Counselor's Corner

Summertime 2020

You have been holding it all together. Working, parenting, teaching and maneuvering, somewhat blindly, through a pandemic. Days have been blending into one another and the exhaustion is real. Camps are reimagined and travel plans are altered. So what do we do?  

  • Exhale  
  • Protect Your Peace
  • Support is Not Canceled
  • Social Emotional Learning Has Not Stopped
  • Laughter Will Continue
  • Joy Will Persist

The Derby community has risen above and we will continue to be RESILIENT.  We keep going realizing that while we can not change our circumstances, we have the superpower to change how we react to them. Yes, SUPERPOWER. Changing our thoughts, increasing positive self-talk, being grateful, and spreading kindness all increase our happiness and resilience. And it takes practice. We teach our students to do these things at Derby through our Social Emotional Learning lessons and practicing them will only increase the strength of our resilience as a community. Let’s not forget the value of self-care in the form of laughter, fresh air, and movement. 

We can’t control what has happened, but we can control how we respond to what is happening. Give yourself and everyone around you the permission to feel all emotions. It starts and ends with self and social compassion. Lean into SEL.

Christina Cipriano, Ph.D., Ed.M., Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

Each topic and conversation deserves it’s own time and our Counselor's Corner will share various supportive measures for specific topics. Here are also some useful links for children and parents regarding anxiety and mindfulness:

Counselor Availability

I will be providing SEL lessons via video and you can also find them on this page. I am available to talk with parents for collaboration regarding the transition to at-home learning, anxiety and various concerns.  I'm also able to check-in with individual students.  Please email me so we can schedule a time. 

Service Projects 

Engage your students or children at home with meaningful projects by following Learning to Give’s Simple Safe Service guides! 

Simple Safe Service, Learning to Give

Executive Functioning

In my second week of home-schooling my own children I have found the built-in opportunity to help develop Executive Functioning (EF) Skills. We are naturally working on them without even knowing it!  EF skills include creating a schedule, goal setting, time management, prioritizing, note-taking, studying etc...  You can have your child check-off items on the daily schedule once complete.  Without rushing around to get out the door or run to the next scheduled activity here is time in our new situation to ask your child to clean up after each meal, turn off the lights after leaving each room, help with the chores around the house, clean out and organize a closet or room.  Ask your child to summarize what they learned or share their notes with you.   You can also play problem solving games (heads up, guess who). 

For MS and US learners, please click here for Time Management Tips for On-line Learning

Derby Academy, Julie Brown

Resources and On-line Story Books About How to Talk to Children about COVID-19

As we continue to talk with our children surrounding COVID-19:

  • Be factual and correct misinformation
  • Model calm and compassion
  • Do not dismiss their concerns
  • Focus on what we can do to keep ourselves healthy; hand washing, social distancing
  • Be mindful of creating social connection through social media and phone calls


Online  Resources


Resources Regarding Anxiety   

Weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) activities

Occupational Therapy (OT) Support

Emotional regulation, fine motor & gross motor ideas & games:

We may find our children struggling with emotional regulation and are likely in need of sensory support.  The world of OT also supports fine and gross motor skills.  Please review these fun tools as possible options:

In addition to these resources, children respond well to:
  • Laying or swinging on their bellies
  • Outside breaks before sitting to work
  • Practicing tying shoes, buttoning and zipping 
  • Writing with a clipboard
  • Using different writing tool options (gel pens, markers, crayons, pencils, short golf pencils, pencil grips, chalk, white board, etc…)
  • “Heavy” lifting; moving books around, helping you carry things
  • Marching to a beat
  • *Hugs*
  • Stretching and yoga poses before sleep
  • Use kid friendly tweezers to pick up small objects
  • Use clothespins to clip onto the side of a cup