Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Dear JES family,

If you are a newcomer to the JES family...welcome! We are off for the summer! I will return to campus on August 1st.

 I hope this finds you relaxing and appreciating the time off from your busy school schedule and doing something different. Although there are many events in the news that might steal your joy, take time to look for the good in situations. Look for those helping. 

Here are a few ideas to help you have a Joyful June:



If you have any questions, you can email me at ziba.johnston@southlakecarroll.edu. I will be checking my email periodically.
Have a great summer break!
Kind regards,
Ziba
Elizabeth Johnston
ziba.johnston@southlakecarroll.edu




Monday, May 2, 2022

WE'RE IN THE HOME STRETCH!!! May's Character Trait - Perseverance!!!


Dear JES Family and Friends,

Welcome to May! Hopefully, we can all see the light at the end of the tunnel in the 21-22 school year. While spring is in the air, and we may have an extra skip in our step, we as counselors also know that Spring brings TESTING! Testing may produce stress for students, parents, and staff! This season can be overwhelming as our list of to-dos seem to be never-ending and our minds are drifting to those summer days.

Below are a few practical tips from Mental & Behavioral Health at TEA that can help support your students and your overall wellness and resiliency during this time.

1. GET enough sleep. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep increases daily productivity and boosts mood.

2. Exercise daily. Getting up and moving for at least 30-45 minutes of a sustained activity produces the endorphins that improve mood and self-esteem.

3. Eat healthy and well-balanced meals. Make sure that you are getting adequate protein, healthy fats, and a variety of vegetables and fruits. Avoid processed foods and sugar.

4. Go outdoors. Getting outside can help you escape the stressors of work and school. Being outdoors is good for your mind and mood and can help strengthen your immune system.

5. Build a strong support system. Connect with friends and family and embrace new and existing interests.

6. Manage stress. Although some stress can fuel motivation and drive, when we don't properly manage stress it can lead to exhaustion, burnout, and physical ailments. Find some time each day to sit quietly and take a deep breath. Try starting your day with a few minutes of deep breathing exercises.


The Power of Perseverance!

There's an old saying that goes "If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again." This captures the essence of perseverance. Even when things get hard which they almost always do - perseverance pushes you to keep trying. Why is this a valuable trait to cultivate? Here are ten reasons:

#1 You need the perseverance to reach your goals. All goals require effort. Sometimes, very little is needed, though most of the time, goals take quite a bit of work. You also need patience. There are very few good things in life that come quickly.

#2 Perseverance carries you through failures. Failure is part of life. There are very few people who coast through unscathed, but even then, they are bound to come across a situation at some point that challenges them. Failing is an awful feeling. It's natural to want to avoid that, but the only way to avoid failure is to never try anything. When you approach failure with perseverance, it's easier to see it as a learning experience. Trying again - even when it's risky - becomes another opportunity for growth.

#3 Perseverance encourages adaptability. Perseverance is based on trying again and again, but it also encourages flexibility. Perseverant people are also innovative people. They think outside the box in pursuit of their goals. They are willing to admit when an idea isn't working and they will try something new. This adaptability benefits every area of a person's life and makes them more resilient in an inherently chaotic world.

#4 Perseverance is a learnable skill. Perseverance is not an inbred trait that some people have and others don't. Life experience and community have a big impact on how someone moves through the world, but if you want to be more perseverant, it's a learnable skill. Resilence training is an important part of that. By making a conscious choice to reframe failures, redirect negative thoughts, and regulate tough emotions, you can improve your resiliency. What is the difference between perseverance and resilience? Perseverance is continuing toward a goal no matter what, while resilience is the ability to bounce back from challenges. You need resilience to persevere.

#5 Students benefit significantly from perseverance. School-aged kids face a lot of challenges. They not only have to navigate complex social interactions, but they are constantly learning new things and dealing with pressure about their futures. Perseverance helps them build their self-confidence and find healthy ways to deal with failure. Teachers play an essential role in building a student's ability to persevere. Students should be praised for effort - not just success - and never shamed for failing.

#6 All successful people are perseverant. There is no such thing as an "overnight success."Famous authors have old unpublished stories and books collecting dust while inventors have half-finished projects in their garages. By the time someone reaches a goal - whatever it may be it's more likely than not something they've worked toward for quite some time. While not everyone who perseveres will find fame and fortune, those who do have learned to deal with failure and keep trying.

#7 Perseverance helps you meet exercise goals. Exercise is one of the best things a person can do for their health. Whether it's brisk walking, running, lifting weights, or yoga, working out benefits our entire bodies. It reduces the risk for serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and more. Most of us could work out more often, but it can be challenging to make time for it and to meet our goals. That's where perseverance comes in. By recognizing that fitness goals take work and that we'll face failure, we're better equipped to keep going when things get tough.

#8 Perseverance can improve your relationships. Relationships are essential to a fulfilled life. Research consistently shows that having a strong community benefits a person's mental and physical health. You are more likely to live longer if you have close relationships. Maintaining close relationships can take work. There are conflicts and struggles. Perseverance helps people work out their problems communicate better, and decide which relationships are worth saving.

#9 Perseverance is linked to better mental health. In 2019, researchers published a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology that examined over 3,000 adults. These participants had been studied for around two decades. Results showed that people who displayed more perseverance were at a lower risk of depression and anxiety. This information suggests that by focusing on perseverance and resilience, a person could improve their mental health and general outlook on life.

Watch the JList for the most updated times for upcoming activities like Fourth Grade and Kindergarten graduations, Field Day, parties, and clap-outs!

If I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Kindest regards,

Ziba

Elizabeth Johnston

817 949 4500

ziba.johnston@southlakecarroll.edu



Sunday, March 6, 2022

MARCH is COOPERATION Month!!!

Dear JES Family and Friends,

Our Core Essential definition is working together to do more than you do alone. Demonstrating good cooperation is being a person who understands that the good of the group is more important than the good of the one. Learning how to cooperate will help with success in school, in relationships with friends, and in life overall. Listening carefully to others is the first step in demonstrating cooperation. It is essential to remember that cooperation is a basic life skill that assists us in working together so that collaboration and creativity will ultimately bring about success.

Cooperation is an important value. To have real cooperation at school everyone needs to follow the school rules. These expectations have been put into place to keep everyone in the school community safe and cared for.

  •     Excellence (everyone trying hard to do their best in         everything)
  •     Integrity (which is about honesty in the way we act and     speak)
  •     Respect (for ourselves, others, and property)
  •     Responsibility (for ourselves, our belongings, and our actions)
If I can be of assistance in any way, please let me know at 817 949 4500 or Ziba.Johnston@southlakecarroll.edu.
Kindest regards,
Ziba






Friday, February 4, 2022

February 2022 - Compassion

Dear JES Family and Friends,

Compassion is our February character trait

Being compassionate means that you are aware of the feelings and thoughts of not only yourself but those around you. It's a quality that requires energy to maintain because it takes time and effort to be compassionate with others.

Compassionate people are:

    *Open and able to communicate with others

    *Able to recognize they are not perfect

    *Quick to reach out and lend a helping hand

    *Honest

    *The first to listen to what others have to say

    *Respectful

    *Kind

    *Happy

    *Ambitious and not afraid to take healthy risks towards achieving life goals

February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day                  
We encourage and promote kindness every day at JES; however, February 17th, is Random Acts of Kindness Day. This day aims to encourage people to spread goodness through acts of kindness. Encouraging kindness and paying it forward not only makes others happy, but it feeds our souls as well. By promoting Kindness among our students, our hope is that it becomes a trait that will be carried out on a daily basis. Here are some ways students can show a random act of kindness:
  • Make eye contact and smile at someone you don't know in the hall, at lunch, or on the playground
  • Look for opportunities to help others at school, home, or in your community
  • Find ways to compliment others around you in a sincere way
  • Donate to a good cause or serve in your community
  • Let someone get in front of you in line
                                                        

Self Advocacy and Needs
Needs are the things in life that keep us fulfilled and happy. Knowing what we need to feel our best gives us the opportunity to adjust our situation if our needs are not being met.
Being a good self-advocate has big benefits for kids and adults who learn and think differently. People who know how to self-advocate are more likely to do well in school, work, and life. They often feel confident in what they're learning and doing.

Self-advocacy has three key elements:

  • Understanding your needs
  • Knowing what kind of support might help
  • Communicating these needs to others

Self-advocacy also creates independence. And it empowers people to find solutions to problems that others might not be aware of.

If I can help in any way, please reach out to me at ziba.johnston@southlakecarroll.edu or 817 949 4500.

Kindest regards,
Ziba
Elizabeth Johnston
JES Counselor

Report Concerns Anonymously - Carroll ISD is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment. STOPit is an anonymous reporting tool for students, parents, and community members to report concerns about self-harm, suicidal thoughts, bullying, harassment, drugs, violence, weapons, theft, or any other potential threat to school safety. To ensure that we can respond to threats in a timely way, we request that all reports be made as soon as possible. If you need to report an emergency please immediately dial 911. Also, please note that while all reports made through STOPit will be answered as expeditiously as possible, there may be a response delay for reports received outside of school hours, over the weekend, or during holidays.



Tuesday, January 4, 2022

 Dear JES Family and Friends,

Welcome Back from Winter Break! Happy New Year! The children seem excited to be back at school after a long winter's vacation. It is SO good to see everyone! We look forward to the next few months of intense focus and learning. It is a great time of year to set new goals and work toward them. Goals that are written down are much more likely to be achieved.

As you set your mind on 2022, maybe you can set some intentions for the days ahead. Intentions are great as they guide our actions and provide us a sense of clarity on how we want to go about reaching our goals. If intentions are new for you, maybe try tomorrow morning by setting an intention for the day ahead. Consider how you want to feel at the end of the day. Joyful? Productive? Kind? Write your intention somewhere so that you will be reminded throughout the day. If you begin to lose focus, don't give up, just move in a direction to get back on track. Let your intention encourage and ground you. Remember to be kind to yourself in 2022 and let your light shine. 

SELF-CONTROL - choosing to do what you should even when you don't want to.               SELF-CONTROL is our character trait for January. We will be tying self-control and goal setting together in our lesson this month. This is a great character trait to consider with all ages.

No matter what your age we can choose to do what we should even when we don't want to. This works when thinking about making New Years's Resolutions. Sometimes our goals may be hard to stick to, but we must practice self-control in hopes that we will reach our dreams!

What is the key to health, wealth, and success?  Many students want to know. Provide students with knowledge and experiences that will help make them well-rounded, informed, and critically thinking adults. We can teach them about self-control.

What is self-control? Self-control is the capacity to override an impulse in order to respond appropriately.

Self-control has three main parts:

    *Monitoring involves keeping track of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

    *Standards are guidelines that steer us toward desirable responses. Our standards originate from society and culture.

    *Strength refers to the energy we need to control our impulses. Numerous factors affect our self-control strength, such as mental exhaustion and stress.


                      

Thank you for your support for the Super Servers Dollar Drive. Over $1300 was collected from students and staff and the PTO added in $400 to make a grand total of over $1700. The Ambassadors of Kindness presented a small gift, handmade cards, and gift cards to the cafeteria ladies and custodians during fourth-grade lunch before we left for break. They were so appreciative and impressed that the children made the cards and earned the money.



If I can help in any way, please reach out to me at Ziba.Johnston@southlakecarroll.edu

Kindest regards,

Ziba

JES Counselor

817 949 4500

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Dear JES Family and Friends,

December with a Focus on Service

Our character trait for this month is SERVICE - lending a hand to help someone else. We are giving our students the challenge of earning a dollar to give toward a gift for our cafeteria ladies and our custodians. We are calling our outreach project JES Super Servers Dollar Drive. Our Ambassadors of Kindness will be visiting each classroom to talk with the students about our dollar drive. Please help us by helping your child earn a dollar to share.

JES Angel Tree Update - all of our angels have been chosen! Thank you for your generosity. All of the children associated with Johnson will have gifts during the winter holiday because of your kindness. The wrapped gifts are due back on December 6th.

If you are interested in other opportunities for service at JES, consider getting involved in The Gifting Project. There is more information and a sign-up genius on the J-List.

The Value of Service for Students 

The definition of serving others is where we show love and kindness to everyone. It means you are doing something primarily for the benefit and goodwill of another person or group of people. When we serve, we look outside of ourselves beyond our own problems and seek to bring value to others. Studies save shown that there are mental and physical health benefits to serving, like reducing depression, lowering blood pressure, and lengthening your lifespan. Putting other peoples' needs before your own also strengthens your relationships. The holiday season is a great time to extend service to others. This can be done through donations to local food banks, shelters, and non-profit organizations that support those in need. Donating time to feed the homeless or to participate in a program that supports a  cause that you may want to promote is very helpful. A mentorship is also a valuable form of service that can inspire and empower the next generation of contributors.

The importance of community service lies in the fact that it connects us to the community by improving it and making it a better place for all of us to live in. Here are some other ways that community service can be beneficial:

    *Provides you with the chance to improve skills important for workplace, such as communication and organizational skills, teamwork, planning, problem-solving, and task management.

    *It's a perfect opportunity to become closer to the community you live in.

    *Community service broadens your horizons by helping you understand the needs of the society and the population you are trying to help through the project you are volunteering on.

    *An easy way to make friends is through activities you perform together. Not only would you be helping the ones in need, but you would also be able to meet some other volunteers.

    *Opportunity to receive work-related knowledge and skills

    *Opportunity to create a good reference for potential employers.

If you are looking for an opportunity to help out the ones in need, improve your community, and acquire new knowledge and skills, consider performing community work. Habitat for Humanity is one of many local non-profits that you can look into. They offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities depending on your time and preferences.

Thank you for all you do to make Johnson the wonderful, caring, and kind place that it is. I am honored to work with such dedicated teachers and staff who have the welfare of the children constantly at the forefront of their thoughts.

Have a wonderful December and winter break!

As always, if I can help in any way, please let me know.

Ziba Johnston

JES Counselor

817 949 4500

Ziba. Johnston@southlakecarroll.edu



Sunday, November 14, 2021

Dear JES Family and Friends,

NOVEMBER'S CORE ESSENTIALS CHARACTER TRAIT: CONTENTMENT - Learning to be okay with what you have. Contentment is the state of being happy and satisfied. On Thanksgiving when you think about all you are grateful for, hopefully, you feel a sense of contentment. Contentment isn't an exciting kind of happiness, it's more like peaceful ease of mind. It's being satisfied with what you have, whatever that is.


Ways you can practice contentment:

Tell each family member why they make you happy.

Write a letter to someone who makes you happy.

Ask a friend to share something that makes them happy.

The Evolution from "Guidance Counselor 
                       to "School Counselor"

CISD Counselors want you to know that we follow a Comprehensive Plan that is mandated by Texas Education Agency. Carroll ISD provides a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes the academic and social/emotional growth of all students. Building on a Dragon tradition of excellence, the Carroll Independent School District will foster a safe, caring, and creative learning environment that inspires students to realize their full potential as they positively influence the world around them. School counselors work closely with administrators, teachers, parents, and the community to support the CISD mission and accomplish goals with a focus on academic success, college/career information, and personal/social development.
DELIVERY METHODS
Guidance Education
Lessons on a variety of topics; large-group consultations with students to help students develop their full educational potential.
Responsive Services
Individual counseling sessions; parent and student consultation regarding planning and goal-setting.
System Support
Community outreach, parent education programs; teacher consultation. school improvement planning.
Historically, the term "guidance counselor" was used to reference counselors working within the school system. These counselors' main role was to "guide" students to college: writing letters of recommendation and sending out transcripts. However, this role has evolved from a focus on post-graduation planning and administrative support to today's focus on embracing a comprehensive approach to optimize student outcomes in much more than just college planning. Focus areas include emotional support, family support, social development, academic guidance, and career planning. School counselors are now strong, collaborative members of an educational team to today's focus on embracing a comprehensive approach to optimize student outcomes.

I hope you have a wonderful season of thanksgiving that leads to greater contentment.
If you would like to request a meeting or if I can be of assistance to you or your student in any way, please reach out to me.

Kindest regards,
Ziba
Elizabeth Johnston
817 949 4500
Ziba.Johnston@southlakecarroll.edu