martes, 4 de abril de 2017

March 2017


Hello everyone!!
 
This month I would like first to refer to one important day we celebrated in our school in last month: International Women’s Day. The previous week students learned about the importance of gender equality and we mentioned facts such as there are millions of school girls who don’t have the possibility to go to school because they are girls and they are expected to take care of the domestic tasks, and many other terrible situations. Students made some charts to remember, not only the huge contributions of women in different areas in our lives, but also all the injustice related to women’s rights and opportunities around the World.
 




 
In SEL subject in Secondary section, we discussed some thinking traps which influence in our feelings and behavior, such as “dark glasses”, “fortune telling” or “binocular vision”. We also describe in which way we can foster a more positive thinking and reframe all our negative thoughts.
 

 
In Primary section, students had a good time practicing the scale of voice volume and learning how importance is listening for a good communication. Next month they will continue practicing their communication skills in the context of conflict resolution.
 

 
I’m glad to complete this first month of this second term, feeling proud of all students who showed such a good attitude and spirit during Science & Arts Exhibition, before, during and after the event.
 
 
Thank you all for your kind cooperation.
 
 


 
 

sábado, 4 de marzo de 2017

February 2017



 
Hello everyone!!!
 
After a long vacation, students came back ready for another intensive and interesting term in Social & Emotional Learning subject. I hope they practice some of the skills they learned last term during the holidays, since the main purpose of this subject is teaching abilities they can normally use in their daily lives. In the two weeks of lessons in February we talked about the anger and some strategies to deal with it. We saw the anger model (how anger works) and then we discussed different situations which can make us angry.
 


The next lesson we talked about different strategies and skills to deal with our anger, such as counting up to ten, deep breathing or taking a walk. We also analyze how important is thinking about the potential consequences of our behavior in order to avoid trouble related to anger reactions.
 

After the fruitful experience I had during last week on last term, taking some SEL lessons in Primary section, I decided to be in charge of two lessons a week with these grades, rotating every three weeks. Last month we talked about dealing with our worries and positive thinking, and how to set our goals.
 

 
I wish you all a very good second term, and I hope both students and teachers can keep the same level of positivity than last term. New events are coming soon (Art & Science Exhibition will be this month) and we al need to do our best to get our goals. Together we will reach, I am sure.
Thank you all for your kind cooperation.
 

 

 
 

lunes, 2 de enero de 2017

December 2016



Hello everyone!!

 

We finished our first term of Social & Emotional Learning talking about a very important concept in our lives: empathy. Unfortunately, this word is not very familiar for some of our students, so we have to foster it whenever we can. We discussed about what empathy is and how to show it in daily situations. Students practices empathetic situations through roleplays in which they needed to perform a situation whose characters show an example of empathy towards other people’s feelings.







However, the best example of empathy and “put in other people’s shoes” situation in real life this month came with students in grade 4th. They experienced during one period what being a teacher means and how difficult can be sometimes for us to handle a group. They worked in different teams doing a presentation for Primary section students. The result was satisfactory and all of them got an important lesson in life.









During final exams week, students from grade 3 to grade 8 were busy doing their papers, so I decided that there could be a good chance to teach one period of SEL in Primary section. It was a great experience for everyone and I am quiet satisfied with students’ work. They were very participative and active, and all of them enjoyed. We talked about happiness and what we can do when we are stuck in negative feelings. Don’t worry, be happy!!







And finally, the moment everyone was waiting for: Santa coming to school and the beginning of winter holiday!! It was the best way to end this term. The overall feedback is quite positive till now and I hope we can keep this climate the whole season.

 

Happy New Year for everyone!!




“I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.”
Roger Ebert




 

domingo, 4 de diciembre de 2016

November 2016

 Hello everyone!
 
The main theme at school during this last month was tolerance and diversity. I would like to you to reflect about what means sharing a big part of your life in an international community. Being apart of the motherland can bring several challenges and sometimes discomfort, however we can’t forget the huge positive impact that living abroad, surrounded by people from different cultural backgrounds, have on our students. They are being educated in a multicultural environment, which leads to more open-minded and tolerant future citizens. This is one of our aims as school, to teach future citizens ready to live and interact in a rapid changing multicultural world, where diversity is one of the main characteristics. That’s why our UN International Day is one of our major school events. It illustrates clearly our commitment with the principles of respect and appreciation of the differences.
 
 
 

 
Part of SEL lessons was connected to the joy of diversity. Students discussed about their cultural differences and, at the same time, their common points. They understood that, even if they are coming from different countries, all of them share a common place and goals. Some of them prepared interesting countries presentations both for the class time and UN International Day event.
 





 

































We also continued with self-awareness in SEL, discussing about how emotions are linked to thoughts and behaviors, and viceversa. We described some situations and students practice with their own examples. They could learn how important is to identify our thoughts in order to manage our emotions. We also reflected about helpful and unhelpful behaviors related to emotions. It is very encouraging to realize students are starting to use this vocabulary (feelings, self-control, self-esteem, etc.) in their daily lives at school and transferring into other situations, not only at SEL class.
 
 

 
Thanks one more time for your feedback and suggestions during this first term. I really appreciate your trust and cooperation, and I hope this can be constant in the future. I wish a successful exam period for the students and a great holiday for everyone.
 

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.
Stephen R. Covey
 

lunes, 31 de octubre de 2016

October 2016



As you already know, bullying is one of the major problems at schools around the world, and it can affect students of different ages. In our school we are quite concerned with this issue, therefore we started an anti-bullying prevention program in order to increase awareness and information about this. The program consists of two informative and practical lessons where I explained what bullying is, types of bullying and what to do in case we suffer it or we know someone is being bullied. In the final part, students need to work in groups and prepare a chart summarizing what they learned previously about bullying. As far I started to work with grades 5th, 6th and 7th. Students at this last grade ended the entire program, contributing with posters and a speech during assembly time. In this speech, student communicated publicly their commitment against bullying, informing and warning other schoolmates about this curse on society.




In SEL subject, in October we talked about self esteem and different ways people can increase other’s self esteem, for example giving compliments. We did the activity of “bucket filling” with some grades. First, I gave a bucket to each student. Then students had to write compliments and positive messages to other classmates and put inside their buckets. At the end, students had the chance to check the notes from others. The activity was quiet successful and everyone enjoyed it. I hope they can transfer this experience into other situations, not only at school, but also at home and other life scenarios.


 
 


We also started already talking about emotions, identifying comfortable and uncomfortable feelings, and what physical signals in our bodies can give us information about such feelings. We connected these discussions about emotions with the recent Sport Day, where students also could practice what they learned previously about self esteem and positive messages that we can say to ourselves. In fact, the event was a great opportunity for them to experience joy, excitement and proud.



Thanks again everybody for your support. Without the help of parents and other teachers, my job as school counselor couldn’t get any fruitful result. I hope we can keep this mutual cooperation in the following months.


"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt


sábado, 8 de octubre de 2016

September 2016



Hello everyone!

Since the end of last school year, I have been planning different actions and interventions related to my new position as school counselor. This year we are starting new projects in our school, supported by school management, teachers and other staff members, to promote students’ academic, emotional and social success and to guarantee an appropriate school climate. In order to reach these goals, support, coordination and communication between parents, teachers and students are expected.

 

Before starting the lessons, at the beginning of September, we coordinated and implemented a workshop for Primary section teachers related to classroom management. We discussed and shared experience and information about different topics such as how to keep the discipline in the classroom, setting proper rules, implementing logical consequences and effective communication style. The overall feedback from teachers was quiet positive and satisfactory. I hope I can arrange more training sessions in the future, not only for teachers, but also for parents, providing with information and tools to help their kids with educational issues.

 

One of the main new projects this academic year is the inclusion of a new subject in the school curriculum related to the acquisition of social and emotional skills: SEL (Social & Emotional Learning). We are starting with this subject from LKG to grade 8, including competences students need to handle theirselves their relationships and their performance in the school. In the first month, we covered the topic of self-concept, helping the students to know better theirselves, emphasizing positive features and strengths, but also analyzing their weaknesses. Next month, we will start discussing about self-esteem and how to keep a positive image of theirselves. As a part of the lessons this last month, students made some collages describing the features related to their self-concept:


 




 
















Another new element connected to the improvement of school climate is the counseling room. I am working together with teachers in order to identify students who need specific attention concerning their learning process, or those who are involved in disciplinary actions. As far, I have been working with some students in issues related to self control, making decisions skills and empathy, through dialogues, worksheets and specific actions (for example, some students had to help others during some days because they didn’t show empathy during one school activity). In other hand, some ideas have been implemented in some grades in order to promote cooperation and respect among students, such as a rotation system in which students are sitting and working with different classmate every week during the lessons.




In our school we want to promote the involvement and participation of parents in school issues, therefore we started at the end of last school year with the Parent Council, where parents representing every grade, along with the School Principal, Heads of Section and School Counselor, discuss about topics related to school functioning and adding suggestions and ideas which can be connected to school improvement. We really expect an active participation from everyone. In October, we are starting a Student Council too, to reinforce communication channels in our school and give a voice to our students in school decisions.

 

I would like to thank once again to all my colleagues for their support and coordination during this first month of activities, as well as parents for your trust and cooperation. I hope all these little steps can lead to a better school climate and successful results in the future.

Be continued next month!!


"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom".
Aristotle