Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Learn how to live with more peace, purpose & wisdom

Beginning Oct 1st, The Mindfulness Summit, will be launching a FREE 31 day mindfulness course. This is for anyone interested in learning more about mindfulness or wants to depend their practice and intensions! If you are interested in learning more about this FREE course I encourage you to check it out at http://themindfulnesssummit.com


The summit is a not-for-profit project with a mission to make mindfulness mainstream. Why are we doing this? Because we believe the peace, balance and compassion found through mindfulness has the capacity to change the whole world from within.
I registered and here is a quick look at the topic for each day:
DAY 1  Professor Mark WilliamsAn Introduction To Mindfulness
DAY 2  Joseph GoldsteinPractical Guidance On Mindful Living & Overcoming Common Obstacles
DAY 3  Dan HarrisFrom Sceptic to Meditator. Dan Shares How He ‘Tamed The Voice In His Head’ & How You Can Too
DAY 4  Jono FisherMindful Masculinity, Conscious Capitalism and Kindness
DAY 5  Dr. Susan AlbersHow to Practice Mindful Eating
DAY 6  Tami SimonHow Does Mindfulness Relate To Spiritual Awakening? An Interview & Meditation
DAY 7  Dr. Rick HansonThe Neuroscience Of Mindfulness
DAY 8  Elisha GoldsteinHow To Integrate Mindfulnes Into Everyday Life
DAY 9  Ruby Wax: How Mindfulness Can Transform Depression, Overcome Performance Anxiety & Create A ‘Sane New World’
DAY 10  Tara BrachHow To End ‘The Trance of Unworthiness’ & Move Through Fear
DAY 11  Shamash AlidinaPractical Tips on Becoming More Mindful (Submit Questions for Day 17 Today)
DAY 12 Sam HarrisWaking Up. A Powerful Talk About Spirituality Without Religion
DAY 13  Jack KornfieldIntegrating ‘Spiritual’ Life With Everyday Life
DAY 14  Vidyamala BurchMindfulness For Chronic Pain & Suffering
DAY 15  Professor Paul GilbertHow To Practice Mindful Compassion
DAY 16  Dr. Dan Siegel & Caroline WelchThe Effects of Technology + Mindfulness Business & Leadership
DAY 17  Question and Answer Day 1
DAY 18  Lori DescheneMindfulness With Technology & The Power of Authenticity
DAY 19  Dr. Russ HarrisHow To Observe Your Thoughts & Feelings Without Getting Caught Up
DAY 20  Arianna HuffingtonHow To Thrive In This Information Age
DAY 21  Timothea GoddardThe Insights & Realisations That Develop Through Mindfulness
DAY 22  Mirabai BushMindfulness In Business (Submit Questions for Day 30 Today)
DAY 23  Dr. Kristen RaceMindful Parenting
DAY 24  Dan GolemanWhy Focus Is The Hidden Driver Of Excellence
DAY 25  Katherine Weare – Teaching Mindfulness To Children
DAY 26  Michael ChaskalsonMindfulness For Peak Performance
DAY 27  Richard BurnettMindfulness In Schools
DAY 28  Mindfulness Apps, Tools & Tech Day
DAY 29  Dr. Judson BrewerMindfulness For Addiction
DAY 30  Question & Answer Day 2
DAY 31  Jon Kabat-Zinn: LIVESTREAM October 31st 5:00 PM EDT2:00 PM PDT8:00 AM1st November AEDT

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Do you know the 17 GLOBAL GOALS?

On September 25, world leaders will gather and commit to 17 global goals that by 2030 will help achieve 3 extraordinary things for ALL people! What are they..? Read the article or check out the short video below to find out. Be tuned in and talk with your children about these goals! What little steps could you and your family commit to in support of these?
Read more about the global goals here!
Here is also a short, but entertaining video for your kids to watch and be informed!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

50 Inspiring Children’s Books with a Positive Message

Ever find yourself looking for that 'perfect' book to open the line of communication with your child, whether its about his or her feelings or those little life lessons? Check out this post of 50 Inspiring Children's Books with a Positive Message . I use many of these books during my class time so if you see one that sparks your interest and you'd like to borrow it feel free to contact me! Enjoy!

Do you have a book that isn't on this list? Post it below!

Breaking down the barriers

Every day I receive wonderful articles covering various topics from some of my favorite websites namely Positively Positive and The UpWorthy. As a school counselor I am always challenging myself and students to break down social barriers and be more accepting of diversity in whatever shape it takes. Today's article has given us yet another reason to celebrate diversity!
Want to read the article? Click here...7 Gorgeous photos of redheads that challenge the way we see race.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Welcome to my school counseling blog! This blog is an avenue to share ways we promote personal, social and emotional development throughout the year at Waitsfield Elementary.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PBiS @ W.E.S.

The below information has been extracted from the Waitsfield Elementary School Family Handbook!
Stay tuned for more PBiS news at Waitsfield!

Behavioral Expectations & Discipline
“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."    ~Aristotle

            The Waitsfield Elementary School is committed to providing a physically and emotionally safe learning environment, fostering academic, social and emotional growth and nurturing a sense of belonging in all its members.  Waitsfield Elementary implements a Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) framework to support the development and sustainability of a safe and effective school environment.  Within PBIS, emphasis is placed on prevention of problem behavior, development of pro-social skills, and the use of data-based problem solving for addressing existing behavior concerns.  PBIS is implemented school wide—thus, it is the backbone for approach in classrooms, the lunchroom, the hallways, the bus, and beyond.

            PBIS methods are research-based and have been proven to significantly reduce the occurrence of problem behaviors.  Key components of PBIS include:
            A key principal of PBIS is the idea that when students are taught clearly defined behavioral expectations and provided with predictable responses to their behavior, both positive and corrective, most of the students will meet these expectations. Those students not responding to universal responses will receive additional support through group and individual interventions.
PBIS implementation is supported by a team comprised of staff members who meet monthly to support staff in sustainable realization of this plan.

Four core expectations guide behaviors across all settings at Waitsfield Elementary. Everyone is expected to be:  ENGAGED, RESPONSIBLE, SAFE, KIND. These core expectations can be remembered as Waitsfield Engages in Responsible Choices that are Safe and Kind ; a.k.a.    WE ROCK!

Core Expectations defined across settings:

·      Eyes on the speaker.
·      Interact with the task at hand.
·      Come with your materials.
·      Prepare by doing assignments.
·      Use materials in designed manner.
·      Share materials.
·      Encourage participation of peers.

·      Go where you need to go.
·      Use a quiet voice and a quiet body.
·      Walk.
·      Stay to the right.
·      Be aware of others’ personal space.
·      Have a friendly manner.

·      Be active and play.
·      Cooperate with others.
·      Take turns.
·      Follow the directions of the staff on duty.
·      Return equipment to its proper location.
·      Use equipment as intended. (Slide down slide, swing on swing, etc.)
·      Move at safe speeds and in safe areas.
·      Dress appropriately for the weather.
·      Ask permission before leaving area.
·      Refrain from throwing snow and ice.
·      Invite others to join games.
·      Share equipment.

·      Eat your food.
·      Speak quietly.
·      Stay seated. 
·      Allow others to sit with you.
·      Use good manners

·      Get in, get out.
·      Leave the bathroom as clean or cleaner than you found it.
·      Wash your hands.
·      Respect others’ privacy.

·      Stay in your own space.
·      Use appropriate language.
·      Support others in making good choices.
·      Talk out problems.
·      Stay seated face forward.
·      Keep your hands to yourself.
·      Use a quiet voice.
·      Actively listen to your driver.
·      Use kind words.
·      Use friendly tone of voice.
·      Use appropriate language

Teaching Core Expectations
The core expectations need to be explicitly taught to all students across school settings within the first few weeks of school and reviewed regularly.

             When students follow the core expectations (Engaged, Responsible, Safe, Kind), the instructional educational plan can be implemented at its best. Teachers are able to
teach in an environment conducive to teaching and students are able to learn in
an environment that is comfortable and safe.
            PBIS follows the maxim “that which you pay attention to grows.” Thus, a focus is upon POSITIVE acknowledgment of desired behaviors, thereby placing the focus upon that which we want to encourage.  Recognition begins first with liberally acknowledging appropriate behaviors within students whenever they occur. Additional acknowledgement and celebration of achievement of positive behaviors is supported through the “We Rock!” system. The “We Rock!” card system is intended to provide individual, tangible recognition to students while also supporting group celebration of consistent, measurable achievement of those expectations. Through this system, individual students, through showing a desired behavior that is clearly identified, will also contribute to a larger sense of school community achievement as well.  This system includes:
·      Individual recognition through distribution of “We Rock!” card when a student is identified as specifically meeting one or more of the four key expectations.
·      Group established goals and celebrations achieved by transferring “We Rock!” cards into stones collected in a community cairn (in the school lobby). Cards are transferred to stones in classrooms and weekly, the containers from the classrooms will be emptied into a larger container in the main hallway. The rock level within the larger container (shaped to form the stones into a cairn) will be visible to all. Goal points will be marked on the cairn. Achievement of these group goals will result in a school-wide celebration.
·      School-wide celebration ideas could include pajama day, crazy hair day, trip to rock-climbing wall, field trip to Millstone trails, etc. etc.
·      Public recognition of individuals achieving We Rock! cards in bi-weekly assemblies. All students who have received We Rock cards over the prior two weeks will be entered into a drawing, with a new entry made for each card earned. Two names will be drawn at each assembly. These students will be able to select a “prize” from a menu of special recognitions. These assemblies/recognitions are managed by the PBIS team.