I have served as the school counselor at Sorensen Magnet School since 2004. I absolutely love what I do! I am known as "Miss Hilary." I have always known that I wanted to have a job working with children. I graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology. I then attended Eastern Washington University to obtain my M.S. in School Counseling. I have been working at Sorensen ever since.
What do I love most about my job? Being proactive. You will see me in the halls, at recess, in the lunch room, in classrooms, outside after school, and at school functions. I go to every classroom, every other week, for 30 minutes. My goal is know every child's name in our school. I want to be accessible and visible.
Here are a few of the things that I do at Sorensen:
School wide activities play a major role in reinforcing goals at our school. For this reason, adults in the school make a conscious decision to reinforce what’s really important, and to create activities that are inclusive, support children’s learning, foster an appreciation of differences, and provide children with the opportunity to help others. At Sorensen we like to focus on the positive. The more children feel that their school community cares about them and meets their needs, the more likely they are to feel attached to that community. Spirit of Sorensen, blue slips, class meetings, MVP, and Friday Gathering are just a few of the many ways that Sorensen makes this happen.Classroom meetings are well underway. This is a time where I meet with each classroom, every other week, for 30 minutes on a myriad of topics including conflict resolution, bully prevention, community building, personal safety, and goal setting. This type of environment provides an opportunity to engage in problem solving and conflict resolution where all members of the community are concerned about each other’s well-being.Curriculum used:
- K, 1st and 2nd: Second Step http://www.cfchildren.org/second-step/kindergarten-grade-5.aspx
- 3rd, 4th and 5th: Steps to Respect http://www.cfchildren.org/steps-to-respect.aspx
- 6th: Bully prevention, career awareness, leadership skills, Life Skills program
- Personal safety curriculum used: http://www.cfchildren.org/child-protection/talking-about-touching.aspx
Conflict Resolution: Students are taught how to resolve conflicts during class meeting time. They are taught what "hot, medium and cold" problems look like as well as strategies to use to resolve those problems. Hot problems are problems that require adult intervention (kicking, hitting, bullying, etc.). Medium problems are problems that most students are able to solve on their own (disagreements with friends, sharing, taking turns, etc.). Cold problems are problems that students can solve relatively easily and quickly with an I message or by letting it go (cutting in line, accidentally bumping someone, etc.). If students have tried to resolve a problem and it is not getting better they are welcome to sign up to visit with me.
Small Groups: As needs arise I conduct small groups to help those struggling with a variety of concerns. Small group topics include teaching social skills through play, helping children cope with family changes such as divorce or loss of a loved one, organizational strategies, self esteem, and other topics as needs arise.
Behind the scenes:
- I am a member of our Response to Intervention team (RTI). This team meets three times a week to discuss ways we can help those students who are struggling academically. We put interventions in place and monitor how well these interventions are working.
- I also collaborate with parents, teachers and outside providers such as counselors, PSR workers, and doctors.
- I am the case manager for 504’s. A 504 is a legal way to document accommodations that have been proven to be successful for a student with a diagnosed disability.
- I support our awesome teachers and staff.
How do students make an appointment with me? My room is located on the upper floor on the opposite end as the main office. Students can write their name on a post-it note and place it in the mailbox outside my door. I try my best to get a student from class within 24 hours.
If there is anything I can do to help your child please let me know. I can be reached by phone 664-2822 or email email@example.com.