Carole Soder, MA, MS
The philosophy of the counseling program in the School District of the Chathams is that school counseling is an essential, integral part of the educational process. Counselors provide a comprehensive, developmental counseling program addressing the academic, career and personal/social development of all students. As student advocates, counselors recognize the uniqueness, dignity and personal worth of each individual. In an interactive process, the counselor facilitates student academic achievement. Counselors work collaboratively with students, parents, educators and community members to support each student's ability to contribute at the highest level as productive members of society.
There are times when children need one-on-one time with me to help them solve problems, manage their anger and anxiety, cope with divorce or the loss of a family member. If you think that your child could benefit from this service, please contact me. Before meeting with your child, we will discuss your child’s history and your current concerns. At that point if individual services are the best way to help your child, I will inform your child’s teacher and together we come up with a time that I can see him/her. All conversations are kept confidential.
Small group learning supports and enhances the development of personal and social skills and promotes educational success. Research has shown that small groups provide not only additional social-emotional learning experiences but also allow the students a chance to belong, a chance to express themselves, and a chance to benefit from the support of group members.
There are a variety of groups that are offered to children. (on an as-needed basis)
Social Skills groups target a variety of social skills including: joining in a group, ignoring distractions, conversation skills, listening, and more. The objectives on the group are decided through discussions with teachers and principal. The sessions usually last for 8 weeks, but at times can longer depending on the nature of the group. Groups are limited to no more than 6 children and can be either all girls, all boys, or a mixture. Parents will receive permission slips prior to the start of a group.
Anxiety Groups (Butterflies) helps students understand and manage anxiety. Students will learn how to identify their feelings, anxiety triggers and coping and calming skills.
Emotional Regulation Groups (Calm Kids) based on the popular curriculum, zones of regulation, The Zones is a systematic, cognitive behavioral approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete colored zones. The Zones framework provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, manage their sensory needs, and improve their ability to problem solve conflicts.
Divorce Groups (FISH) are for children whose parents have been or are getting divorced. This is a peer support group to help children cope with issues related to separation and divorce. Children who participate realize they share similar feelings with each other because of their circumstances, and that they are not alone as they go through these experiences.
Whole Class Lessons
Second Step is a program rooted in social-emotional learning (SEL) that helps transform schools into supportive, successful learning environments uniquely equipped to encourage children to thrive. More than just a classroom curriculum, Second Step’s holistic approach helps create a more empathetic society by providing education professionals, families, and the larger community with tools to enable them to take an active role in the social-emotional growth and safety of today’s children.
The school counselor teaches one Second Step lesson each month in collaboration with the classroom teachers.