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Helping Our Grieving Families
As we near the Holidays, all of us are reminded of family members or friends who have died and are not with us. Our memories may be from very recent deaths or ones from many years ago. We are again reminded of them. If we will react with sadness this may put a damper on our celebrations. We can help others and ourselves by remembering funny things that you did with that person and sharing the neat memories.
Parents, teachers, and other adults, YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. If you do not know the answer to a child's question, say so. Young ones know when we are telling the truth. Use the words "death, dead, dying" and do not use the words, " sleeping, lost, going away, passed away, laid to rest" as children may be afraid to go to sleep or rest. Be a good listener by giving them your full attention, your eye contact, and your repeating what they have said.
Children will grieve in doses. They take in only what they can handle at the moment and then may take a break by playing or doing regular daily activities. Later on they may come back with more questions or expressions of emotions. It may be they are too young to understand, and it is not that they do not care. Sometimes they are away from you but they watch your actions and reactions.
Remember that sometimes children have trouble putting their feelings into words and may need your help finding the right words. Some children may act out because they do not know how to express the pain of grief. It is fine for you to role play and help them find a way that is appropriate for them.
Young people have a more adult understanding of death, but many times they do not believe that it will happen to them. A characteristic of some young people might be to believe in their own immortality. Young people tend to express a lot of anger about death because it is easier to express anger than sadness and hurt.
It is common for young people to go to their friends to seek support. Peer support is very important in their lives, but they still need caring adults in their world.
BIST (Behavior Intervention Support Team)
The Lexington Public School system has adopted the BIST program to use in Kindergarten through eighth grade.
Why students get into trouble:
- They don't know any better, (they need information)
- They test limits, (they need consistency)
- They cannot manage feelings
These are the goals for life:
- "I CAN take good care of myself, even if I am mad."
- "I CAN be okay even when others are not okay."
- "I CAN be productive and follow directions, even if I don't want to."
- It is never okay to be disruptive.
- It is never okay to be hurtful.
BIST encourages the students and teachers to use "I" statements. These statements will help reduce resistance and blaming, increase acceptance and invite students to grow and give support.
teacher might say: "I don't want
YOU to be in trouble."
I want to help you look at yourself, so you can change."
student might say: I
I accept consequences
I accept and need help
Safe Seat, Buddy Room, Processing, Think Sheet:
THIS IS NOT A PUNISHMENT, but it is a change to look at the problem and make changes needed to be successful.1. Teacher warns a student about behavior not acceptable.
2. Student is asked to go to the Safe Seat.
3. Student moves to Safe Seat without any further incident.
4. Student must process with teacher before class time tomorrow.
5. Student returns to seat with a verbal plan in place.
a student does not move to Safe Seat quietly then they will be escorted to the
1. Teacher escorts student to another classroom and puts in the Buddy Seat.
2. Student sits there quietly until the end of class.
3. Student must process with teacher and complete a Think Sheet in written form.
4. Student comes back to classroom and sits in the Safe Seat.
5. After success in the Safe Seat, they the student returns to seat.
At any time that the student does not process with the teacher they will remain in the Safe Seat or the Buddy Room until they do process. If the student does not process in a timely manner, then the principals will get involved.
Students who are Successful at LMS always:
Attend school every day unless I’m really sick, and I be there on time.
Get 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
Eat a healthy breakfast in the morning.
Pay attention in class.
Write down assignments for each subject and refer back to it many times a day.
Start projects when they are assigned and do not put off to the due date.
Complete my homework on time.
Read for pleasure each day.
These are the 14 common Test Taking Errors that you need to avoid:
not follow the directions.
(Always read test directions before beginning to answers.)
2. Didn’t calculate how
much time to spend on each question to have time
to do all of them.
(Divide the number of questions into the number of minutes you have to take the test. Be sure to allow more minutes for essay or problem-solving.)
not read questions carefully.
(Circle and underline key words in the test questions and use them as a check to see if you answered all parts of the question.)
not go back and check over answers.
(Always leave time toward the end of a test to ready over answers to check for careless mistakes. Overall, students who do this earn higher grades.)
marked the wrong item or box.
(Go back over test at the end.)
an answer from correct to incorrect after.
(Change answers if you are positively certain you have recorded the wrong answer. First impressions are more often correct that second guesses.)
going over the material but could not recall it.
(This is a sure sign that you did not review the material enough times. Set up your notes to make repeated and frequent reviews fast and easy.)
not understand a question and didn’t get clarification from the instructor.
(Ask the instructor for clarification.)
lots of words but didn’t answer the question.
(Circle and underline key words, and if you have to guess, write something closely related to the question.)
answer was disorganized.
(This has a direction connection with how you studied the material. If your notes or the way you studied them was disorganized, your test answers will be disorganized.)
Hand writing was illegible.
(Print if you need to or write slower.)
(See the suggestions for #3, #4, and #7.)
not support points with evidence, facts, statistics, research or proof.
(When you review material before a test, you need to include evidence, facts, statistics, research, or proof.)
not know the subject matter well.
(Take good lecture and textbook notes. Review these notes 3 to 4 times per week. Join a study group. Ask your instructor questions. Answers the questions at the end of the chapter even if they are not assigned.)
Ms. Underwood, Counselor at LMS
by Ron Stewart
Lexington Middle School has rules on the number of days that you can be absent. That's because we want you to attend and be successful. Here's why:
You're likely to get better grades. You can't learn if you aren't in school. It's a fact that students who have good attendance do better in school.
You're likely to get a better job. The habits you set now - attending class every day and coming to school on time - will carry over into the workplace.
You're more likely to stay out of trouble. One study found that 78 percent of those who ended up in prison had attendance issues while in school.
You'll be more likely to graduate. Missing too many days is often the first step toward dropping out. Students who drop out of high school have a higher rate of unemployment.
Here is a list of things that sound like good reasons to miss school - but they're really not. Please discuss these with your parents:
Doctor or dentist appointment. Try to schedule it after school or during a day when there is no school.
Family vacation. If your family has scheduled a vacation during the school year, talk to your parents. Could it be rescheduled during a school break?
Babysitting for your younger sibling. Your number one job is being a student, not a child care provider.
Being unprepared for class or a test. If you didn't study or didn't complete your homework, it's your responsibility to face the consequences. Talk to your teacher.