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Counselor
Instructor: Ms. Linda Smid   
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Counselor's Corner
Keep up with what's going on in the counselor's corner. Click on the below icon for the current newsletter.

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Bullying Box
This online bullying box is for students to use when they have observed bullying or are being bullied.
This information is delivered ONLY to Ms. Smid and is confidential.



Thoughts and Strategies to STOP Bullying!






March 11, 2016
Can You Handle The Truth
Telling a bully that their behavior is bad is what is necessary in order to change their thinking and behavior. By blaming the victim or overlooking the problem we allow the bad behavior to continue. So, standup and be honest and let a bully know that their behavior is not acceptable and they need to handle the truth of who they are. This will lead to a successful outcome if dealt with properly.

March 10, 2016
I LIKE YOU, BUTÖÖ.
I like you but I donít like your behavior. This is an old time saying that may be losing its appeal. Students who are disrespectful, rude, and discourteous can be difficult to like. If you treated a student in the same manner it would be hard to stand by the previous statement. Students know if they are liked by their teachers. They can tell by the body language you put off or the language you use as well as the tone in which you speak to them. Bullies are difficult to like as well. Donít let your thoughts dictate your actions. Do whatever it takes to make a friendship with these difficult students. You just might change their behavior.



March 9, 2016
Saying Please and Thank You

Teach respect by giving it even in difficult encounters. If everyone would do that then everyone would be receiving respect. Respect is having high regard for the rights and privileges of another person. Teach through example and curriculum every day. Begin by asking studentís to say please and thank you.



March 8, 2016
Instruction, Warning, Correction

When students are given instructions we assume that they heard us and that they understood what was required of them. Dealing with student behavior is equally important as academic behavior. The belief is that when a student does not do what they are told is that the student is being uncooperative or defiant. This may not be the case at all. Check with the student to make sure they understood what it is you required and then give them a warning about future requirements. Then, if the behavior continues you will know that the student was being defiant on purpose. Only give one warning too many warnings causes frustration for the teacher. Then impose a consequence and praise changed behavior.


MARCH 7, 2016
Weakness or Difference

In the news there are numerous stories about hate crimes against individuals for a variety of reasons. Bullying can be looked at as a hate crime. When a bully victimizes a student and that student harms themselves they can be charged with a hate crime. Please take every opportunity to talk about the significance of bully.



MARCH 4, 2016

I Was Just Joking Around
Many bullies say that they are just joking around when they in truth bullying another student. There are times when students do like to tease each other and it is not bullying but may need to be redirected if it becomes chronic. Teach your students that if they are teasing each other in a fun natured way and it turns hurtful that they need to tell that student to stop and tell a teacher.


MARCH 3, 2016
I Am Connected

Students connect with their families when they are born. Families come in all different forms. Therefore, students may be being raised by grandparents, babysitters or extended family. As a result some students may feel disconnected to a close family. This makes them vulnerable for finding peers that may not be a good influence for them. If you see students who may be traveling down a path that can lead them into trouble take a moment and talk with these students about their choices. Get to know them and then direct them towards a different path.


MARCH 2, 2016
I Can Contribute

Students who are bullies feel a sense of entitlement to harass students. If they have lived in an environment where they have gotten whatever they wanted they feel that they can say do whatever they wish. On the other hand bullies who have been abused or neglected can take their anger out on victims. Help contribute to bullies that the sense of entitlement is the not beneficial for anyone.


MARCH 1, 2016
I AM CAPABLE
Victims of bullying are lost when they have been attacked by a bully. They have to contemplate between fighting or walking away. Even if they are trying to talk things out they have to be careful in what they are saying in order not to entice the bully any further. Victims face the lack of confidence to stand up to a bully. This lack of confidence can erupt into all aspects of the childís life. We must encourage and strengthen all areas of a studentís life. Empower them!


FEBRUARY 29, 2016
Anti Bullying Programs

They do work when there is a buy in from the entire school and data driven. There also has to be ownership from the students. Students can take initiative when they champion a cause they believe in.

FEBRUARY 26, 2016
Muzzled

When speaking about your beliefs make sure that you are saying things with correctness. When individuals are muzzled with what they can say this too can be a form of bullying. But, always make sure that when speaking about beliefs that you are respectful, kind and courteous.

FEBRUARY 25, 2016
Behavior
Management and Bullying
In order to have an effective behavior management program for bullying there has to be rules and procedures taught continuously. By enforcing rules with consequences students learn that every choice they make has a consequence. Use intangibles in your classroom to encourage students to make the right choices.

FEBRUARY 24, 2016
Fear The Greatest Motivator

Fear comes in a variety of methods. But, one common denominator is that most students fear a BULLY. Therefore, it is the schools, parents and the communities responsibility to join together to stop bullying. Fear can be healthy because in certain situations. It can cause us to stop and reflect for a moment about the consequences that may result from a poor choice we may be beginning to make.

FEBRUARY 23, 2016
Keep It Simple
Remember in Elementary school every week there was a word from the Character Education curriculum that students were required to learn. For bullying the two words that need to be learned are Respect and Responsibility. By using these two words every day in some context it will begin the necessary steps toward stopping the bullying problem in our school.

FEBRUARY 22, 2016
The Root Problem

Often times we see students that appear to be lazy, unmotivated and stubborn. They are usually labeled early on in school and this label follows them throughout their academic life. However, if you were to look deeper you might be able to see that what lies in their hearts and minds is the real issue. Take time to get to the root of the problem before handing out a consequence. There needs to be a balance between consequences for rule violations but there may also need to be compassion and understanding.
Laziness has been thought to be a sign of disrespect. Look at those students that are labeled lazy and see how your relationship is with them. Take time to form a relationship with these students as many of them are bullies and you will deal less often with their behaviors and may provide a permanent fix for them.


FEBRUARY 19, 2016
Beware Of The Collaborator
Bullies have a way of drawing in other students to help them do their dirty work. They are the eyes and ears for the bully. They seek out weak students and deliver them to a bully. They travel in groups which makes them powerful. Usually students who do not have friends are the victims for the bully!! Take opportunities to speak to those students who are followers about the choices they are making in friendship.

FEBRUARY 18, 2016
Television
We all know that there are many broadcasting stations that we can listen to. However, it appears that every station has a personal belief on a variety of issues. Thoughts about countries, race, religion, ethnicity as well as current events can enter homes with a click of a remote. This leads to people forming opinions on another personís beliefs. This is what happens at school as well. Students attend school with students of various cultures and backgrounds. Adults need to understand that their thoughts, words, actions can become prejudices that their children reflect. Prejudice is learned itís not generic.

FEBRUARY 17, 2016
The Rescuer
These are our students who step up and help out fellow students when they are being picked on. The problem comes when the bully is so powerful that they turn on the rescuer and an altercation happens. This can be either verbal or physical. We need to teach the rescuer that the good way to help is to lead the victim away from the situation. The bad is having a confrontation with the bully and it makes it worse if they have an audience. We are teaching our students to be proactive and continue to praise the Rescuers of our school.



FEBRUARY 16, 2016
Television
We all know that there are many broadcasting stations that we can listen to. However, it appears that every station has a personal belief on a variety of issues. Thoughts about countries, race, religion, ethnicity as well as current events can enter homes with a click of a remote. This leads to people forming opinions on another personís beliefs. This is what happens at school as well. Students attend school with students of various cultures and backgrounds. Adults need to understand that their thoughts, words, actions can become prejudices that their children reflect. Prejudice is learned itís not generic.


FEBRUARY 15, 2016
Donít Let The Past Remind Us
Many believe that the past is the past right? That is not always true. The past can and will dictate the future if we allow ourselves to be measured on our failures rather than our successes. I believe that we all can say that we have fallen short on occasions but we are not failures we did the best we could at the time with what we knew. Teach your students that regardless of past choices they can make successful changes. The past is the past, so donít let it remind you of what you are not now. Let the past remind you of what the future holds when you finally let go.



FEBRUARY 12, 2016
SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

Significant others are individuals in our life who leave a special place in our heart. There are times when students feel that no matter what they do is never enough. This feeling may come from home or school. Students who are involved in extracurricular sports may look around to see if their parent is there and become saddened when they realize that no one is there watching them. This feeling can last a lifetime. Be that person who is watching either as a teacher or a parent. You may not ever know but you could have changed that studentís life forever. Just by being at an event and cheering them on!! Lifeís can be changed with the right words at the right time. The bullies and victims are crying out for a significant other. Let a student know what they mean to you today.


FEBRUARY 11, 2016
PROFANITY
Profanity is a learned behavior. Students who use profanity do so for a variety of reasons. They feel inferior, learned from outside influences and for a variety of hang-up issues. We can become immune to profanity because it is used so often but we must use this opportunity when we hear profanity to redirect them. Express to the student that there are more appropriate ways to communicate using appropriate language. Mark Twain once observed that the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference lightening and a lightening bug. Profanity is never appropriate and students need to unlearn this learned behavior.



FEBRUARY 10, 2016
DEVELOP A SENSE OF HUMOR
Use your humor daily. This always grabs studentsí attention. They will hang on your every word. Students love to laugh so give them something to laugh about each day. Humor breaks tension and makes teaching more interesting to students.



February 9, 2016
WHAT ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION TO?

The brain is a wonderful thing and be programmed by us and others. When people say or do things to us we can either believe it or stricken it from our conscious. RAS is a mechanism inside your brain that brings relevant information to your attention. For example, you may be teaching and hear a siren in the background. Your subconscious registers the sound (Fire, police, etc.) but you are teaching (conscious) so you continue to teach. A fire truck pulls up and you now associate the siren with the truck and it is now relevant to you and your classroom. If you smell smoke it definitely has your attention.
Students come to school already programmed. Some come with negative thoughts that have now become a part of their belief system. They may be being bullied or abused at home. As a result their RAS only allows negative thoughts and sadly he or she believes them. The negative actions that are taking place at home become their self-image. Which, now their thoughts become their actions.
Everyday create a classroom that is a kind, caring, respectful and responsible. Reflect back on your favorite teacher and how he/she got your attention. Keep a smile on your face and do an equitable distribution of your passion and understanding to all of your students. I know this can be difficult at times but remember I have a couch!!!

February 8, 2016
MOTIVES

Do you watch crime shows and become amazed when all of the evidence that is collected points to a suspect but they canít determine the motive. But, they canít convict without the motive. A bully always has a motive. They want power and control over a weaker person.
In your classrooms you become the strongest and most influential person. You do not have to use power you simply need influence. Your influence can change a bully from wanting to hurt to wanting to help. Why? They have met their match. Remember it is not about the influence of your power, but rather the power of your influence.


February 5, 2016
Attitudes

Actions are painful but attitudes can be infuriating and devastating. Attitudes can be very difficult to change for students and adults. In a classroom we want the students to comply but we also want them to comply without the ATTITUDE. It can be like pulling teeth to get a student to comply without attitude.
Character is truly what a person does when no one is looking. A bully normally acts when no one is looking. They will deny, deny, deny and blame others. Remember, that no matter how frustrating it can become correcting and disciplining attitudes you will be preparing them for a better future.


February 4 2016
ACTIONS

Actions do speak louder than words that is a given. Therefore, thoughts lead to words and words translate into action. The battlefield for students is when they get drawn into bully/victim dynamics through their words that lead them to an action. This is usually a result of impulse which then creates an issue for the teacher in the classroom, administration and parents.
Keep a pulse on your classroom and listen for the subtle threats of a bully that can lead to a confrontation. The bully is making his presence so SHUT HIM OR HER DOWN! This will lead to fewer problems in the classroom and hopefully a change in the bully.


February 3, 2016
WORDS

Freedom of speech allows us to say things but does that mean that we can say what we want when we want? Students think so and believe they can at any time in person or social media. The problem is many forget that there can be and should be a consequence for saying anything you want whenever you want if it hurts or offends someone.
Our tongue weighs around 2 ounces but when used to inflict pain upon others it can feel like a ton when it lands on you. There are healthy types of communication that can be constructive but when communication is used in a destructive way it causes the environment of the school to change.
In class teach your students to wait 30 minutes before saying something that may be hurtful. This gives them time to evaluate the consequences and to calm down. We are a compilation of what people have said to us and have done to us. Words can cut deep into the heart use them carefully at all times.


February 2, 2016
WHAT ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR?

When you think about what are we responsible for the first thing you may begin to do is worry. Worry occurs when we are responsible for things that we were never intended to have. Many times we worry about things that are out of our control. What we are responsible for is our words, thoughts, actions, attitudes and motives. As teachers and staff members we need to teach our students these characteristics.
We teach by direct instruction and example. I am challenging all of us to 2x10 techniques. Take a student that is known as a bully and talk with him for two minutes as you would a friend. Do this for 10 days and by the 8th day you will see that he or she comes to you for conversation. You may make a new friend but more importantly you may also begin to change the mindset of a bully.

February 1, 2016
SEND LIKE A FRIEND: TEXT RESPONSIBILY

This is a slogan that the bullying committee members will be making and displaying throughout the classrooms. It sounds so simple but in reality this can be a difficult task. When someone angers a person it is easy to hide behind social media. There is a feeling that they are invisible and unaccountable.
We are an impulse society and students have very little self -control which makes for a dangerous combination. A victim of social media bullying is a devastating experience because the victim has nowhere to hide and often times feels there is no one to help. They are victimized at home in their bedrooms which should be a safe haven.
The banner will remind students that words are hurtful and devastating and that whatever they post or text can come back to haunt them. Employers are using social media more and more to select candidates to hire. We need to warn our students that the send button could be a detonator that could ruin their life or others.


January 26, 2016
FORGIVE: ABSOLUTELY Ė FORGET:NEVER

I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO TAKE A MOMENT AND REFLECT ABOUT HORROR STORIES YOU HAVE HEARD OR READ ON THE EFFECTS OF CHILDHOOD BULLYING ON ADULTS. MANY OF THE SPEAKERS WHO ARE ON SPEAKING CIRCUITS TALKING ABOUT BULLYING WERE VICTIMS OF CHILDHOOD BULLYING. THEY SHARE THAT WHEN THEY RETURN HOME FOR REUNIONS AND SUCH THERE IS STILL A FEAR OF THEM SEEING THE PERSON WHO BULLIED THEM.
THIS A POWERFUL MESSAGE FOR ME AND I WANT US ALL TO THINK ABOUT THESE STORIES WHEN WE HAVE STUDENTS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF BULLYING. WE MUST TAKE INCIDENCES SERIOUSLY AND REMEMBER THAT THE STUDENT MAY BE AFFECTED FOR A LIFETIME!


JANUARY 25, 2016
KIDS NEED TO LEARN HOW TO GET ALONG

If students have not been taught how to comply with the rules of family, school, or society they believe that they can do anything that they want to. The highest form of maturity is the ability to cooperate even though you disagree. Bullies lack empathy and are not in tune with the expectations of others. Hold students accountable for being non-compliant with the stated rules. Discipline for poor attitude and insist on cooperation. They do not always have to agree but they do have to cooperate.



JANUARY 24, 2016
PARENTS CAN BE BULLIES TOO

If you look at parents who are argumentative you will probably see that they are not winning arguments at home with that student. Instead battles are taking place. This is because the student may not have been taught respect growing up. The child will be at a tremendous lose as they grow up and leave home because they will not have a parent to save them.
When, encountering parents who are assertive or aggressive never meet alone. Always have a colleague. This will allow for a better discussion with the parent or parents. Remember, the parents will usually have only the side of the students told from their version. You may need administration in as well.

JANUARY 23, 2016
COURAGE IS LIKE A MUSCLE SOMETIMES WE ONLY HAVE TO BE BRAVE FOR ABOUT 2 MINUTES AT A TIME

Remember 2 minutes can seem like an eternity depending on the circumstances. Courage can be like that. We may need to build up students courage in small time increments. Bullies can place such a fear in students that victims are afraid to participate in anything at school. So, encourage your students that like muscle building it only takes 2 minutes at a time to get to where they need to be.

JANUARY 22, 2015
ROLE PLAY WITH YOUR STUDENTS AND GIVE THEM THE LANGUAGE THAT THEY NEED TO RESPOND TO A BULLY CORRECTLY

When growing up I would venture to say that we were never really taught what to say when we encountered ugly words spoken to us. Think back to confrontations that you have had with others and how you wish you had said something else.
This is what happens for our students as well. If they are not able to express all of their feelings when an encounter occurs they may come back to say what they didnít say. We need to teach our students how to express themselves correctly when being confronted.
When possible take a few minutes and do some role playing in your classrooms with scenarios. I will be happy to give you a list of them. You will be surprised to see how your students respond. You can teach them many valuable skills by doing this and create a bonding experience within the classroom.

JANUARY 19, 2016
SOMETIMES THINGS ARE RIGHT OR WRONG;BLACK OR WHITE. NO GRAY AREA. BULLYING IS ONE OF THEM!!!!

Set reasonable expectations for your students. Even though they may be experiencing tough times at home you must still expect appropriate behaviors. If left uncorrected chaos will begin and you will lose the upper hand of authority. Disrespect is a learned behavior, no excuses! They must be held accountable for their actions.
Bullying is never justified or excused because of circumstances. Respect can always be taught with the imposition of the right consequences. Always teach students that BULLYING IS WRONG AND IT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!


JANUARY 18, 2016
IF YOU HEAR IT OR SEE IT YOU WILL OWN IT

There are times when teachers can become fearful of what they observe. They are worried that if I report what I saw I will be involved and I am fearful of what the results may be. This is what happens so many times when reporting child abuse. People become fearful of what they will be required to do.
This can sometimes even happen with bullying incidents. We may believe we really didnít see anything that bad and maybe it will just go away. You are the first line of defense for victims of bullying. Report what is happening and know that you have resources to help you.


JANUARY 15, 2016
PRACTICE EMPATHIC LISTENING
Be a good listener. Many students often listen to respond rather than listening to understand. There are 5 types of listening:
Ignoring: We seldom mean to do this but in our busy day we may appear to be listening but we are in a different world.
Pretend Listening: We use the words like Yeah, right, sure, etc. When we are really trying to get away as quickly as possible from the person we are talking with.
Selective Listening: We do this so often when talking to young children because if we listened to a small child talking all day we would not be able to complete tasks. Students are the same they want your undivided attention about a crisis they are having and you have heard it at least 10 times before.
Attentive Listening: This is when we are using our ears, eyes and minds to really listen to a student.
Empathic Listening: This is when we enter into the students world. We are with them in spirit and body. Even enter into their world visualizing what they may be experiencing.
Victims of bullying need to be heard and listened to. But, more importantly they need us to understand their pain. If not, they may take their pain into another direction. This may lead to devastating results. Look at yourself and determine what type of listener you are.


JANUARY 14, 2016
JUST SAYING PLEASE AND THANK YOU HELPS
If we give respect we will get respect. The same is true for students. They must have respect for one another otherwise conflicts will arise. As often as possible reflect this thought when teaching your curriculum. You can begin in your classrooms by going back to the basics of asking students to say, ďThank You and PleaseĒ. Imagine the possibilities of our school culture if everyone did this.

JANUARY 13, 2016
IS IT OKAY TO DISAGREE, BUT, WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
Give your students a voice to disagree but set up ground rules. It does help them to release anger. The idea here is that attitude is everything. When students disagree too many times they begin to personalize what is being said and that is when name calling and berating begins. This is a time when bullies use their power to force their victims into submission. By teaching students the right way to disagree with each other it builds confidence, boundaries and maturity. This will in the process help both the bully and the victim.


JANUARY 12, 2016
KIDS NEED TO LEARN HOW TO COOPERATE THOUGH THEY MIGHT DISAGREE

Students who have not been taught that they have a responsibility to comply with rules in settings believe that they can do or say anything they want. Maturity level is another factor to consider when students disagree.
Bullies lack empathy and are not in touch with otherís feelings and do not normally respect authority. Holding students accountable for non-compliance and disciplining them for poor attitudes is a must. They may not always agree but they have to cooperate.


JANUARY 11, 2016
TEACH STUDENTS THE ART OF FORGIVENESS
When students are involved in an altercation with one another sometimes we are too quick to ask them to shake hands, hug and move on. It is best to put a little time between the two studentsí. I find if one is still angry and forced to make up to quickly they may seek revenge at a later date. Allow each studentís to voice their issues and lead them to a compromising path.
Think about times when you have had to ask someone for forgiveness. It can be uncomfortable at first but in time it is the best choice. Lead by example.



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