Have you heard the saying, “Everything I needed to learn I learned in kindergarten?” In so many ways this is true! The school counselor partners with students, parents, and teachers to support kindergarteners in learning the essential social and emotional skills they need to be successful in school and in life. You may be hoping your child will learn how to read and write in the first few months of kindergarten. But there are many other skills children need to master before an academic focus is appropriate. It’s simple: If a child is not able to take turns, listen and sit in a group, how can he or she learn what is being taught? That is why teachers spend a good deal of time early in the year on the basic social skills of preschool and kindergarten.
Even if your child has been in a child care center or another type of program, he or she still needs to learn the social and emotional dynamics of this new group. Luckily, your child’s previous experiences with social interaction both at home and in other programs will help make the transition. Once these basic social interaction and group behavior skills are in place, your child is more ready and able to concentrate on academics.
Studies show that the most important skills to learn in the beginning of the year are social: cooperation, self-control, confidence, independence, curiosity, empathy and communication. The school counselor teams with your child’s teacher to provide in class lessons to develop and support these important skills. Kelso’s Choice is one program that the counselor uses to provide this support. Check it out on the link below.
The school counselor also facilitates and supports the school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS). You can find out more about this positive school-wide approach on the links below.