Counseling Corner

Counseling Corner
Posted on 11/11/2019
Safe 2 Tell LogoHello Manitou families,

As Agents of Change on Thursday and Friday Ms. Embery, Ms. Thomson, and I attended a Restorative Practices training. What are Restorative Practices and how are they related to social-emotional and academic learning? The Second Step Suite and Restorative Practices in schools share the common goals of supporting the safety, well-being, and success of students by developing positive relationships, fostering school connectedness, and building social-emotional competencies.

When students have skills to listen, show empathy, disagree respectfully, establish positive relationships, understand and manage emotions, and handle challenging situations effectively, they can participate in the restorative practice process with more ease and confidence.

kids with counselor

Restorative approaches are based on the idea that when students feel part of a supportive community, they respect others in that community and become accountable to it. MSES teachers foster this sense of community through daily Classroom Circles. Circles help students better understand each other, engendering a sense of empathy and connection while supporting academic success.

What are circles? Circles are brief check-ins with students that set the tone for academic learning for the day. Students sit in a circle facing each other. A question is asked and each student answers the question (or they may choose to pass) using a talking piece (a special object) passed from student to student. The check-in round might include the question, How are you doing today? Is there anything in particular on your mind that is important for us to know? The second question might include sharing what the student knows and wants to learn. For instance, a teacher might say, today we are starting our Domain on Plants: Do you have any concerns about learning this topic? What do you think would be helpful for you to learn about plants?

Ask your Experts about Circle Guidelines:
What does it mean to speak from the heart? (I am open and honest with my answers.)
What does it mean to listen from the heart? (I am open and can accept differences.)
Say just enough. (I only need to speak a few words so others can have a turn.)



Kidpower Update: Ms. Larsen fourth grade students completed their second and last session of Kidpower Training. Ask your Expert: Who does your body belong to? (ME!!!!) Next week Ms. Goldman’s class receives session one of two sessions.

Parents, please join us for Kidpower in Ms. Goldman’s class, 12:45 – 2:45, Friday, 11/15 and 11/22
across the street from MSES in the Community Room at the Community Congregational Church. (Kidpower is a purely secular program. It is held in the community room for space reasons only.
Call Leatha Hay, Counselor, 685-2160 or your teacher with questions.


Your MSES Counseling Staff:
• Leatha Hay, MSES School Counselor, 685-2160, [email protected]
• Stephanie Wilson, District 14 School Counselor, 685-2227, [email protected]
• Chrissy Zakrzewski, Elementary School Social Worker, 685-2050, [email protected]
• Stephen Anderson, UCCS Graduate Intern, 685-2160, [email protected]


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