Guidance counsellors assist students in solving problems related to choosing, planning, adjusting and achieving goals in educational, career, personal, social and spiritual areas. They are available to students in junior and senior high schools.
The start of the school year can be an exciting time for students. After a long summer, they are able to reconnect with friends, see who their homeroom teacher is, and check out who is in their class. The hallways are generally filled with laughter, conversation, and smiles. It is great to see all the students come back refreshed and renewed for a new year.
Even though there is general excitement for the start of school, it can also be quite anxiety provoking for some students. It is not uncommon to feel uneasy after summer and be nervous for the first day of school. For some students, it is the anticipation of coming back to school that brings on these thoughts, but once they arrive, they settle in easily. However, for other students, it may take a few weeks before the anxiety dissipates, and a school routine is formed.
The following is a short list to help students get back into the groove of school:
Be prepared: have your lunch, backpack, school supplies, and all other school materials ready the night before
Start small – don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Set a few goals for the first couple of weeks of school, such as: get my binders organized, sign up for a club, and/or create a study space at home
Connect with your peers by joining a school club or attend a school event (ie. School Welcome back BBQ)
Do something for yourself that helps you relax, such as taking a bath, listening to music, going for a walk, or drawing
Everyday, make time for yourself, whether it is sitting in silence for a period of time, or dancing in the shower - do something that makes your happy!
The above are a few examples that may help your child/ren settle into the first month of school. At any time, remind your child that there are people at the school that are here to support them. Their homeroom teacher is an excellent person to reach out to, and of course, myself, the school counsellor, is here to listen and work through the challenges students are experiencing.
I wish all students and parents a great start to the year, and please feel free to email me at Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the school at (403) 500 - 2030 if you have any questions.
All the best,
Ms. Julie DeRose
Coming up in February, the leadership group has some fun activities to bring our school community together. The first activity we are going to be doing is selling Candy Grams from February 6 – 12. They will be sold by the drama room for $0.50 - $1.00. Students can buy Candy Grams at lunch, write a note to someone special, and then the treat will get delivered during the afternoon.
The second activity will be on February 13th where students are encouraged to wear red, pink, white, or anything that shows love. Not only do we want people to wear Valentine’s Day colours to celebrate the holiday, but we also want to have a day dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness. On Tuesday February 13th, the leadership group will be organizing activities that promote kindness, caring, and compassion. This day, we would like all students to do little things that bring a smile on someone’s face. Random acts of kindness is something we hear about in the news, where someone in a Starbucks drive-through pays for the coffee for the people behind them. These Pay-It-Forward acts typically bring joy to the person who receives the coffee, and has the potential to uplift their day.
For the Random Acts of Kindness day at St. Matthew’s, we are not going to be asking students to spend money to make someone happy, instead, do small gestures, to spread love and kindness.
Some things we are hoping to see around the school that day are:
- Hold the door open for the students behind you
- Ask someone you normally don’t play with to join your game at recess
- Tell someone how much you like an article of clothing they are wearing
- Give a hug to someone who looks like they need it
- Smile – they are contagious!
- Leave a note on someone’s desk telling them how much you appreciate them
These are only a few ideas that students can do on February 13th but we are looking forward to all the kindness and love we will be seeing this day. Hopefully these gestures will continue on after once everyone sees how little effort it is to be caring.
With Christmas around the corner, everyone seems to be getting organized by putting up decorations, baking delicious treats, and buying gifts for friends and family. The holidays can be a special time for many people, but it can also be very difficult. Financial troubles and family stresses tend to be on the rise during this time which can lead to personal and household conflict.
In our community, there are many resources that are available for individuals and families to access to help reduce the stress during the holiday season, and year round. Below are three Calgary based organizations that families are encouraged to contact if you find yourself struggling. 1. Alberta Works and Alberta Supports Centres https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-supports.aspx
This government funded resource helps with a multitude of different services. There are several locations in Calgary, but the one St. Matthew’s families would most likely access is at 100 Fisher Park II, 6712 Fisher Street SE. The hours of operation are Monday – Friday, from 8:15 – 4:30. Some of the support families can receive from Alberta Works are: financial help, employment services, career resources, utility support, and children and youth resources. 2. Calgary Food Bank http://www.calgaryfoodbank.com/
The Calgary Food Bank is an organization that is opened all year, helping individuals and families with providing food. From the website, there is section to request a hamper, or they can be contacted
3. 211 http://www.ab.211.ca/
211 is an Alberta wide resource, but when you call from Calgary, the operators will give callers information on several organizations and resources in the area. Some of the information provided are services about: utility assistance; financial support; mental health resources; women shelters and availability; food assistance and meal programs; family services; legal options, etc. If you have questions about what 211 can offer, look at the website, or call 211.
These are just a few of the organizations in the Calgary area that can help individuals or families. As mentioned before, the holidays can be a beautiful time, but can also be quite stressful. If you have any questions on how to access these resources, or any questions, please feel free to email me at Julie.email@example.com
All the Best,