Message from the Counselor

  • Kimberly T. Pletcher

     

         I want to take this opportunity to say “ welcome back” to those of you that had children that attended Lothian Elementary last year and “welcome” to those of you that are new this year.  We have an exciting year ahead of us and I look forward to working with you and your child(ren). Here is some information regarding the School Counseling Program. Please contact me if I can be of any assistance to you and your child(ren).

     

                        The School Counseling Program at Lothian Elementary School

     

           As a professional school counselor, I deliver a comprehensive school counseling program aligned with the National Standards for School Counseling.  The program includes classroom, group, and individual counseling processes that develop student competencies in the academic, career, and personal/social domains.  The program is developed using data that support and link the counseling program to students’ academic success. Services are delivered through classroom guidance, group, individual counseling and student planning, as well as, consultation, collaboration, and coordination. It is driven by my mission that aligns with both the AACPS mission and our school mission. It is as follows:

     

         “My mission is to promote and enhance student learning through academic, career, and personal/social development and provide support for all students so that they can maximize their student potential and feel safe, nurtured, and respected. My hope is that by advocating for students, providing them with skills they need, and working in a partnership with educators, parents, and the community, all students will have the

    knowledge and skills they need to be responsible citizens, creative thinkers, and life-long learners.”

     

          Classroom guidance is provided for all students (Pre-K - 5) across the educational, career, and personal/social domain. I am in every classroom every other week throughout the entire year. Please ask your child(ren) regularly what they have been learning in Guidance, and look for worksheets in their take-home folders that we have completed to reinforce the strategies taught. You can also go to the Lothian Elementary School website and click on “Guidance” to see strategies I teach to students to help them be successful in school.

     

           Small group guidance and counseling is provided for some students throughout the year. Topics vary based on the needs of the students at the different grade levels.  

     

            I also provide school-related individual counseling and student planning. Students can self-refer and parents, teachers, and administrators can request that I see students.  The counseling is brief-solution focused, and does not constitute therapy. I have information available to parents seeking outside therapy for their child listing psychologists, social workers, and therapists in the area.

     

            In addition to counseling, I provide consultation and coordination services. I work with the school staff and parents, as part of a team, to assist students so they can do their best in school.  I also have resources on a variety of different topics that parents may find helpful. Information is also put in the monthly newsletter that can assist parents as well.

                                          

     To Contact Ms. Pletcher . . .

     

    Call Lothian Elementary School

                          (410) 222-1697

                              

             

     

                                                                    Strategies for Students

     

    The following are strategies I teach students for dealing with different problems. They come from

    various professional sources such as the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Essential Guidance

    Curriculum, and the Second Step Program by the Committee for Children.

     

    DEBUG if someone is bugging or bothering you…..

     

    DEBUG

    1. Ignore (Ignore for at least 1 minute).
    2. Move away (Go somewhere else).
    3. Talk friendly (Tell them to stop in a friendly way).
    4. Talk firmly (Tell them to stop again, but say it like you mean it).
    5. Get adult help (Get help from the nearest adult).

     

    Follow these steps if someone is BULLYING you……

     

    How to Handle Bullying                 

    1. Say “Stop Bullying Me!” like you mean it.
    2. Say it again!

    Say it again!

    Say it again!

    1. Walk away.
    2. Get help from an adult.

     

    Ways to Handle a Bully

           S   Stay away from the person or group

           T   Tell the person to stop bullying you!

           U   Use humor to show that it doesn’t bother you (still report to an adult)

           D   Distract

           Y

            I    Ignore

           N   Be supported in numbers

           G   Get help

      

    Use these steps when you need to CALM DOWN because you are angry….

     

    What to Do When You Are Angry

     

    1. Think about how your body feels (What are the clues my body is giving me to warn me

                                                               that I am angry and that I need to calm down?).

    1. Calm down.
      • Take three deep breaths (Take it in through your nose, hold it, let it out
      • slowly through your mouth).
      • Count backwards slowly (10….9…..8……).
      • Think nice thoughts (Think of a peaceful place).
      • Talk to myself (Say to yourself, “I need to calm down.”).

                                                                

    1. Think out loud to solve the problem (Now that I am calm, what should I do to solve

                                                                            the problem?).

    1. Think about it later (Did I solve the problem in an appropriate way? What should

                                           I do differently next time?).

     

    Taken from the program, “Second Step”  by the Committee for Children.

     

     

    Use these steps to solve a PROBLEM…..

     

    Problem Solving

     

    1. What is the problem?
    2. What are some solutions? (What can you do to solve the problem?)
    3. For each solution, ask:

    *Is it safe?

    *How might people feel?

    *Is it fair?

    *Will it work?

    1. Choose a solution and use it.
    2. Is it working? If not, what can I do now? (Is there another solution that I can try?)

     

    Taken from the program, “Second Step” by the Committee for Children.