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Counselor's Corner
  • Counselor's Corner
Elise Banks, School Counselor

Is 2021 any better than 2020?

Dear St. Mark's Families,

We are a little over two weeks into the new year, and some may feel the start of this year is just an extension to 2020. We have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, and the events at the Capitol last week are a testament to the political tension our nation continues to endure. With all the best intent to stay focused on family, friends, and work, our energy is constantly tapped by the next news headliner. It can be easy to spiral into the negativity a pandemic and political climate can create. But let’s be mindful of how that impacts how we show up to our children.

When covering a Middle School advisory earlier this week, I assisted in facilitating a discussion around the changes COVID-19 has made on our campus. I was prepared for a deep dive into all the ways masks are annoying or how not mixing cohorts has been challenging to socialize. Instead, I received positive feedback on enjoying the longer recess times, loving the fact that they can eat lunch in the classroom to watch a movie, and enjoying not having to move from classroom to classroom between periods as “adults need the exercise” (Ha!). Watching our students take what some might say has been a traumatic experience to their learning and flip it to the positive gains they have reaped is a lesson all of us can learn from.

The resiliency and positive thinking we see in our children can be difficult when we are inundated with information. The amount of time we spend on our devices and watching news outlets can also play a toll on our mental and emotional wellbeing. After watching the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, I teamed up with our Parent Guild to offer two impactful conversations on our online presence in today’s society. On Wednesday, January 27, I will be leading a discussion on the documentary itself. On Thursday, February 4, we have invited digital literacy educator and author, Diana Graber, to teach us some action steps we can all take to protect ourselves and our loved ones while online.

I look forward to virtually seeing you all at these two events; be sure to register online for one or both! And I pray continued prayers for the health and safety of our country during this time.

God Bless,

Elise N. Banks, M.S., LPC
School Counselor