Intellectual curiosity, social skill development and emotional growth are all important in the elementary school years. Research on learning continues to emphasize the relationship between academics and emotional intelligence−both important for producing a healthy and productive student. During the exciting and critical elementary years, we support ASP students to acquire strategies and skills to further their emotional, social and behavioral competencies.
The goal at the American School of Paris is to educate the whole child in part by addressing each critical strand of development. Several supports are in place toward this end: administrators, teachers, parents and counselors work together throughout the year to communicate about each child and ensure success in the classroom, on the playground, and at home.
Counseling guidance lessons are taught weekly by the lower school counselor in each homeroom class. These classes feature such topics as:
- self-esteem promotion
- emotional regulation
- making and keeping friends
- effective communication
- acknowledging diversity
- personal goal setting
- problem solving
- career education
- global citizenship
The lower school counselor meets with students individually as well as facilitates small groups meetings in a supportive environment where students can address specific issues or concerns. These small groups are designed to support students with strategies to cope with topics such as anger management, grief, and social skill development. The counselor is also a resource for Lower School parents and students via one-on-one meetings, consultation with other school personnel, and referral to other professionals in the community.
Lower School Counseling Guidance Curriculum
Classroom lessons in developmental guidance are held for one thirty minute session each week in all homeroom classes. The guidance curriculum follows the International Model of the American School Counselor’s Association Curriculum. This model covers the four domains of the International Counseling Model: personal/social Identity, academic development, global citizenship, and career education. Some of the topics covered are: self-esteem, feelings identification, relationship-building, acknowledging diversity, test-taking strategies, cyber responsibility, conflict resolution, international citizenship, global transitions, and career exploration.
The guidance curriculum acknowledges the strengths and limitations of each stage of a child's development, and lessons build on learning from previous years. The subject of emotions, for example, is explored by kindergarteners as they define each feeling word and identify corresponding facial expressions; fifth graders may take part in a skit on resolving a conflict with a friend or parent. Classes are lively and interactive, and include hands-on exercises, role-playing, small group and class-wide discussion. All lessons adhere to student competencies established in the International Model of the American School Counselor’s Association.