• Notes from Ms. Harps, School Counselor

    The Parent's New Tool Box

     Snapchat, TikTok, Whisper, Ask.fm, KikMessenger, Tfue the YouTuber… do you know about all of these?

     It is hard to stay current with the various ways children can communicate with each other, because it is always changing.  And our kids always seem to be one step ahead!

     So, what can we do?  

    • Keep the lines of communication open. Talk with them before, during, and after using technology.  The following information sheet gives great ideas about questions you can use to start conversations and keep them going. Questions to Ask About Technology
    • Stay in the loop about what kids are doing and watching.  A great website to visit often is  Common Sense Media. They have an Advice for Parents section that breaks into sections by age (Preschool, Little Kids, Big Kids, Tweens, and Teens).  They have great articles that consistently change, such as “6 Fortnite Secrets Kids Know But You Don’t”, “How to Set Parental Controls on Nintendo Switch”, and “Parent’s Ultimate Guide To YouTube”.
    • Explicitly teach your children how to use the Internet, apps, and Social Media and model it for them.  Go through YouTube together and model how to navigate through their Recommendations and show older kids how you post on Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat in an appropriate way.  We teach our children when to say please and thank you, how to brush their teeth, and to wear helmets when riding their bikes. We now need to add teaching our children how to effectively and safely use technology, just as naturally and consistently as we  teach our children to use a bike helmet. Using the website NetSmartz is a fun and informative way to help help teach internet skills to all ages.

    It is a challenging task to navigate technology and all of the ways our children use it. We need to stay informed, watch, listen, and ask. Don’t assume your child knows what to do, what to watch, or how to react. This is another skill we need to develop in our parenting tool box.

    My name is Melissa Harps and I am very excited to be the school counselor at Clinton Elementary this year.

    I am in my 20th year of teaching. I graduated from Miami University for my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Go Redhawks! I then received my graduate degree from the University of Dayton for School Counseling. I have previously been a 4th and 6th Grade teacher, a Reading Coach, and a School Counselor.  I live in Clintonville and enjoy all the wonderful assets of our community; the Whetstone Library and Recreation Center, walking to neighborhood restaurants, and participating in 4th of July celebrations. My son also attends Clinton, so I know how wonderful this school is!

    I look forward to working with students in monthly classroom lessons, small groups, and individuals, when needed.  I also assist the school in encouraging and planning experiences to enrich the school lives of our students through Cub Pride, leadership opportunities, building coping strategies, and connecting families to community programs.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions or needs throughout the year. I am at school each Monday through Wednesday. 

    During this year, I will be sending home letters that explain what I am doing monthly in the classrooms that work on social-emotional learning. I hope this helps you know what your students are working on, and provide some conversation points as the year goes.  So, look in your child’s book bag to see what is new and exciting in the monthly Classroom Counselor lessons!