Social Emotional Learning/Counseling
Middle Schoolers are amazing! They are also supercharged with hormones and very much trying to find their own affinity areas in a changing world that has presented their young minds with new opportunities and challenges. As parents, you obviously do all that you can to support your children, but you don't have to manage it alone.
That's why WISH puts a strong emphasis on our social-emotional learning programs and counseling support. Our whole scholar approach includes the development of a child's emotional intelligence, helping our scholars to navigate their own feelings and those of others. It's how we are able to create an environment of caring and belonging--our students are taught to prioritize kindness and empathy. When a child's concerns and worries extend beyond the classroom, our school counselors are there to provide them and their families with the help they need.
At WISH, we are so lucky to have school counseling services. Our Middle School counselor, Ms. Tyler Posey, is able to provide one-on-one support to those students who need it, whether it's help coping with the stress of everyday life, immediate crisis counseling, or leading peer mediation. In addition, she regularly visits the morning advisory classes to discuss topics like how to be a friend, Internet safety, being an upstander instead of a bystander, stress-reduction and more. In addition, she oversees our scholars' academic progress as well, keeping track of culmination status, creating plans for high school, maintaining student schedules, and coordinating the classroom needs of our students.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Posey at t[email protected]
Created by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, the RULER program is an effective tool to help our students navigate their emotions. WISH has been so lucky to have educators trained in this approach, and it is implemented in all of our classrooms.
RULER is an acronym that stands for Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating emotions. This evidence-based program includes four primary tools: the Charter, Mood Meter, Meta-Moment, and Blueprint. With the Charter, students create a manifesto of sorts, outlining how they all, as a group, want to feel and be treated in their classroom. The Mood Meter is a color chart that helps them identify and label their emotions. The Meta-Moment is a pause button on a heightened situation, giving them the tools to step back and evaluate their reaction and response. Finally, the Blueprint is a system that encourages a student to look at a conflict from the other person's perspective, strengthening their empathy and conflict resolution.
A Focus on Kindness
At WISH, an understanding of gratitude, empathy and kindness is woven into our curriculum. Every year, we celebrate both Gratitude Week and Kindness Week, where students leave inspirational notes along our fence, make friendship bracelets, and clean up our campus.
We also have a "Calm Zone" at the Middle School campus, a safe space for students to come throughout the day to regulate their emotions and decompress, with sensory tools like glitter jars, sand tables, and music. Of course, our counselors are always nearby for support as well.
The transition to Middle School can be tricky, but our 6th Graders have the benefit of upperclassman support. Our 8th Grade WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) Leaders act as role models, supporting the incoming students as they navigate the ins and outs of their middle school!