Friday, February 08, 2013

National School Counseling Week 2013

It was a great National School Counseling Week! For the first time in quite some time, I recognized the week. I'm feeling quite busy and overwhelmed right now, so I decided to only do morning announcements. Rather than have the student announcer read my announcement each morning, I decided to get on the microphone myself. I'm not comfortable on the microphone and I didn't think I could speak only from my heart each morning, so I wrote a script for each day. I deviated a bit - here and there - but overall I stuck to my original script.

National School Counseling Week 2013 
Morning Announcements

I posted about my Day 1 Announcement in my prior post. Click here for access.

Day 2: Responsibility

Good Morning! It is Day 2 of National School Counseling Week and today I’m going to be talking about responsibility. Part of my job is to help you understand how you as students have responsibilities. All of us have responsibilities – kids and grown-ups. While adults are responsible for keeping their children safe, paying the bills, going grocery shopping, driving the kids to fun activities, taking care of their house/apartment and on and on, kids have kid responsibilities. Kids are responsible for completing and returning homework; responsible for putting in effort when completing school work to the best of their abilities; responsible for being a good listener and participating in class; responsible for keeping themselves and their things organized; responsible for their actions – that is responsible for what they say and what they do; responsible for looking out for others; responsible for brushing their teeth and having good hygiene; and responsible for having safe kid fun – to name only a few! I say often, YOU have the ability to make quite a difference in this world. YOU have the ability to graduate from high school, attend college or technical school, and get the training you need to be successful in a career. YOU have the responsibility and ability to treat those around you with kindness and respect. YOU have the responsibility and ability to be a responsible citizen who makes good choices and looks out for others. YOU are responsible; YOU have the ability; YOU are capable of doing wonderful things and I so look forward to cheering you on along the way!!

Day 3: Bullying

Good Morning! It is Day 3 of National School Counseling Week and today’s topic is bullying. When I was having my mini-meetings with kiddos, many students asked me “Were you ever bullied?” Yes, yes I was – I will never forget it, but it made me a stronger and more determined young lady. I was a 5th grader when girls really started getting involved in sports (following the enactment of the Title IX Law). I joined my elementary school’s intramural basketball team and really loved the game. I loved playing so much that after being encouraged to do so by my physical education teacher, I wanted to play on a traveling basketball team. At that time there were not any girls’ teams – so if I wanted to play, I would have to play with the boys. I was the only girl on the boys’ team. The boys got very upset and angry with me when I played. They called me names, relentlessly. Thankfully, I had wonderful coaches who did not put up with that nonsense and encouraged me to play my hardest. That first year playing basketball made me stronger! 7years after that, I was a 12th grader in high school when I was the first girl to score 1000 points in her basketball career at my high school.

All these years later, I remember how hurtful it was to hear those mean words.

If you are someone who hurts others with your words and behavior, you are affecting someone for the rest of their life. Come on – you are better than that - you can change your behavior. If you are a victim, you are strong enough to not believe the mean things that you are hearing. Be yourself. Be proud of yourself. If you are a bystander, you are courageous enough to stand up for the person who is being bullied. Tell those who are doing the bully behavior that it is unkind and include the victim to let him/her know that you care.

Day 4: Friendship

Good Morning! It is Day 4 of National School Counseling Week and today I’m going to talk about friends. We all need TRUE friends. TRUE friends accept us for who we are, so it is easy to be ourselves with a TRUE friend. TRUE friends are those who have fun with us, talk kindly to us, help us, include us, make us laugh, and look out for us. A TRUE friend is happy that we have plenty of other friends to share our time with. A TRUE friend is someone we can trust.

 A TRUE friend will NOT make you feel badly about yourself. A TRUE friend does not want you to make poor choices. A TRUE friend will NOT encourage you to hurt others. A TRUE friend will NOT talk about you behind your back. We all want friends, but we don’t need friends who are hurtful to us. Even if we may not be best friends with someone, we still need to act friendly towards everyone.

Choose your friends based on their character (how they treat others). Spend time with a potential friend to get to know him/her. You and your TRUE friends will have disagreements because you are spending a lot of time together (remember conflict is a normal part of life). But, TRUE friends solve their disagreements peacefully. They talk it out and find a way to make each person feel better.

Something I know for sure – Life is definitely better with TRUE friends!

Day 5: Let's Dance!

Good Morning! Each evening when I sit down to relax; I turn on the day’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show that I recorded on my DVR. Why? She has the very special gift of helping others – helping others to smile and laugh, helping others to feel good about themselves, and helping others with her kindness. Ellen loves to dance and she always plays fun dance music on her show which makes me want to get up and dance too! After a long day at school who wouldn’t like to watch a TV show that touches your heart and mind – and makes us want to dance? Many days, Ellen reminds me of what I want to do for all of you – help you smile, help you laugh, help you to be proud of yourself, and help you be kind to others. A school counselor’s job is to help with all of those things! So in honor of Ellen, I would like to start your day off on a smiley note….so how about we get up and DANCE!!! (Introduce and play song)
Play: Wings by Little Mix – starting at second 20.
Click here to see the video of Wings by Little Mix. I chose this song because it has a great beat, has an anti-bullying message, and was appropriate for children K-5. I started playing it at :20 seconds in....just past the "If they give you SHHHHH..." lyric.

The day before I emailed the teachers to let them know that I would be playing music during Friday's morning announcements and to encourage the kids to dance.

During the song, I could hear the students dancing in the classrooms above me. After the song, I opened the classroom door where we were doing the announcements from and I heard classes applauding!!! I ventured out to "do my job" and the kiddos energy was contagious. They were saying: Thank You, That was the best, Let's do that again, That was so much fun, and I had a great time dancing! I had students asking me to make that a Friday tradition. I felt like I was a DJ - many were requesting future dance songs that could be played. The staff...they had a fantastic time as well! Many had such a great time dancing that they reported they had a great workout! Day 5 was the BEST morning!

Oh my gosh! It was so incredibly rewarding! It was so much fun to hear and see their excitement and smiling faces!

National School Counseling Week 2013
What did I learn?
I certainly wasn't planning on the response that I received. "They listen, they really do listen," I kept thinking to myself. During the school day following each morning announcement, students would stop me in the hallway and as I visited classrooms to comment on something that I said, tell me about a connection they made while listening, or to thank me for the message. Staff sent me emails thanking me for the announcements or commenting on what I had said. This is the first time I did morning announcements and I believe it was a huge success! The kiddos have been asking me to do them more often! Hmmmm....
I hope you all had a fantastic National School Counseling Week!

1 comment:

  1. I love these announcements. I have always wanted to do the Friday Dance Jam. How did the kids love it?