Students at Nine Mile Falls Elementary are able to meet one-on-one with me to discuss issues that may be affecting their academic success. Sometimes students hit a bump in their lives and it starts to affect their school performance. I provide short-term counseling to students to help them overcome these “bumps” in areas such as family changes (including divorce, moving, loss of a family member or pet), friendship skills, anger management, anxiety, and study skills. Especially with elementary school counseling, students need objects or activities to help start conversations. I give students choices about what they can have, such as coloring books, art supplies, stress balls, or my sandtray. These objects give me insights into my students' thoughts and feelings and also make the 1:1 counseling environment less intimidating.
I often have students who request to see me many times throughout a given school week. Since I have an entire school population to serve, I cannot always be there for them face-to-face. So, I decided to start creating counseling journals with these students. We make them out of notebook paper and colored construction paper (for the cover). Students can decorate their journals however they wish. I typically write the first message, reminding students about how the process works, and then, from that point on, students write as often as they need to. This is also a great way to document student progress. Students love it and it's cheap and easy!
* The procedure to see Mrs. Cummings is for students to complete and return a self-referral form or teachers/parents/other school personnel can complete the referral form. These forms are available outside of Mrs. Cumming's office door and in each classroom. As a parent, you may always call to request individual counseling services for your child.