A Message from Our School Counselor

Fall Salutations from your school counselor, Ms. Shari. 

Our Weekly Theme:        WELCOME

If you’re flexible you don’t get bent out of shape.”  Author unknown

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year!  I heard that quote this past week and thought it appropriate to include in this year’s welcome back letter!  Whatever your stance is on masking or vaccinating, we are SO EXCITED TO WELCOME YOU AND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL!!!!

Welcome Back to:

  • Our transfer students from other schools in Moorhead 

  • Our students who have moved to Moorhead

  • Our littlest students who are now old enough to go to BIG school 

  • Our former students

There are so many reasons for ALL OF US to be EXCITED about the beginning of school.  

  • Some are excited to greet friends they may not have seen all summer.  

  • Some may have the opportunity to greet previous teachers or favorite school staff.  

  • Some are excited to sing with a large group or do cool art projects again or play and learn new skills in PE or their regular education classes.  

  • Some are excited to meet their new teacher.

With this excitement comes the opposite in some cases too.  Students may have a case of the “what ifs.”  Some students may be hesitant to walk into their new classroom and meet their new teacher.    

  • What if I do something wrong? 

  • What if he or she doesn’t like me?  

  • What if I don’t have any friends in my class with me? 

  • What if my friends are together in another class without me?  

These are all normal feelings to have too, in thinking about a change.  With change comes something new and a loss of something old and familiar.  Some students adapt more readily to changes than other students.  And that’s OKAY!  Educators recognize this. It gives us a chance to practice how to move through change/fear in positive ways and grow trust in ourselves and our helpers.  

Suggestions for the “What ifs”...

  • If your child is hesitant, think of this as a golden opportunity to let your child know they’re not alone, you understand and most importantly, you hear them now and you’ll be there to hear them in the future.  No one should ever have to feel they are alone in their fear.  

  • Use the opportunity to talk and help your child explore what exactly it is they are afraid of happening and be sure to share with their new teacher what is on your child’s heart.  Sometimes, naming what it is specifically concerning is half the battle! 

  • If you ask for some private time with the teacher, you and your child’s teacher can brainstorm together ways to alleviate the fearful situation or make a plan to walk through it, step by step.  

  • If appropriate and your child is willing, include them in the conversation and planning with their teacher. Empower them to be a part of making a plan and a way through the fear.  After all, courage is feeling fearful and taking actions through it. They are going to feel fearful again and it’s not the end of the world.

  • Take the time to explain and share a time when you were fearful and what you did to overcome that fear. Acknowledging and validating their feelings, then normalizing fear gives them the reassurance they aren’t alone in their fear and having a plan makes it not so fearful!  If they learn they can come to you now and feel validated, it will be easier for them to come to you in the future with bigger issues.

  • After the fear has passed, talk about what happened and what they learned about themselves!  How did you feel facing your fears? Do you feel differently about yourself now that you’ve faced your fears?

Learning how to maneuver around these anxiety provoking situations establishes a firm foundation that can be drawn from in the future.  Saying something like, “Remember when you were scared of (this) and you did (that)?  That was hard and you can do hard things!”

We welcome the many opportunities to work, share and grow with you and your child this year.  YOU ARE OUR FAVORITE, THE VERY BEST PART OF OUR DAY AND THE REASON WE DO WHAT WE DO!