The month of October was busy, busy, busy for this school counselor! Fall Break was a welcome week off, but that also meant that the other three weeks were jam-packed with classroom lessons!
Our topic for October was conflict resolution. This is a great follow-up to the September topic of bullying because we were able to review the definition of bullying using the same bullying stick figure situation as last month, but then discuss how the situation would change if the target started saying mean things back to the bully.
The picture below is an example of the bullying stick figure drawing that I used in all of my bullying lessons K-6. The words I used during my lesson and the way I described the situation varied, depending on the age of the class, but the stick figures were the same.
In the picture, the stick figure labeled "Target" had really good behavior in one of my classroom lessons and had earned the coveted "Star Student Pencil." (Side note: I do hand out a star student pencil to one student at the end of every lesson who shows exceptional behavior during my lesson, but the students who I choose are also ones who participate in my lesson by answering questions, working well in partner/group work, etc.) The stick figure labeled "Bully" was angry that the other student had gotten the star student pencil instead of him, so he was saying mean things to the "target." The witnesses/bystanders were standing near them and saw/heard what happened.
After we reviewed bullying, I asked the students, "what happens if the target says mean things back to the bully? The answer is that the situation becomes two-sided, which turns the situation into a conflict instead of bullying. Here's a picture of this situation turned into a conflict:
Many times when a student has come to me and said another student was bullying him/her, it turns out that both students had said or done something that wasn't very nice to the other student. When that is the case, it is a conflict, not bullying. And it's important for our students to know how to try to resolve conflicts themselves so they don't have to get an adult every time a problem comes up!
Some of the strategies we talked about were...
During the month of September, I taught lessons on the topic of bullying. Bullying is a very popular word that many students use when describing actions of their classmates; however, what we discovered was that many students display "bullying behaviors" but those behaviors don't actually classify as bullying!
Throughout the year, I usually discuss the various R.I.C.H.E.R. principles that are used at CMS and CHS. These stand for Respect, Integrity, Caring, Harmony, Excellence, and Responsibility. The topic of bullying would also cover the topic of respect, because when we are nice to other people, we show them respect.
In every grade K-6, we discussed that for something to be considered bullying, it must be repeated (occur more than one time) and it must be one-sided (mean words/actions only going in one direction). If both people in the situation were saying or doing mean things, it would be two-sided, and therefore is NOT considered bullying! It would be considered a fight/argument/disagreement/problem/conflict.
We follow-up with the bullying lesson in October when we do conflict resolution. So, if there's a situation that you think is bullying but maybe turns out to be a conflict, how can you resolve it on your own? That's what we will talk about next month!
One time when I was browsing Pinterest, I found this great "is it bullying?" poster, and I LOVE the way that it explains different behaviors! Just something to keep in mind.
I had a wonderful time "meeting" all of my students again! Most of the students at both Fayette Central and Maplewood remembered me from last year, but we do have quite a few new students in each building.
For the first lesson of the year, Meet the Counselor, I talked with all grades K-6 about what a school counselor is and does every day. We focused on reminding ourselves of everything that school counselors can help students with while students are at school.
We also talked about how during this lesson, my name was Miss Schubert, but for the next lesson in many of their classes, I will be Mrs. Miller because I would be getting married in the middle of September! That's definitely going to take some getting used to.
September 21 - 25 was College Go! Week in the state of Indiana! During that week, I went into every class at Fayette Central and Maplewood to give every student a LearnMore magazine as well as to discuss what college is and why it's important to go to college!
There were two contests happening at each school. One was for the kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes and the other was for the third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, and sixth grade classes. Also, you should know, the theme this year was Scooby Doo!
Kindergarten, First, & Second Grade Contest
The students in K, 1, and 2 had to help Scooby Doo figure out what he needed to bring to college! So they talked about the list of items as a class and decided as a class if that item was something that he needed to bring with him or leave at home. The class that got all of the items that Scooby needed to bring on his backpack page won Scooby Snacks for the whole class!
There were several classes that got all of the items that Scooby needed to take to college on his backpack, so I had to break the tie with a random draw! The winners of the random draw and of the Scooby Snack Treat for the K-2 contest were . . .
Miss Casteel's kindergarten class at Fayette Central, and . . .
Miss Toney's 2nd grade class at Maplewood!
Third, Fourth, Fifth, & Sixth Grade Contest
The students in 3, 4, 5, and 6 had a little bigger of a challenge. They were asked to solve a mystery! Scooby Doo visited 5 colleges around the state of Indiana and the students had to use the clues provided to their class to figure out which colleges he visited as well as do some research about each college. Then they had to figure out which college he chose to attend in the end.
There were several classes that followed the clues and ended up figuring out that Scooby Doo chose to attend Butler University! There were also quite a few classes at both schools that got the correct information about each college, so I had to do another tie-breaker by random draw! This time, the winners of the Scooby Snacks were . . .
Mrs. Murray's 3rd grade class at Fayette Central, and . . .
Mrs. Weber's 3rd grade class at Maplewood!