Counselor's Corner

Counseling at Monclova Primary School is approached in three formats: Individual, Small Group, and Classroom Guidance

Individual counseling is a service offered to kindergarten through fourth grade students. Students may be referred for counseling by a parent, a teacher, or themselves. Counseling can be ongoing or short- term based on the problem/situation.

Many times, students will request a visit with the counselor regarding a situation at school and we will meet briefly to try to resolve the situation, particularly if there has been a problem on the playground, hallway, lunchroom, or with another student(s).

If the problem situation resulted in some type of consequence, the student will meet with the principal or dean of students. The counselor does not see students for discipline, but rather to assist in conflict resolution so that students can return to the classroom and resume normal activities with their teacher.

Serious behavior problems or certain family issues may require more in-depth counseling with a licensed professional counselor at an outside agency. Your school counselor can assist you with more information about resources in the community for counseling.

Small group counseling is a service provided to kindergarten through fourth grade. This involves the counselor working with two or more students together. Group size generally ranges from four to eight members. Group discussions may be relatively unstructured or may be based on structured learning activities.

Students may be invited to join a small group during the course of the school year. Group members have an opportunity to learn from each other. They can share ideas, give and receive feedback, increase their awareness, gain new knowledge, practice skills, and think about their goals and actions. The school counselor can cover many issues in small group counseling, such as family change/divorce, grief, self-esteem, etc. Most groups are peer/social in nature. I will contact parents prior to the start.

Classroom Guidance meetings offer the best opportunity to provide guidance to the largest number of students in the school. Classroom guidance is provided to all students in grades K-4.

The Anthony Wayne Guidance Counselors hosted a Bullying Forum On February 6, 2013.

The program defined bullying, explored forms of bullying, and discussed how to deal with bullying behaviors.

Click HERE is access helpful information that was presented at the program about bullying.

Is it Bullying or Not?

Arguments, confrontations, fighting. These behaviors happen between siblings,schoolmates, teammates, and friends. Unkind words might be said. Names may be called. Pushes can lead to shoves.

Is it Bullying? In most cases, it is not. Such quarrels are clashes that can be resolved with an apology and discussion. These situations can be categorized as a normal part of growing up and learning social skills.

Sometimes, however, these actions are the intentional acts of a bully. To help distinguish bullying from routine childhood conflicts, look for these characteristics:

  • Bullying is intentional and planned. The target does not knowingly and willingly provoke the bully.
  • Bullying behavior is repetitive. Bullying is carried out repeatedly over time.
  • With bullying there is a real or perceived imbalance of power between the bully and the victim. Power can be physical strength, social status, or intimidating behavior. It is not bullying if it happens between children with a balance of power.
  • Bullying can be lots of things. It is hitting, pushing, name calling, teasing, threatening, sending mean e-mails, taking or ruining another person's things, leaving someone out, and other negative behaviors.
  • Bullying is not a bad day on the playground, unkind words from a friend, or being excluded from play a time or two. Bullying is chronic. It is a pattern of behavior that is repeated. A truly bullied child has endured mean behavior over time.


What Can You Do To Help Your Child With Bullying?

Teach your child that everyone has differences and the unique nature of people makes us special. When a child begins to value personal differences, being different doesn’t bother them. Reacting is something a bully likes to see. Less reacting normally causes way less of a problem. Help your child become able in handling most problems on his/her own. As social problems pop up during their school years, avoid involving the teacher right away (over small social bumps). Instead have your child come up with solutions, strategies, and ways of handling these bad moments. When children handle most issues on their own, they figure out what works for them and they gain confidence daily. As a result, they gain problem-solving skills which will benefit them throughout the rest of their school years and their entire adult lives. Encourage your child/ren to share problems, big and little, and praise them as you see those confident social skills emerging.

This school year, the topic of Bullying and Anti-Bullying Strategies will be addressed through counselor classroom visits/lessons and anytime with the faculty and administration of Monclova Primary School.

As Monclova Primary's School Counselor, I try to encourage all children to work on their character. By utilizing classroom presentations, school-wide assemblies, individual discussions with children, and the morning announcements, students are encouraged to think about character qualities such as fairness, caring, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship, and respect.

The character program includes a coupon system that helps students focus on good acts, positive behavior, and character building. Twice each quarter, there is a Super Wheel assembly where qualifying students spin for prizes.

I also recognize "Kids of Character" all year long. This aspect of the program involves a teacher/peer nomination of a student who has demonstrated extraordinary character. For example, a student might show caring by befriending a new student or a student might demonstrate unusual amounts of fairness during a soccer game at recess. Once the nominations come, one child, in each grade level, becomes a Monclova Kid of Character! This award is featured on a school wide announcement where I share what he/she did that demonstrated good character. Also, each "Kid of Character" receives a certificate and prize. These students are also photographed for the award, and the pictures are displayed on the “Kid of Character” bulletin board in the Monclova Office.

Parenting and Letting Children Grow Up

Working as the school counselor and a previous teacher, I have the opportunity to see hundreds of students grow over the course of their time at Monclova Primary. I see students reach new and exciting academic milestones, as well as those which are of a personal/social nature. During this childhood growth process, I also see some parents struggling to figure out when to let go of “doing for” their children. Some parents gracefully go through the grades, with a natural ability to give children more and more independence. Other parents tend to cling more to their children, by contacting teachers over minimal childhood issues, constant fretting, asking for special treatment, fighting playground battles for their children, and generally struggling to solve any unhappiness their child may face. It’s tough to see and often confusing for our children. More importantly, it slows the process of building self-esteem and personal responsibility. In order to become confident and able, all children (as well as adults) must discover ways to solve most of their own issues on their own. At Monclova School, the staff aims to foster an increased level of responsibility as the children progress through school. We also strive to provide our students with opportunities to establish and build upon various life skills that will benefit them throughout their entire education and adult life. When children are given the opportunity to feel minimally awkward, worried, and unsure, they begin to work toward developing an increased level of independence. During these “lessons,” most children learn to figure life out and do so quite successfully.

Here are a few age 6-10 social/emotional facts to consider as your child grows:

  • Developing self-esteem is a central issue during these years. As a parent, you cannot give your child self-esteem. Exposure to a variety of sports, friends, and situations helps facilitate the learning process. With each new-mastered skill, an ever-building sense of competence grows.
  • Your child is learning to use standards like grades or home runs to measure his performance.
  • Home is still very important and is the foundation for your child to become independent..
  • Increasing separation and independence from parents are healthy steps in your child's development.  Going to Grandma's or a friend's house is important. Children need to function away from parents
  • from time to time.
  • Children at this age tend to identify with the parent of the same sex.
  • Your child is beginning to compare herself against other people's expectations. Mentally healthy children want to handle the rigor of school. They want to follow school rules and succeed. They want to succeed independently.
  • Your child is becoming aware that she is one of many people in the world. Up to this time, most children are focused primarily on themselves. Sometimes, this makes a child seem less outgoing than before. It is important your child goes through this stage. We need to develop empathy for those who share the world with us. Children can become excessively narcissistic without guidance. Encouraging your child to do kind acts for others is extremely important.
  • Your child is developing the social skills to make friends.
  • Your child is a wonderful mimic during these years, so be careful! We always teach our children
  • more through our actions than our words. Children during this time imitate both good and bad adult
  • behavior.
  • Your child is able to communicate well with others without your help.
  • How other children perceive your child will affect his self-image.

Above all, demonstrate the love you have for your children, by understanding this emotional base. Give them wings and allow them to make mistakes. When these situations occur, use them as opportunities for growth. Live through the tears and let them solve most of their own issues, as some problems are small and won't need adult intervention. Support your children and cheer for them all along the way. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. If we weren't supposed to make any mistakes, pencils would not have erasers.