Welcome to Galatas! Let me tell you a little bit about myself. This is my seventh year as a school counselor, and I am very excited to be working at a job that I have always wanted. I taught in elementary schools for 10 years and then became a counselor. Before my family and I moved to The Woodlands, I taught in Houma, Louisiana which is in the southern part of Louisiana. My family and I moved here in June, 2007. We love it here. My husband is a salesman in the oil field. We have three children, and Blair is in kindergarten at Galatas this year. Luke is in fifth grade at Mitchell. My oldest daughter Kate is at McCullough. We also have two dogs, PJ and Buster that are a big part of our family. We love doing things outdoors, eating out at restaurants, travelling, and watching movies. I love listening to music, the color red, and anything outdoors.
I can’t wait to learn more about your family. Send me an email to tell me all about who is a part of your family, what you do for fun, and anything else you would like to add.
Use the following article to help your children transition to school during the first few weeks. Article.
Is your child anxious about going to school? Does it feel like it happens everyday? If so, here are a few ways to help.
(Taken from the article Relieve School Anxiety by Terri Mauro, About.com)
-Acknowledge the problem. Does hearing, “Don’t worry!” help when you’re anxious about something? It probably doesn’t comfort your child much, either. The most important thing you can do for a child experiencing school anxiety is to acknowledge that her fears are real to her. If nothing else, you’ll ensure that she won’t be afraid to talk to you about them.
-Ask, “What three things are you most worried about?” Making your request specific can help your child start to sort through a bewildering array of fears and feelings. If he’s unable to name the things that are most worrisome, have him tell you any three things, or the most recent three things.
-Ask, “What three things are you most excited about?” Most kids can think of something good, even if it’s just going home at the end of the day. But chances are your child does have things she really enjoys about school that just get drowned out by all the scary stuff. Bring those good things out into the light.
-Do some role-playing. Once you have some concrete examples of anxiety-provoking events, help your child figure out an alternate way to deal with them. Discuss possible scenarios and play the part of your child in some role-playing exercises, letting him play the part of the demanding teacher or bullying classmate. Model appropriate and realistic responses and coping techniques for your child.
-Keep the lines of communication open. Let your child know that she can always talk to you, no matter what. It’s not always necessary even to have solutions to her problems. Sometimes just talking about things out loud with a trusted adult makes them seem less threatening. And if the situation does become overwhelming for your child, you want to be the first to know about it.
-Understand the value of tears. Crying can be a great stress reliever. It flushes out bad feelings and eases tension. It’s hard to see your child crying, and your first instinct may be to help him stop as soon as possible. But after the tears have all come out, your child may be in a particularly open and receptive mood for talking and sharing. Provide a soothing and sympathetic presence, but let the crying run its course.
-Resist the urge to fix everything. There are some instances in which parents do have to take action.
-Know when to get help. Most children experience school anxiety to some extent, and some feel it more deeply and disruptively. When does it become a big enough problem to require professional help? Some signs to look for are major changes in friendships, style of clothing, music preferences, sleeping and eating habits, attitude and behavior. If you’ve established a good rapport with your child and he suddenly doesn’t want to talk, that’s a sign of trouble as well.
“Freeing Your Child from Anxiety” is a good book for learning more about anxiety and how to relieve it. And to remind yourself how it felt to be in school, read “The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Find Success in School and Life.”
Galatas Greyhounds are Bucket Fillers!
There are two types of people……..
“Bucket Fillers” are those who help without being asked, give hugs and compliments, and generally spread their love and good feelings to others. The simple metaphor of a bucket helps even preschoolers understand the importance of consideration and love, particularly towards those who bully.
“Bucket Dippers” rob us of happy feelings by refusing to help with a task or by saying or doing cruel things.
We talk a lot about Bucket FIllers and Bucket Dippers in my office and all around Galatas.
In a school setting, a counselor does brief counseling. This addresses minor problems within a few sessions. The school setting is different than a therapeutic/clinical setting where diagnosis and treatment plans are created and treatment is administered for a longer period of time. The goal of school counseling is to address minor issues which impact learning while at school. If issues continue to impact the students learning at school, after intervention by the school counselor, a referral to an outside resource will be suggested to the parents/guardians. School Counselors also work with outside agencies to ensure student success while at school.
(adapted from Brenda Winters, Former Counselor)
The Galatas Elementary counseling program offers support for students and parents through the following:
Individual Counseling for Students
Group Counseling for Students
Classroom Guidance Lessons
Support for Community Services
Individual Planning through services like 504 and RtI
Kelso’s Making Good Choices Program
Each month at Galatas, I will share a new character trait with the students. The character traits represent the way that we expect our students to act as Galatas Greyhounds. We teach the students about the traits through morning announcements, classroom guidance lessons, and assemblies.