Counsellor's Corner

October - Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is important in the world we live in today. We are amazed at what our youth can do with electronics and computers, see the growing use of technology daily, and unfortunately sometimes we see the disadvantages of that too.  Digital citizenship can help our students navigate technology and the digital world safely and responsibly so that these tools are used to help them learn and grow in a positive way.  It is so important to give our kids the tools they need to succeed to help them make responsible choices, treat themselves and others respectfully both on and offline.  This can prevent many issues that might arise and help our children to build some healthy digital habits. 

As our children get older and want to navigate social media, there is a whole new world out there that sometimes can go unnoticed by parents. It is important to have conversations with your child about using technology and social media responsibly. Decide on your rules and boundaries with social media with your child. Monitor their usage.  Modelling responsible technology and social media use is also important for parents too. For example, it is easy to get caught up in the digital world and feel like we as adults need to check our phones constantly. Model taking a break, put the phones away at dinner, have a conversation with your family. Kids of all ages notice when we are always on our phones too.  Have conversations about appropriate technology use and why it is important to use them responsibly.  This may include topics like cyberbullying, online safety and trustworthy people and sites, respecting privacy and more. This website has many ideas on things that you can chat with your child about to keep them safe online. 

At school, we are doing our part to discuss responsible technology use.  We have some guest speakers coming in this month to talk about digital citizenship and online safety. Please ask your child about what they are learning and continue these discussions at home. 

Below are a few links that have some great tips and things to think about when it comes to digital citizenship. 

https://mediasmarts.ca/digital-citizen-day

https://mediasmarts.ca/parents

Of course, if you have any questions, please reach out! 

Resources

Strathcona County has some great community resources available to us. Please check them out!  They also have many free courses available all season long for a variety of interests and ages. Click here to see what is being offered! 

Counselling, free parenting courses, mental health building and more are just some of the resources available to us. 

You can call 780-464-4044 or visit www.strathcona.ca/wellbeing

 

Well-being and mental health | Strathcona County

Our goal is to help build a supported, safe and connected community that encourages the well-being of every single person.

www.strathcona.ca

 

Welcome Back - September

September - Welcome Back

My name is Christy Nichol.  I hope that everyone has enjoyed a restful summer and is feeling refreshed and ready for new beginnings.  I am a busy mom of four and love spending time with kids.  I have been teaching a variety of classes from Grades 1-6 since 2007, with a few breaks in between to stay at home with my own babies. I have a passion for mental health and I am grateful to be back at Wes Hosford part time this year as a School Counsellor.  I will be at school Mondays and Wednesdays this year. You can reach me by emailing me at christy.nichol@eips.ca or by phoning the school when I am in. 

I hope to visit all our Wes Hosford classrooms in the first few weeks of September to see some familiar faces and meet new ones too. 

If you think your child may benefit from coming to see me, the following information may be helpful to share with them.

Q: Why would I see the counsellor?

A: A counsellor is an adult who acts as your advocate. An advocate is someone who wants to listen to what you have to say and helps you come up with solutions.  It does not mean I can solve the problems for you; it does mean that you have a safe place you can go to when you are not sure what to do.

Also, a counsellor can:

-make sure you’ve got all the right facts.

-help you express your needs and feelings.

-help you figure out what to do next.

-help you tap into your own strengths and resources.

 

Q:  What sorts of things can I talk to the counsellor about?

A:  You may want to talk to me if you have any academic, or personal concerns.  For example:

“I’m having trouble making friends.”

“I’m having a hard time paying attention in class.”

“My parents and I argue about homework.”

 

Q: How do I request to see the counsellor?

A: Let the office or your teacher know you need to see me and I will let your teacher know when you can come to my counselling office. Don't worry... no one else needs to know we are chatting! 

 

Q: Is what I say kept private?

A: All information shared is considered confidential or private unless we have been given permission by you to share the information or if the information interferes with one or more of three legal restrictions: the student is planning to harm themselves or someone else; someone is harming the student; a judge or FOIP request occurs and records are subpoenaed. 

 

Enjoy these first few weeks of back! They can be full of excitement and many emotions! 

June - Summer Reading

I hope you all look forward to a relaxing summer. 

Of course, I have to put a plug in for getting your children to read and write over the holidays. I have attached a link to a K-3 and a 4-6 reading chart that you may choose to use. They are reward charts, so, depending on their age, maybe 20 minutes of reading a day could earn a Loonie, or maybe a star chart on the fridge might be incentive enough. Or maybe your child likes to sit at the computer all day and needs a carrot dangled to encourage playing outside and running around! Well, a healthy balance is always best.

These are examples of titles that can be found at the County Library:

Div 1

West Meadows Detectives: The Case of Maker Mischief

Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds

A to Z Mysteries: The Bald Bandit

Ivy and Bean

Stink, the Incredible Shrinking Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Underworlds: The Battle Begins

Judy Moody

Beat Quest: Ferno the Fire Dragon

 

Div 2

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Circus Mirandus

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

The Dragon in the Sock Drawer

Amulet

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy

The Terrible Two

 

Whatever adventures you have this summer I hope they're safe and fun with no sunburns or mosquito bites!

Have a great summer and I’ll see you in September!