Rivendell Interstate school district click for home

mission statement click for home

Saturday, August 17, 2019



Counselor's Column

Problem Solving

We are learning about problem-solving in guidance classes right now. A problem is any troublesome or worrisome situation. There are steps you can apply to solving problems. The simplest way to solve any problem is to ask yourself:

  • How do I feel? If you are having a BIG feeling, you need to calm-down first before proceeding. Take deep breaths, exercise, take a walk.
  • What is the problem? Re-state what the problem is. For example, "I am having a problem with my taxes". Try to name the problem in one sentence.
  • What can I do? Brainstorm at least three to five things you could do. Say, "I could call an accountant for help", and, "I could wait and do nothing", and "I could talk to my husband/wife about it, or talk to a friend." Consider your options. Try one of the solutions. If the first solution doesn't work, go back and try one of the other solutions.


"Whole Body Listening"

Your children have learned about whole body listening. It is the kind of listening they need to do in school to succeed. It is when your whole body is calm and quiet when you are listening to someone. It is different because you are not just listening with your ears.

This is what it looks like: you are turning your body to someone if you are listening to them, and looking into their eyes. It also means not doing anything with you hands or arms, you are just sitting quietly when they are talking. Recently we read books in class about whole body listening and did exercises practicing this skill.

You can try this too, this week. When someone talks to you, try to stop and turn to them, look at them, and be a whole body listener. Who knows, you might get better results in your relationships with others too.


What are some fun, inexpensive things you can do to get through the holidays?

Try these:

  • Get exercise, either with the kids or not.
  • Shovel snow, make snow angels, do chores, or put on an exercise tape
  • Get sleep, and sleep when you need it. Rest while the children watch TV if you need to or take a bubble bath. Winter is a great time to relax and renew yourself, freshen up and get cozy
  •  Hug a child, cuddle and tell someone you love them. Tell them why you love them. Get cozy and read a book
  •  Slow down and make a meal - it's worth it. Good nutrition helps everyone
  •  Sing and dance. Get crazy and active and enjoy yourself!

"Social Thinking"

In guidance classes right now we are learning about social thinking, which is a way of taking apart social interactions and understanding the details of it. This week we learned about the brain and the heart. Socially, the brain's job is to think thoughts, and the heart is a feelings keeper. We learned to "think" about thinking, and I used a paper thought bubble and put it next to kids' heads when they were thinking a thought.

Thoughts are ideas, pictures, or quiet words in your brain. The main idea is that we think thoughts and feel feelings when we are alone, and when we are with other people. We think about what we are doing, and we
also think about other people. In turn, other people are also thinking about what they are doing and about us.


October 31, 2014


I know it seems early, but I have the forms to sign-up for Operation Santa Claus. If you think you will need some help putting holiday presents under the tree, you can sign up for this great program, Operation Santa Claus. It is based out of Oxbow High School, and you would be able to receive many presents for your children at no charge. Christmas is a season of generosity, and many neighbors donate money and gifts to make sure every child's dreams come true on Christmas morning. There are no income requirements for this program and you decide if you have a need. To sign-up, there are forms in each elementary school's front office, or you can contact me for a registration form. The deadline is in November 21 - act now!


October 17, 2014

Children naturally face hardships. Friends move away, families move, kids change schools, children are left out of parties. How stressful these everyday events are for kids will depend on their own spirit, the support they get from home, and their own coping skills. How do you cope when life throws you curve balls?

It's good for children to see you handling difficulties and disappointments. It's also important for them to see that everyone has good and bad days. To help, here are a few popular coping strategies:

  1.  Laugh about it. Find some humor in the situation.
  2. Hang in there. Tell yourself, "This too shall pass."
  3. Don't take it personally. Tell your child, "It's not your fault. You didn't make this happen" and things will get better.

October 3, 2014

As the elementary guidance counselor, I teach 1/2 hour lessons in the classrooms once a week. Right now we are beginning lessons from the Second Step Violence Prevention Program. The goal of the unit is to develop children's empathy skills. Empathy is understanding the feelings of others. Right now we are learning to look at other children's faces and be able to name what they are feeling. I give out situations, such as "your best friend moved away", or "a friend grabbed a ball from you." Kids will volunteer to act out a feeling, and the other children will raise their hand to guess the feeling. Knowing how other people feel helps us get along and be friends with others.


September 2014

The Supportive Classroom

Teachers are busy setting up safe and successful learning environments for all of our students. A safe environment in the classroom allows children to learn. A supportive environment means that there is equal opportunity for everyone. All students are respected as unique individuals that may have different needs and learning styles. Teachers also work together. Creating supportive classrooms requires cross-classroom sharing, and sharing of teaching strategies, resources, ideas and experiences. We are lucky to live in a small school district that values creating supportive, community focused classrooms. We want every child to feel included and valued, and be able to succeed academically.

Ann O'Hearn
School Counselor