Throughout this school year, we will feature guest bloggers to share different perspectives on or experiences with boys education on our Head of School blog. Our next guest blogger is Julia Shaffer, Regis Counselor. Ms. Shaffer discusses social emotional health at Regis and programs in place during the 2020-21 school year.
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a whirlwind! We are thrilled to finally welcome our students back to campus, and we are blown away by their display of resiliency and cooperation as they adapt to the many changes that this year brings with grace and humility. As we move through these uncertain times together, Regis is committed to supporting our community both academically and emotionally.
This year, we are taking many steps to focus on the wellbeing of our community. For the Early Childhood and Lower School students, we have created a new social emotional curriculum that has been implemented in our Character Education program. Most recently, Character Education lessons have focused on activities designed to give our students the opportunity to process their feelings regarding the challenges of living amid a pandemic in a healthy way. Over the past few weeks, students have learned to identify and label their feelings while using the Emotion Potion, a three-step process that enables them to communicate how they feel so that others can understand. Students have worked on identifying and recognizing triggers that lead to anger, frustration and other intense emotions. Additionally, students have explored their sense of self-esteem and learned the role that it plays in their daily lives. Over the next few weeks, students will be making “coping kits” and learning other helpful strategies to cope with hard feelings.
In Middle School, we have introduced a larger counseling presence and an updated wellness curriculum through our Scholars & Gentlemen program. Every eight-day rotation, the students will meet with the school counselor to discuss topics like self-control, accepting responsibility, kindness and empathy, bullying and resilience. Most recently, students have focused on the importance of goal setting and have made their own SMART goals for the semester. Through the Scholars & Gentleman program, we are working to foster a deep sense of community and belonging while instilling the values of respect, integrity and empathy into our young men.
In accordance with Goal 4: the building of community as a Christian Value, our theme for the year, Regis is deeply devoted to tending to the well-being of our students, families, faculty and staff. Additionally, I am available for support and can be reached at any time.
Bio: Julia Shaffer is a recent graduate of the University of St. Thomas, where she received her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Ms. Shaffer also holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California. She was born and raised in Houston and is a graduate of The Kinkaid School. Prior to joining the Regis community, Ms. Shaffer completed her practicums in the counseling departments at both Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and The Monarch School & Institute in Houston.