Counselor's Corner

Carla Strong, School Counselor

Now in my 8th year as Merrywood's School Counselor, I have been a School Counselor for 25 years. I provide classroom lessons each month to all classes, small groups weekly, and individual counseling as needed. My goal as a School Counselor is to support the social and emotional learning needs of the Merrywood community.

I can be reached at (864) 941-5707 or strongc@gwd50.org Please feel free to contact me any time with any questions you may have.

School Counseling at

Merrywood Elementary School

Life is like a pickle - sometimes sweet and sometimes sour! At Merrywood, your counselor can help you celebrate the sweet times and find the support you may need when times are a little less sweet!

The Counseling program at Merrywood Elementary School offers the following services:

* Individual and group counseling for students as mandated by their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan

* Individual and group counseling for a limited number of students who are experiencing issues that are affecting their academic performance, by teacher and/or parent referral

* Classroom lessons for all classrooms monthly and upon teacher request on such topics as social skills, conflict resolution, character education, and preparing for middle school

* Crisis counseling and intervention for all students as needed

Other roles and responsibilities of the School Counselor:

Chair, School Intervention Team for Gr K-2

Chair, 504 Committee

Medical Home bound Coordinator

Student Council Supervisor

Safety Patrol Supervisor

Flag Patrol Supervisor

Ways to Help Your Child

10 Ways to Help Your Child:

Be Responsible

Establish family rules and be consistent about carrying out consequences.
Provide opportunities for choices. Start with which bedtime story to hear or which socks to wear.
Praise your child for completing responsibilities. Teach good health and safety habits. Children need to learn to care for themselves.
Make it your child’s responsibility to get all homework done on time.
Help your child get organized. Keep all schoolwork in one place, write down assignments, and file papers!
Divide big tasks into smaller parts, so that success will encourage your child to tackle new responsibilities.
As your child matures, offer ways to earn, save, and manage money.
Encourage concern for the feelings and needs of others in your family and community.

Manage Anger

Explain that anger is normal-it’s how we manage it that counts.
Help your child identify signs of anger, from the obvious (yelling) to the subtle (a tummy ache).
Show understanding. You might say “I can see that you’re angry because....”
Teach proven “cool-down” techniques. Count to 10, 20 or 100; or take slow, deep breaths.
Have your child write a list of ways to handle anger better next time. Play-acting can help, too.
Encourage your child to talk about feelings in order to find the root of the anger.
Keep your child healthy, with enough rest and nutritious foods.
Limit your child’s viewing of violence in the media.
Help your child handle stress. Listen to soothing music, exercise, and play with a pet.
Remind your child to respect the rights and feelings of others.

Help With Homework

Set a regular time for homework each day, allowing some time to unwind.
Let your child know that homework is important and valuable!
Be sure your child has all essentials, including papers, books, and pencils.
Help your child get organized.
Have a clean, well-lit place to study.
Discourage distractions during study time. Allow study breaks at intervals.
Be available to quiz your child.
Spot check homework when completed, but don't correct unless asked.
Read any comments the teacher has made on returned assignments.
If a homework problem arises, contact the teacher for clarification.

Bullying

We Hear The Word A Lot - But What Does It Really Mean?

What is bullying?


This is the full definition of bullying from StopBullying.gov:

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.

Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Is It Really Bullying?

Teachers and staff face a number of challenges in defining bullying and knowing how to identify it.

A first challenge has to do with identifying—often on the spot—if behavior that occurs in a school’s hallways, cafeteria, or on a playground is aggressive or if it is rough play…all in fun.

A second challenge involves the repetitive nature of bullying. What makes something repetitive? And can a behavior be considered bullying if it occurs only once?

A third challenge is understanding what counts as a power imbalance among children.

What Adults at Merrywood Do About Bullying

In order to reduce bullying and create a positive climate where youth feel safe, secure and connected, it is important to focus on the social climate of the school. We expect positive behaviors and follow up with positive consequences - our Musketeers Manners! Students regularly learn and review our Musketeers Manners and are "caught being good!" All adults within the school see it as our responsibility to be on the lookout for bullying. All children who share their concerns will have those concerns investigated, addressed, and resolved, including following up with parents and outside agencies when needed.

Handling Bullying

The links on these sites will lead you through an exploration of interventions that work to reduce bullying in schools. They also clearly define bullying behaviors and just as important, what is not bullying, and strategies for handling unkind behaviors.

http://www.stopbullyingnow.com

http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/bullying-awareness-guidebook/

http://www.stopbullying.gov