Oh boy, Oh boy! Spring is just around the corner and we have so many resources and topics to share that we don't even know where to begin! ESL/EFL St Paddy's Day activities, crisis counseling, our 200 FB follower freebies, school counselor conference highlights, and more! As always, we've included a lot of helpful resources- just click on the green links which will take you right to an article, video, or product you can use after you leave a comment below. So, let's get started...
BILINGUAL LEARNER UPDATES
- We just broke ground on our newest counseling guide, ESL in the Middle Lessons Guide for Teaching Intermediate Students! Look for a sneak peek and freebie downloadable from this intermediate ESL/EFL teaching guide in the next few weeks on our homepage!
- We've reached our 200 Bilingual Learner FB follower milestone! In celebration of this achievement, we will be posting a FREE guidance lesson and a FREE ESL/EFL lesson and making it available to all our Facebook Followers. Like us at https://www.facebook.com/bilinguallearn to become one of our Bilingual Learner followers where you will have access to this freebie lesson and all our other free resources!
- Our Winter eblast just came out last month! If you aren't already on our enewsletter mailing list, sign up by filling out the form on this webpage to the right. Then, we can send our newsletter filled with free counseling/ESL/EFL resources right to your inbox!
- Take advantage soon of our post-holiday sale where all ebooks are $6.95 and under, all books are $10.95 and under. These discounts will end in a few weeks when our product listings will return to their regular prices. Head over to our products page and check them out! The only exception to this is The Complete ESL for Beginners.
- Our newest counseling guide has just been released in both book and ebook formats: Girl World is full of activities and info to empower girls ages 8-18 to be confident, productive members of society. Download the introduction and first session with printables for FREE on our home page.
- We've also published a new ESL/EFL mini-guide on our website for just $3.95! Check out the ESL for Beginners Activities & Games Guide here!
COUNSELING CORNER-CRISES & CONFERENCES
Dealing with student crises is a sad, but very important part of our job as school or clinical counselors. As mentioned in previous posts, we have a set protocol for dealing with student crises, or "3 Hurts Emergencies" as we like to call them. Whenever a student, parent, or staff member, sends to/comes to us with a student emergency, we drop whatever we are doing to deal with it right away. An important part of our counseling program is that we thoroughly train our students and staff from the day they walk through the front doors about the "3 Hurts Emergency" and how they MUST come straight to us with an emergency. Thus, we rarely get false alarms. In fact, this school year alone, Counselor Stephanie has handled over 50 crisis situations, of varying severity, at the Title 1 public school where she works. So, for that reason, we've included our crisis steps here in this link in case you don't have a process for students who make serious outcries. In addition, we've included a link to our Screening for Self-Harm Threat and Safety Plan.
On a lighter note, we also want to share some of the highlights from the Texas School Counselor Conference in Galveston, Texas that occurred last month. It was a busy, exhilarating, inspiring, and exhausting three days with hundreds of vendors and expert presenters that specialized in everything imaginable related to school counseling. Here are some of the highlights:
- Went to the best, best, best presentation on advocacy. Huge shoutout to Judson ISD for pulling off a district-wide, COMPREHENSIVE school counseling program. So impressed! Check out their website here if you want to use their model to start building your own comprehensive school counseling program. Also, here is their PDF about the TRUE role of the PSC (no administrative, secretarial, or testing coordination jobs here, folks!). Finally, Judson does a fab job of explaining our duties under each of the four ASCA/TEA components here. No random acts of guidance allowed in Judson, that's for sure!
- Another fab presentation was given by a counselor in Katy ISD about helping academically failing students raise their grades. While it was aimed at high performing schools where students have the resources, finances, and family backing to succeed, there were many good points applicable to any school demographic, such as group evaluations in the form of pre/posttests, the backpack scramble game where students see how much longer it takes them to find a paper with x on it in an organized vs. messy backpack, and role plays to teach/practice appropriate body language in class. We are currently working on our own Bilingual Learner counseling group guide for academic underachievers, especially suited for those who work with lower to middle SES pops. Look for Get Your Goal On Academic Group Counseling Guide (more info here- after you click this link, just scroll down about midway to the right side of the page) this summer by following us on our FB page!
- Dr. Carolyn Stone's amazing and incredibly informative keynote speech on legality in school counseling. We know it doesn't sound exciting, BUT the former ASCA Prez and leading national expert on legality/ethics in the school counseling world delivered her info with finesse and humor and let's just say... no one was texting or checking email during her talk. Wow, what a brain that lady has! (The pic here is NOT Dr. Stone, but how we all felt about legal missteps after hearing from Dr. Stone...)
- Here are some pics from the conference...
ST PADDY'S DAY & CULTURAL CONNECTIONS IN THE ESL/EFL CLASSROOM
We've been thinking a lot about our BFF Moli from our Moz Peace Corps days this last week since we met a fellow Peace Corps Mozambique volunteer on a bus last Sunday night (we know, W-O-W, RIGHT?!?! Shout out to you, MarK- so fun to talk with you!). We found ourselves telling him all about our wild time of reconnecting with Moli while visiting her and fam in her new home of Germany. So, we thought it'd be fun to repost Stephanie's cultural connection with Moli from way back when we had just started this blog and had about 4 followers. And now from RPCV Stephanie:
I met Moli when she befriended me 10 years ago (and subsequently saved me from myself- as I was about to get arrested for not paying my internet connection fee and arguing loudly with the Shoprite security guard over the unjustness of being charged for a bad internet connection). After that fateful moment in the internet cafe when Moli politely stepped between me and the security guard and paid my 75 cents for the broken internet that I didn't use and then dragged me out of there, our friendship took off like lightning- it was one of those times when you meet someone for the first time, but really- you’ve known them forever. It blew my mind then and still does as I write this- that this person that I connected with so completely on every level, had been fleeing her country on foot all by herself, at the same time that I was going to my first George Michael concert and trying out Guess jeans and Benetton sweaters! (One day after I nonchalantly asked Moli how she'd learned such good English in a Portuguese-speaking country, she answered my question with a matter-of-fact explanation of how she had been kidnapped by Renamo rebel fighters during the Civil War, but then after living with them for some years, she'd finally had enough of their abuse and fled their camp, walking alone 70+ kilometers to the Zimbabwean border in search of a safer life as a Mozambican refugee. She wrapped up the story by stating that she was about 12 years old at the time and took full advantage of the English speaking opportunities in Zim). How could two people with such different backgrounds end up in the same space in life- much less as friends feeling like they had so much in common? And although Moli might be my most extreme example of this, it happened again and again while I lived in Africa... Lynne, Helen, Rosa, Silvestre, Charity, Amy, Iqbal, Saleem, Farazana, Safi...they all enriched my life so much with their diverse experiences that they generously shared with me. This phenomenon of connecting so fully with someone even though I couldn't even imagine the life experiences they'd had...well, it continues to baffle and inspire me today- and so I carry it into my work as a teacher and counselor. On that note, I'd like to share some links to some Peace Corps diversity activities and lesson plans that are fabulous. Although the language in these resources is a bit advanced for beginning ESL/EFL students, you can definitely modify it to make it more beginner friendly and also use it for your intermediate or advanced ESL/EFL students.
And now for some St Patrick's Day fun! We've included a link to our freebie mini-unit plan that includes a bilingual reading passage, a vocabulary activity, a drawing activity, a sing-along, a fun quiz, group work activities, and more ! All of this is presented through the cultural theme of St Patrick's Day. Enjoy!
And that brings us to the end of this month's post. Catch up with us again the first Saturday in April for our next post on suicide prevention and Earth Day ESL/EFL activities. And don't forget to check out our Bilingual Learner FB page today to get your FREE guidance lesson and/or a FREE ESL/EFL lesson in celebration of our 200+ followers! If you haven't done so already, like us at www.facebook.com/bilinguallearn to become one of our Bilingual Learner followers where you will have access to this freebie lesson and all our other free downloadables! We'd love to hear about your experience of connecting with someone who has a completely different background than you or you can just tell us about your ESL/EFL or counseling adventures-- either way, please leave us a comment below! Remember, just click on the green links above and we'll take you right to an article, video, or product that you can use after you leave us a comment below.