Yes, we are back in school again. It looks much different than in years past. Half our students are here and half are at home with MySchoolOnline. We are all wearing masks, and social distancing. Seating is spaced apart in the classroom and the lunchroom. But still, kids are smiling and are happy to be able to see their friends and get back to learning.
This year, we will continue our journey with learning Mindfulness as a way to calm our minds and bodies. We will take brain breaks and use calming time. As a counselor, I will continue to be available to meet with students both online and at home. Please don't hesitate to contact me to support your child by clicking on my contact page. Student's can also use this page if they need to speak to me.
Here's to a good school year!
Schools may be closed through the end of the year, but Lauren and Buddy want to make sure kids are still remembering to be Safe & Smart at home! That’s why we’re announcing the Safer, Smarter Kids coloring contest! Open to school children in Florida grades K-4, the winner will receive a school visit and safety assembly from Lauren and Buddy in the 2021-22 school year!
Parents and teachers, click below to download the coloring sheet, and submit your entries to email@example.com with the following information:
I was reading a book called 10 Minute Life Lessons for Kids, by Jamie Miller and I found a chapter devoted to Courage and Adversity. In these changing and stressful times, we need courage, so I dug in to see what the author wanted to share on the subject. The author talked about her son joking that he was ordering chocolate donuts and hash browns for breakfast, but instead he got scrambled eggs, and he complained that was not what he ordered. She then compared life with meal orders. We all want our lives to be made to order. Life would be perfect then, with good health, money, and opportunities served up on a nice hot plate. Instead, life gives us many difference experiences, some of which we never would have ordered. Things like illness, divorce, job loss, and failure are sometimes served to us instead. "But I didn't order this!" we want to yell. And alas, no one comes to pick up the unwanted order. We are left instead, to deal with it in our own way. We learn that unwanted orders can be an opportunity. While not wanted or asked for, unwanted life experiences give us the opportunity to grow. When we grow, we gain strength and courage. Courage is not something we can give to another person. It is something grown within us when we are served something scary or unknown or sad. As parents, we often want to protect our children from challenging or scary things. We don't want to see them struggle or suffer. We'd like them to have "made to order" lives full of hope and wellness. But sometimes, we just need to stand by them and guide them through their challenges so they can grow their own courage and manage their own adversity in the future. This is how we can encourage children to grow into strong, resilient adults.
Eat the frog first. I read these words today and thought, what! Gross! What does that even mean? I had not heard this saying until today, so I dug in and did some research. It turns out Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first." In other words, do the thing that you don't want to do first, then everything else in the day will be easier. You won't have this thing, this frog, hanging around, jumping all over the place getting in the way. In a world where everything has been flipped upside down, and our regular routines have been thrown out the window, we are looking at new, overwhelming routines we must contend with. There are frogs. Frogs that we don't want to deal with. Frogs that we say we'll worry about tomorrow. So, tomorrow, make that list of what needs to be done and put that frog first. Get it out of the way. And you'll feel loads better after you do.
Mindfulness is something we've been learning about at Pine View Elementary School. Mindfulness is bringing attention to our thoughts and feelings. When you are calm, your thinking brain is on. When you are sad or angry, your emotional brain takes over. When this happens, you are less likely to be able to think, problem solve, and learn. While there are many different ways to be mindful, we have been focusing on breathing mindfully at Pine View Elementary. Deep breathing can help you relax and let your thinking brain take control again.
Here are some ways that you can be mindful at home.
1. Practice Deep Mindful Breathing
2. Using mental health apps like Calm and Stop, Breathe, & Think. Click here for a description of apps on Common Sense Media.
3. Progressive muscle relaxation can help release built up tension in the body and help kids pay attention to their body.
4. Learn more about mindfulness with Mind Yeti.
During these unprecedented times and the uncharted territory that schools and families are now facing, I now face a new challenge in figuring out how to reinvent how I can serve students and families. School counselors are very hands on and meet with students daily. They provide lessons, support, a listening ear, and a hug for students who need one. I'd like to still be available for students, but in a virtual world. I am using this website as a way to connect, reach out, and share with our Pine View Families. I plan on uploading resources, videos, and Safer Smarter Kids lessons in the coming weeks so that students can continue to receive their Social Emotional Learning (SEL). This website is a work in progress, so please check back if you don't find what you're looking for.