Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Panther P.A.L.s (Peers as Leaders)

At a district counselor meeting during the fall semester, a wonderful colleague of mine mentioned a peer leadership program that she has with her students.  I was thrilled with this awesome idea and wanted to replicate it on my campus!

The special program, "Panther P.A.L.s" (Peers as Leaders) was introduced to the fourth graders as an opportunity to show leadership and volunteering on our campus.  I sent a letter of explanation and application home with each of our fourth graders.  (I chose fourth grade since our fifth graders have the opportunity to join Student Council)  Since this was my first year to have a program of this nature, I just couldn't say no and accepted all students who applied, who also met the application requirements.  To date, we have over 35 students who are Panther P.A.L.s!

At our first meeting, the students wrote their name on sticky notes and selected various committees:
*helping teachers
*working with students
*mentoring students
*performing Random Acts of Kindness on campus
*No Place for Hate Committee

These students have volunteered to either help a teacher before or after school and/or during their RECESS time!  I know!  AWESOME!

Some Panther P.A.L.s also have the distinct honor of working with a peer either as a tutor or a peer mentor through our M&M Time (Mentor & Me Time) program.

The Panther P.A.L.s and I meet during their lunch times as a group on several occasions in order to establish roles for the students, expectations for the roles, and to award each P.A.L. with a "HERO bracelet" from Positive Promotions.  Each Panther P.A.L. has a special lanyard with a badge identifying him/her as a P.A.L. The children wear these lanyards when they are performing their specific duties as a P.A.L.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Counselor Newsletters

For eight years I have submitted various articles to be included within our weekly newsletters to parents. I have often considered the idea of creating my own newsletter to not only inform parents of counseling events on campus, but to also educate parents regarding my role as the counselor.

Yesterday, based on the recommendation from someone who posted on my Facebook post about Glogster, I have discovered!!! 


This was by far the EASIEST format for a newsletter that I have ever used!  I was able to write my first flyer and email it to all of our parents in less than an hour!  I love how you can track how many people have viewed the flyer as well!  Amazing! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Coffee with the Counselor: Bullying from Two Perspectives

I just hosted my first Coffee with the Counselor of 2014!  The topic of this chat was, "Bullying from Two Perspectives: In the Girls' World and in the Boys' World".  I had a wonderful time meeting with the parents and talking with them about the topic of bullying.  The chat was interactive with a PowerPoint presentation that included music videos and various tips on how to help their child.

Here is the link to the presentation: