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".