Counseling in a Time of Crisis

A middle school student speaks to her Counselor

The preteen years, especially for girls, can be a challenging period. As noted by the Child Mind Institute, “Pre-adolescence, often referred to as the “tween” years (defined loosely as the years between eight or nine to twelve), is a time of monumental shifts in your child’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. It’s a time of growing independence, but it can also be scary for kids.” This is the case during the best of times. Imagine how tweens are feeling now that a global pandemic has been thrown into the mix?

Creating Virtual Connections

The common challenges during these years are now compounded by a sense of isolation due to social distancing requirements. The Visitation Middle School is tackling this issue head-on, keeping lines of communication open and providing structured opportunities for our students to connect with one another and to the resources they need.

  •  “Breakfast and Lunch Bunch” Meetings – During a typical school day, lunch is extremely important. It gives students a much-needed break from academics and time to relax with their fellow students. During these scheduled, virtual breaks via Zoom, the girls can simply talk about whatever they want. Occasionally, they are even treated to appearances from their favorite Viz faculty and staff.
  • Peer 2 Peer Tutoring – Like everything else these days, this existing Viz program has gone virtual. Students requiring assistance with specific subject matter, concepts, or even organization can connect to peer tutors in a variety of areas to ensure they do not fall behind in their coursework. More information on this program is available on the Viz Portal under Resources/Counseling Resources/Peer Tutoring.
  • Self-Care Bingo – This informal weekly check-in with the girls allows them to have some fun and release the stress of the school day. Students that get Bingo are awarded a shout-out on the Middle School Instagram page.
  • Question & Answer Sessions – During this weekly forum, students meet with the Viz Middle School Counselor and Middle School Principal via Zoom to ask questions about middle school, remote learning, or other Viz-related topics. Students are encouraged to pop in and say hi, even if they do not have any specific questions.

In This Together

Distance learning and physical distancing does not have to mean the end of personal and meaningful interaction. The most important thing we can do for our young women right now is to be there for them, answer their questions and address any feelings or concerns they are having. Our Middle School Counselor understands the unique needs of girls at this age and is here to support our students even when they’re at home. We invite you to reach out directly and encourage your daughter to take advantage of all the opportunities and resources presented to her during this challenging time.

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