Hello! My name is Morgan Leso and I am the school guidance counselor at W.G. Mallett School. My job is to work with classrooms, groups, individual students and parents to help foster the emotional and social health of all students. I have the great pleasure of going into each classroom to provide class guidance lessons. Guidance themes range from friendship skills, bullying prevention, feeling identification, and problem-solving. I also run groups and work with students in a one-on-one environment to provide social skills training and ‘preventative’ counseling. Please free to contact me at any time if your child is experiencing difficulties at school or if you have any questions or concerns.
Conflict or disagreement is normal and often happens when children get together. However, hurtful words, gestures, or physical attack are unacceptable ways to deal with conflict and disagreement at school.
Our goal is to teach several positive ways to deal with these difficult situations. To do this, we are asking students who have minor problems to try at least two of the following ideas:
1. Go to another game or activity 2. Share and take turns 3. Respectfully talk it over and listen to each other 4. Walk away from the problem 5. Ignore the problem behavior 6. Tell the person to stop the problem behavior 7. Apologize 8. Make a deal or compromise 9. Wait to cool off
These ideas are collectively known as “Kelso’s Choices”. With Kelso’s Choices, students are taught how to differentiate between big and small problems. Small problems are problems that children are smart and mentally and emotionally strong enough to solve on their own, and big problems are problems that are too difficult for children to solve and need adult intervention.
Your child’s guidance lessons will include distinguishing between big problems and small problems, indicating adults they can trust with a big problem, and practicing all nine of Kelso’s Choices for solving small problems. By using this plan, we believe that our students will develop effective problem-solving skills that they can use again and again. It will help them to deal with conflict in a positive manner and to make appropriate decisions. Knowing what to do will help students reduce the stress and number of conflicts that have at school and in life.
I encourage you to talk to your children about Kelso’s Choices and use it in your home. By working together, we can develop a healthy life skill for young people to use at home and at school.
Sincerely, Morgan Leso School Guidance Counselor 207.778.3529