Counselor Corner - Middle
Hello MLA Families!
This is your student’s school counselor, Ms. Sara. I hope your summers’ were enjoyable and that you stayed safe! These are uncertain times, but we at MLA are all very eager to return to helping your students.
As a counselor, I understand that the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic is not that we expected. Having to constantly be on guard at the store, around friends or family, or while managing things at home can lead to long-term stress and anxiety for your children. With the changes to the school system as we move to Comprehensive Distance Learning, helping them take care of their mental health is of utmost importance.
There are a few things I suggest to help ease your students into Distance Learning:
- Try to develop a schedule, either for each of your students or a standard schedule for the whole family. Keeping them on a regular schedule will help reduce anxiety.
- Limit distractions: set up a specific spot in your house where he attends lessons and does his outside classwork in the afternoon. Ideally this place would be away from the living room or wherever students do their hobbies.
- Offer incentives for school and homework. This could be as simple as letting your student pick the food for dinner.
- Check in with your students daily regarding emotions (and if you feel they need extra support, know that you can always reach out to me).
- Get some fresh air when you can! A quick trip to the park or a walk around the neighborhood can help students “reset” and give them a break from sitting around the house all day.
- Take a movement break! Mr. Ryland’s PE class is a great way to get kids’ bodies moving! In addition, other quick workouts for kids can help them manage their stress. (Here is an example, but many more can be found on youtube depending on your preference.).
- Try some mindfulness activities. These can be as simple as closing your eyes and breathing in for 3 counts, and breathing out for 5. Meditation can be difficult, especially in larger households, so don't focus too much on what you're doing or whether you're doing it "right" -- just try to connect with your body!
As your student’s school counselor, I am happy to help you and your family in any way that I can; please reach out to me to set up a one-on-one conversation that can help your student(s) with whatever they may be going through.
Thank you for reading! Go Meerkats!
Sara Pekny, M.Ed
MLA Middle School Counselor