RED RIBBON WEEK – OCTOBER 23-26th

This is a blog I found from a fellow school counselor.  I found her information insightful and helpful and felt it was worth sharing:
Signs of Drug Use in Students

  • Change in friends-This is huge. Our relative (I will call him Nick) went from hanging around really positive, outgoing students to a group of friends that just wanted to hang out with each other on the roof of one kid’s house or the basement of another friend.  They stopped going places like school dances, football games, or social events and only wanted to go to certain friends’ homes for the whole weekend.
  • Change in appearance-Another big sign is a change in physical appearance.  Nick was known in the family as the clean cut and well dressed kid.  The kid took at least two baths a day and loved hygiene products.  Over time, we noticed that his physical appearance changed drastically.  Two baths a day went to no baths a day, the kid slept in the same day’s clothing, his teeth were not brushed causing gum disease, and new shoes were worn out after a couple of weeks.
  • Change in behavior-The kid went from doing great in school and dreaming of going into medicine to talking about dropping out of school and living with the “basement kid”. Also, Nick talked about getting into fights and how he had gotten robbed of his money over the weekend like it was no big deal.
  • Change in physical well being-Although Nick has a chronic disease , he was relative healthy and managed his illness very well. However, one summer, he was in the hospital several times and once on his deathbed.  Unfortunately, a drug test was never given to him because doctors were convinced that his illness was the culprit to his hospitalization.  Honestly, we were too clueless to ask–not our sweet kid!!
  • Change in mood-Nick went from being a positive, fun loving, and kind soul to the “devil”.  I mean you didn’t know what you were going to face when you were around him!  In fact, I began to dread being around him and would intentionally stay away from the family to avoid facing this kid.
  • Change in personality-Some of the behaviors that we noticed were incessant lying (even if he was caught) and stealing.  I had a big jar of change and in one day he got into my room and was able to take all the silver coins out leaving me with only pennies.  My total loss was $300, but the real cost was the loss of my trust in him. In addition to his sneaky behavior was the fact that he had the nerve to bring drug dealers and buyers to house with my younger child there during the day.  Often young boys would walk from out of the woods up to my home and ask for Nick.  When I would ask about who they were he would just say some kid who wanted to hang.

Recognizing the Warning Signs

Now that you know something personal from my family, I hope that you will see that drug use can happen to any kids…even “good” kids.  So it is important that we, as educators, and parents are aware of  early signs of drug use in our students.  Nick started using in 7th grade and then his use intensified in 9th grade.

Though I wished someone had told on Nick, I am not blaming the staff for not saying anything to our family.   They may have not known what to say or maybe they thought we knew…I don’t know.  As school counselors, we work in gray areas and it is not so easy to always feel comfortable sharing what may or may not be real.  I know the first time I shared with a parent about their child’s drug use they were completely in denial.  However, overtime, the parents were able to see the signs for themselves.  In order to help parents, we must feel confident in our ability and knowledge to identify drug use among our students and children.

http://forhighschoolcounselors.blogspot.com/2015/10/

Basic Drug Information 

Drug Abuse Resources for High School Staff

Do you know the difference?

How to Recognize Commonly Used Drugs
 
Drug Images – great visuals for identifying drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Commonly Abused Drug Chart

Drugs and their Effects on the Teen Body

Marijuana Today
Marijuana Edibles
Dabs
Synthetic Drugs
Signs and Symptoms of Meth
Meth Abuse
Signs and Symptoms of Ecstasy
Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine
Signs and Symptoms of LSD
Hookah Use
Cough and Cold Medicine
Facts on DXM
Binge Drinking
Alcohol Poisoning
Binge Drinking Video
Flakka

Drug Information for Students

NIDA Drug Education for Teens – Great site with a lot of science facts and information.
Drug Free World – Downloads, brochures, videos, and lots of information for student education.

Drug Statistics

Drug Trend Chart

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-school-youth-trends

Drug Slang Information for Adults

Noslang.com

Rehabilitation Information

Treatment Finder

Narconon Drug Rehabilitation Program

Alcohol Treatment Information

September was a BUSY month for MBHS counselors!

We spent the month of September working alongside our 9th – 12th graders!

We showed them some really helpful tools in Naviance as well as had them learn a little more about themselves through various Inventories. Please ask your student to login and show you what they learned!

Please also see the attached Power Points for your reference! Freshman credit check.18.19Junior Credit Checks Fall 2018Senior Credit Checks Fall 2018Sophomore Credit Check Powerpoint 2018

Anticipation

I remember the day I was handed the keys to my first classroom like it was yesterday. I was a swift 22 year old with a calling and a mission to help as many young people as I could.  Honestly, I had no idea what I was in for. I just couldn’t stop smiling as these grown 8th grade “babies” walked through my door one by one! I would later roll into my trade with natural ease, surprising myself at times while pinching myself at others as I couldn’t believe I was getting “paid” to do this! I would inspire kids through reading the Diary of Anne Frank and teach them that silence is just as costly as acting out evil. I would read their journal entries and try to find the nugget that sparked them into greatness! I would cheer so loudly as a first time coach, my voice became cracked and weary. I would fall out from exhaustion at the end of the day, because I left it ALL on the table. Every last ounce of me, I poured into those kids! It didn’t matter how I arranged my classroom or if my colleagues thought I was crazy for standing on top of the desks to recite Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” to explain the concept of irony and juxtaposition in writing. All that mattered to my students was that I cared, that I was firm, and that I was fair. All that mattered was that I could laugh at myself, cry alongside them, and could seek the glimmer among them in the “aha” moments. I’m so thankful for the chance my former principal took by hiring a newbie! I’m even more thankful for the students I’ve had along the way who taught me more than I taught them.

Within my twenty year career, I have had moments of introspection and reflection. Some days what I deal with is hard. Very hard. Gut wrenching painful life stuff. Sometimes, I get to scream and cheer for the kids as they run another victory lap across the graduation stage. I still cry my eyes out at the end of the school year just like I did that first group when they left middle school and cruised up to high school! Twenty years later, my heart for these “humans” I’ve encountered hasn’t changed. I “get” to help them. I “get” to laugh alongside them. I “get” to cry with them. I still seek that moment of “aha”.  Some kids may need me more than others. Some kids may need me minimally. With each transcript I review, and credit I triple check, and schedule I work and rework I try my best to remember the kid behind the paper. The paper I sift through is a means to an opportunity to care for a kid – even if behind the scenes.

As I cruise down the counseling center hallway and check on my precious teammates, I see them hunched over their computers, meeting with teachers, returning calls, and trouble-shooting the conflicts we work through in the schedule.  They do this out of love and concern for each Bronco and they do try their absolute best to fine-tune the schedule to the heart’s desire of our kids!  Although sometimes the schedule may not cooperate, it isn’t for a lack of trying and serious analysis! I am encouraged by the passion of my peers and I know that the anticipation of seeing our Bronco’s at schedule pick up is stirring up those heart-skipping moments within us! Soon this building will be filled with the hustle and bustle of young men and women doing their thing and we are overjoyed!

This will be the best year yet!

Very Sincerely,

The Counseling Team

(Sam)

July 2018 – McKinney Boyd Counseling – 1

Hello Bronco Family!

As you enjoy time with your families and take in the long days of summer, school may the last thing on your minds.  The Boyd counselors are preparing for the coming year!   I am filled with anticipation and joy and reflective as I ponder and prepare for the beautiful accomplishments and celebrations to come for 2018-2019.  In these same moments, I am also reminded of why most educators do what we do.

Recently, I’ve perused many articles of political nature debating the need for support for educators by means of health care, retirement, and simple acknowledgment.  No matter what side of the political arena, the common ground is deeper within the education system and truly IS the heart of the educator.  Ninety-nine percent of us choose this career out of a passion to serve, love, and help make a positive impact on the lives of those we encounter each day.  Not only do educators have a passion for their subjects in which we try to instill in our students, but we have a genuine interest in the whole well-being of the student.  At Boyd, we genuinely, love our Broncos!

As more information evolves concerning the mental health components of our society and our children, it is even more evident that our teachers, administrators, and counselors are on the forefront seeking genuine solutions to the dilemmas we face.  We are the adults after all, and we should have most of the answers, but often times we are learning just as rapidly as our students while trying our best to keep up with the trends we are seeing and facing.  Our students have the ability to teach us what we need to learn, but we have to be willing to listen.  They do not have all the answers, but they do have tremendous insight and most will tell us, but we adults need to be reminded that we have ‘two ears and one mouth’ for a reason! 🙂  My hope for you this summer is to engage in meaningful conversations with your children and genuinely enjoy the time you have with them this summer.  If we’ll listen to all the little ‘unimportant’ things along the way, our kids will tell us the “big” things they are feeling and thinking when the time comes.

We, MBHS, counselors are overjoyed to partner with our Bronco Community to best serve our kids.  We genuinely believe that it takes a village to raise our children and we seek to provide current, relevant, and meaningful information to help support our kids and community.  As this is my first attempt at a ‘blog’,  I appreciate your grace as I navigate through my personal stretching in creating this.

Enjoy the gift of your kids and thank you so much for sharing them with us!

Very Sincerely,

McKinney Boyd Counselors

(Sam)