Social Development

Personal/Social Development

As a school counseling program, one of our jobs is to help our students begin the process of discovering who they are as individuals, members of the local community, and members of the Global Community. In kindergarten and first grade, students begin the process of self-discovery by learning how to identify their feelings and emotions properly. Because the students spend most of their time either at home with their family or in school, counselors help them learn how to balance their various roles in life by learning to identify the various personal roles in a family and their school. With the constant progression of technology, the fact that everyone belongs to the global community is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Counselors teach students about citizenship and how to contribute to the community which involves learning how to identify and recognize personal character traits needed for a variety of situations.

A key part of a student’s personal and social development is learning how to interact with others in ways that respect both individual and group differences. In kindergarten and first grade, this begins by teaching the students how to build quality relationships through lessons that focus on not only what good friend is but also how a good friend will behave. A key part of learning to be a good friend is learning how to show respect for oneself and others. As school counselors, we do this by helping the students to identify the similarities and differences between themselves and others as well as in their school community. Finally, as students learn how to interact with others in a respectful way, it is important to teach them how to take personal responsibility. Counselors do this by helping them learn to identify the feelings of others and effectively express their own feelings both verbally and non-verbally.

As students learn about themselves and others it is important to teach them how to apply personal safety skills and coping strategies. Learning how to identify safe and healthy choices at home and school is an important part of that, additionally learning to identify the steps of problem-solving and decision making is equally important. Along that line every year we cover how to identify both safe and unsafe situations as well as personal safety strategies. For kindergarteners and first-grade students learning about coping strategies involves identifying different life changes or events and the possible consequences.

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