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Counselors

Resource

Counseling @ AISJ

Philosophy

The Counselors at the American International School of Johannesburg believe: 

  • All students have dignity and self - worth 
  • All students have the right to participate in school counseling services 
  • All students' ethnic, cultural, racial, sexual differences and special needs are considered in planning and implementing counseling services 

AISJ school counselors should: 

  • Provide access to school counseling services to all students
  • Utilize the resources of the community  
  • Actively involve the Student Support Team members to monitor students' progress 
  • Liaise with parents or guardians of students 
  • Participate in professional development activities essential to maintaining quality school counseling services

Mission

To provide comprehensive counseling services to support the success of students' academic, career and social - emotional development. Within a nurturing environment, we assist students in the development of their personal growth and balance. We strive to accomplish this by collaborating with educators, parents, students and community resources.

CURRICULUM

The New Advisory, or IMBIZO program, as we are calling it here at AISJ Middle School is based on guiding principles from the Developmental Designs program. Developmental Designs is a researched based program that has been in practice for over 30 years, and focuses on the academic development and well-being of middle school aged children. The CPR Model (Circle Of Power and Respect) is derived from these principles: 

Development Design Guiding Principles: 

  1. Knowing the physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs of the students we teach is as important as knowing the content we teach 

  1. We learn best by actively constructing our own understanding and meaning 

  1. The greatest cognitive growth occurs when learning is leveraged by social interaction 

  1. Goals are best achieved through the mastery of incremental challenging tasks 

  1. Social learning in a supportive community is as important to success as academic learning 

  1. There is a set of personal and social skills that students need to learn and practice in order to be successful socially and academically: cooperation, communication, assertion, responsibility, engagement, empathy, self-control 

  1. Trust among adults is a fundamental necessity for academic and social success in a learning community 

The Circle of CPR & ITS Components: 

 

• Forming the Circle – Everyone on the same level, see everyone, etc

• Daily News Message – Written message: The purpose of this is to greet, inform, and teach skills through posted written information and student responses. It is a vehicle for sharing news, ideas and opinions, and smooths the transition between home and school. It can have an academic and or social/emotional focus and requires the student to think and/or respond/interact in some way. Students’ will interact with the message two times: At the beginning of the CPR and at the end.  

• Greeting - Comes first because it is civil to learn names, to practice courtesy, and to acknowledge and welcome each other’s presence.  

• Sharing - It is natural after you greet someone to share some small talk or swap stories before you get on with life’s activities to get to know one another, find out what you have in common and practice the art of conversation. We connect with others through daily social interactions. This teaches respectful conversation, listening, how to ask questions, assertion, cooperation, builds relationships and community, also allows for voice & choice). A Post-it Share is a non-threatening way to have everyone share (i.e. how smoothly did our sharing go? How well did we listen to each other? What are some things we have in common? 

 • Activity - The greeting and sharing set the stage. Now we’re ready to laugh, be silly, and have fun through the power of play. To have fun, engage, cooperate, include all, develop self-control, and spark academic and social-emotional learning. How smoothly did it go? How were participant self-control? Did participants seem to enjoy themselves? 

 • Daily News & Announcements - The message and MSN announcements are read at the end as a closing of the CPR and a transition to the next class.  

Click Here for content source

Structure of Imbizo

  • IMBIZO is now at the START of every day for 35 minutes, instead of before lunch. It is a great way for the Advisory teacher to check in with the students and to get them orientated for the day ahead. 

  • Group sizes have shrunk from 15-18 students to between 8 and 10 students. This is allowing for much stronger relationships to develop between students and students, and teachers and students

  • One Teacher per Advisory group, as opposed to two. Each group is paired up with a Co-Advisory group though when one teacher is absent, or an activity calls for a larger group. 

  • MONDAYS and TUESDAYS: Full Imbizo with the CPR model (see below) 

  • WEDNESDAYS: quick check in for 5 minutes because of the shortened day 

  • THURSDAYS: “Get Ahead Day”. An opportunity for students to do make-up tests, meet with teachers in classes that they still need extra help in, catch up on homework and get organized. This time, will also be used for Student Council Meetings and other student committee groups within the school 

  • FRIDAYS: All-School Assemblies or Grade Level Assemblies  

Themes

The themes for each grade level were decided by surveying students and faculty in the 2014-2015 school year; prioritizing them, and deciding which themes were more developmentally appropriate for each grade level. Although the themes are listed in the order that we are planning to address them, there is room for flexibility and "student choice" as the year goes on. 

Grade 6: 

  • Welcome: First week of School: welcome, policies/procedures, getting to know you activities 

  • AISJ CORE Dispositions of: Caring, Open-Minded, Risk-Taker, Ethical 

  • How to Succeed as a MS Student: study skills, organization, taking ownership for learning  

  • Wellness: Balancing life, keeping an active lifestyle, addressing young adult issues 

  • Review and Welcome Back: Getting to know the new students, policies/procedures, etc., how to be back in school 

  • Witness to Bullying and Multiculturalism  

  • CWW/Prep/Reflection  

  • Becoming Your Own Person: (grade 6 version of transitions) 

  • Wrapping Up the Year/Goodbyes/Closure/End of Year 

Grade 7: 

  • Welcome: First week of School: welcome, policies/procedures, getting to know you activities 

  • AISJ CORE Dispositions of: Caring, Open-Minded, Risk-Taker, Ethical 

  • Multicultural Awareness 

  • Wellness: Fixed/ Growth Mindset and Mindfulness 

  • Review and Welcome Back: Getting to know the new students, policies/procedures, etc., how to be back in school 

  • Social Skills and Communication  

  • CWW Pre/ Reflection s 

  • Transitions to Leadership 

  • Closing the Year 

Grade 8: 

  • Welcome: First week of School: welcome, policies/procedures, getting to know you activities 

  • AISJ CORE Dispositions of: Caring, Open-Minded, Risk-Taker, Ethical 

  • Learning Styles: 

  • Wellness – Stress, Balance and Sleep 

  • Review Welcome – Getting to know you, policies/procedures, etc., how to be back in school 

  • Relationships/Friendships 

  • CWW Prep and Reflection 

  • Making Choices 

  • Transitions to HS 

  • Wrapping Up the Year/Goodbyes/Closure/End of Year 

RESOURCES

Common Sense Media: 

Web pages, Books, and Articles that can help you with your Middle School-Aged Child.

They rate and educate parents, teachers, and administrators on how to keep our children safe in the Digital World.

Click Here to visit Common Sense Media site

Click Here to view article on 10 Dangerous Cellphone Apps