M.Ed. School Counseling, University of Cincinnati
What is/are most important skill(s) you want to teach your students?
The two main skills I hope students gain from guidance lessons throughout their time at Doherty is mindfulness and empathy. Mindfulness roots students to the present and increases awareness of themselves and others. Learning to take a breath before making a comment, delivering a speech, or asking important questions, helps decrease anxiety to find a calm, strong place within ourselves. Empathy towards others allows students to pause and think of being in someone else’s shoes before acting. Empathy is the most powerful tool we have to decrease bullying and increase compassion and filling students’ toolboxes with these strategies helps prepare them to move forward and face what lies ahead.
What teaching methods do you use to help accomplish those objectives?
Each weekly or bi-weekly classroom guidance lesson begins with a mindfulness activity, beginning in the pre-kindergarten for 2-year-olds program. We breathe together to help ease the transition to a new face and space and prepare for the lesson. Through books and stories, we learn about the feelings of ourselves and others with the hopes of applying the knowledge gained to take care of each other.
What is your favorite project or activity of the year?
In addition to classroom guidance, I really enjoy working with small groups. I love getting to know the children outside the classroom environment and explore what they are experiencing at school. This could include working with a group of girls, boys, or diving into a particular topic more deeply. I hope to use each of these experiences to strengthen students’ connections with each other and school.
What do you like best about teaching at Seven Hills?
Seven Hills has an atmosphere of trust and respect that I truly appreciate. I love the opportunities I have for collaboration with faculty and connecting with families. It is a creative environment in which everyone is working together to make each other better and I hope to contribute back to the community positively.