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Cliff's Corner - 4/26/2018

posted Apr 26, 2018, 5:36 PM by Admin at Winterhaven

Counselor’s Corner - Hey everyone,

Here’s what is on for the next week in counseling. In K-5 we will be doing more on self-esteem and friendship skills.  Several parents and students identified this as a need surfacing now.  We read one of my favorite books last week, “Cosmo Zooms” and I’m hoping to do some reading of other related (TBA) stories to them this week. If you could check in on what your student thinks they are good at and reinforce those things, as well as offer other possibilities, that would be helpful.  One of the harder things to watch is a kid who sits there when asked “what are you good at?” and can’t think of anything. There’s always a few of them in the higher elementary classes as the hormones and social awareness take their toll on their self-esteem. The kids are looking to be especially conscious of giving each other compliments for things they see each other do well these next couple weeks. We will then be starting our health curriculum the first week of May. The curriculum is here:

6th grade will be continuing our Health curriculum also.  We will be doing this until the end of the year.  We are finishing up lesson 2 and starting on lesson 3 next week.

Speaking of health, you may have heard that the middle school is going to get more health next year.  There is going to be some shuffling to make that happen, so expect some changes in the schedule for next year.  

State Testing is kicking off this week. Some kids may be more stressed out than others about this. Please reassure them that they have the skills they need to excel and remind them to do the breathing exercises we worked on earlier in the year. I’ll be in classrooms as they begin testing as much as my schedule allows. If you have any questions about State Testing, I’m the point person on that as well.  

This article jumped at me this week. Is Winterhaven’s gender imbalance (especially in the middle school) a comparable situation?  I appreciate how the article focuses on the unexpected ripples to some decisions. This is something that is often lost on most kids (and us adults more than we like to admit) and something we should be continually bringing up with our kids to help them see the bigger picture.  I was also struck by how often the men in this article left home at 14 to look for work. This is the age of our 8th graders here (including one of whom is mine) and I’m sure is related to some of the pushing back behaviors that we see with them. Of course they are not ready for adulthood, but of course, they want more of it than we want to give them in US culture. It’s had me thinking about how to address that.

At our Wednesday morning training last week, James Avison’s awesome intern Marla Thayer said something that inspired this week’s question.  I have a distant feeling I’ve asked something similar to this already, but it’s important enough to revisit either way. We all make mistakes around race.  How do we clean them up when we do?

Cliff Shaw
School Counselor
Winterhaven School