Communicate ASAP, offer support in any way. Our school has donated books in memory of students' family members, sent cards, etc.
  • We've helped families with funeral arrangements as well, through community groups such as the Lions Club, etc..
==>Q8: If we are informed that a student will experience loss in the near future, how can we be proactive in helping?
  • Making sure a relationship is established.
  • We can be there to give them ongoing counseling related to the coming loss. Also be there as a support for the family.
  • Relationship is key! Letting students know you are there!
  • True, when I'm an outside counselor coming in, it's harder as the S's don't know me, as compared when I know a S.
  • Relationships are crucial in every aspect of our field! What an important reminder message to end on! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

#ESCchat #4 Bully Prevention

Our fourth #escchat sparked such thought-provoking discussion, that we ended after our usual stopping point! That's okay though-- the conversation never needs to end on Twitter! This chat focused on bully prevention programming and interventions, and many people contributed. As always, here is the storify transcript and here is a summary of the questions and answers:

==>Q1: How would YOU define “bullying”?

  •  I define bullying as an imbalance of power. Where one person is intimidating another. 
  • Bullying is repeated intimidation meant to instill fear.
  • I define bully as any behavior, verbal or physical that makes someone feel like less than a person.
  • Power can be social, emotional, physical. Also, repeated actions.
  • I also define it as if the person is intentional trying to create an imbalance of power by installing fear in others.
  • Sure, it doesn't have to be in person, as we have seen with cyberbullying.
  • I was recently trained in @Olweus so I am kind of cheating. Their def is: Repeated & targeted negative actions with power imbalance.
  • There is a depersonalization factor as well, not treating someone as they should be treated. 
==>Q2: Great definitions! Now, what does a bully typically look like/experience? Realistically vs Stereotypes?

  • A bully can come in many forms, I don't know that there's a look per se, but all of the behaviors are common.
  • Bullies don't feel like they are making mistakes. Unfortunately, they have cognitive distortions and feel justified.
  • You don't have to be the biggest male on the playground!
  • I know my students think a bully looks like the many cartoon depictions they've seen. But there's no real look.
  • Doesn't have to be the kids from X-mas story stealing your lunch money. Could be the MS girl, or sexual harassment.
  • I try to explain to students that bullies are not always bad kids, they are not always hurt, they just fill the role they see.
==>Q3 What formal/informal tools would you use to determine the prevalence of bullying is in your building?

  • In our MS's we have a survey, part of the Olweus program that we use. We can use it to measure the progress of the program too.
  • I've used surveys for 3rd-5th grades to get an idea of where bullying behavior takes place, and what it looks like.
  • I imagine both qualitative and quantitative responses would be most helpful! 
  • I setup a survey monkey needs assessment b4 I know about minute meetings. It was not a hit, hoping for more succes with MM!
  • A broad needs assessment for prevention inc. bullying is helpful!
  • Observations would also be helpful, and focus groups. Also making sure to ask teachers and support staff their opinions.
  • It also helps to get info from class meetings. Some teachers use a anonymous concern box.
  • We use both Second Step and Steps to Respect. I like them both but to find where it happens and what it looks like.
  • The 40 assets survey is one you can give kids that gets at school needs. We've just created surveys for staff.
==>Q4: What are examples of school-wide proactive prevention techniques/programs have used or heard of?

  • We're getting psyched for @Olweus. Also, looking into funding for @cfchildren's Second Step programming. 
  • I have run a couple character education themed assemblies that touch on positive relationships. Mix-it-up-at-Lunch-Day too!
  • Anti-Defamation League's "No Place for Hate" program is awesome- Run 3 anti-bullying proactive programs per year for designation.
  • We do assemblies througout the year and teach lessons through classroom guidance about bullying behavior, being a bystander, etc.
  • I once helped run an Anti-Bullying Poster Contest- Class competition they showed off their posters to each other. 
  • My school created a motto that's stated on mrng announcements and fundraised to buy shirts that students wear every 3rd Tuesday.
==>Q5: Related question but more specific: What can we do to try to prevent Relational Aggression (aka “Mean Girls”)?

  • Great Question. I have dealt a lot with this this yr. struggled to find something that got thru to students. They dont see the fault.
  • All parents should read "Queen Bees & Wannabes". Great Relational Aggression resource, tells how to talk about it w kids!
  • The Ophelia Project has FREE curricula & resources for Relational Aggression for boys, girls, and cyberbullying!
  • We've pretty much approached relational aggression the same way as other types of bullying. But guidance sees the girls more!
  • Separate the students, discipline the bully, counsel the victim and long term work on caring majority for support!
  • Separating students is key. Research shows it's more harmful than helpful to bring a bully/victim face to face.
==>Q6: Shifting from Prevention to Intervention: How would you intervene with a student exhibiting bullying behavior?

  • We focus on changing the behavior from a GE perspective. It falls short in some regards.
  • Counseling often doesn't work well with bullies. Sometimes they need behavior management strategies as primary.
  • We try to use the steps outlined in the @olweus program So impt to name the behavior & as the adult show you won't stand 4 it.
  • Visit with the student exhibiting the behavior to get to the cause/need for the inappropriate behavior.
  • It is helpful to not use labels- Instead of calling student a bully, talk about them using "Bullying Behavior", helps to separate!
  • Yes, if it is ongoing problem, even a functional behavior assessment could be helpful.
  • Discipline must be involved. Bullying can be is seen as "counseling" topic but it needs both responses. 
  • Behavior can be reinforced when we skip out on discipline. Kids feel like they didn't do anything wrong.
  • I agree, both counseling & progressive discipline. Important that school counselor does not do the discipline part!
==>Q7: How do we empower students to be Intentional Upstanders (as opposed to passive bystanders)?

  • Creating the "upstanders" is an ongoing teaching process. Their needs to be a culture that is created throughout the school.
  • How do you get teachers on board? Creating the climate.
  • Yes it should be woven into the school culture for sure! Huge when kids have a "We don't do that here" mentality.
  • Creating upstanders can be tough because of fear created by the incident. I explain in guidance, standing by says it OKAY!
  • "Standing By Doesn't Fly, Standing Up... Wins the Cup?" Needs work. haha
  • It's also important not to shame kids about being "bystanders" but to promote safe spaces for them to speak up.
  • That's where the @Olweus program comes in real handy!
  • looking into @standforthesilent to work with our school on this issue.
==>Q8: How can we involve parents in our bully prevention efforts?

  • I have done parent presentations in the past, especially to discuss Relational aggression.
  • We held a parenting night on Bullying. The presenter gave great information.
  • We have to send the same messages to parents to teach their kids. That everyone is accepted here, that's the culture.
  • Having parents involved in our No Place for Hate events has been great. Also they help to plan assemblies, etc.
  • Help them understand what it bullying looks like in schools and the process for reporting to us. We need them as partners.
  • Getting P involved is hard. Many of the P don't respond but request bullying be addressed. 
  • Parents have great insight about school culture & can advise on where problems are - if we build pos. relationships.
  • Yes, parent presentation definitely help. I like to use the ones we do with staff for consistency.
  • Also, help them know we're targeting BEHAVIORS, not their child in bullying interventions. We want safe schools for ALL.
  • Make sure parents aren't intimidated by school & those there. They often feel uncomfortable at school/with staff. Create welcoming environment.
==>Q9 (last one!): Why do you think bullying is so difficult to prevent/stop?

  • Bullying maintains because it creates fear, and that works unfortunately. So the student gets what they want through intimidation.
  • I feel like there is so much that goes on that adults don't see.
  • I believe is a societal problem. Think of how many adults bully each other.
  • Makes me think we need more empathy building at a younger age.
  • We have to create a culture where it is hard to create fear, where everyone stands up for each other. 
  • If it's not you, you don't want it to be you. If it is, you don't want it to worsen. If you do it, you don't want to lose power.
  • Empathy and building students' EQ should be a focus during the elementary years.
  • Yes, but I think it is also a product of the larger context & problematic/discriminatory adult behavior.
  • Building positive relationships in a building is the #1 thing we can do to create a safe and nurturing environment.
  • Yes! Fueled by media, society, and our individualistic culture.
  • I believe it is dif to stop/prevent due to the media that glamorizes violence. We live in a society that demeans others daily.
  • Might be unpopular but values? Increasing narcissism? I think of the shows that are popular w/Ss seem to be both those things.

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