For School Counselors
Based entirely on new research about the brain and the efficacy of both restorative practices and trauma-informed methodology in education, we’ve designed 5 Radical Minutes for School Counselors to focus on specific issues our youth face in a compassionate, mindful, and meaningful way.
We know that school counselors already have the skills needed for 5 Radical Minutes program engagement.
We also know that you’ll be using the prompts in a greater range of settings and group sizes. For this reason we provide one set of generic prompts to get you started, but also include a variety of 10-week sets on topics like self-harm and depression. Over time we’ll provide more and more sets for specific issues. (We always encourage feedback, insights and ideas for new topics to cover!)
In each group meeting, you’ll lead your students through a 5 minute communication activity and gain increased interaction and trust.
We trust your knowledge of the group as well as your wisdom in counseling. Take our suggested opening statements and prompts and reword them to make them your own, with every attempt to remain true to the goal of the program.
Prompts often have an additional option for going deeper with the activity. (You may need more than five minutes on days you wish to pursue these options.) Although we ask teachers for fidelity with the prompts and process in the classrooms, we trust your ability to amend these prompts to meet your needs.
Cheri Lovre’s 5 Radical Minutes curriculum addresses our world's need to engage in productive dialogue head on. This solution to affecting change is packaged in an easy to follow curriculum that takes just 5 minutes daily. Cheri is just the credible source to provide us with this pro-active approach to improving relationships, and therefore improving our schools and society.
I witnessed Cheri Lovre’s intervention in a school community torn by racial divide. Guided by her expertise, the community was brought together – parents, students and school personnel. Cheri Lovre fostered deep and meaningful discussion between all parties, some of whom, just hours prior, had refused to share the same room. Her skill facilitated expressions of deeper understanding, compassion, even forgiveness in the community. Her guidance led to a palpable change in school climate, exactly the prescription so needed to help students and parents experience school as a safe place of learning and human growth. I couldn’t recommend her work more highly.
Cheri Lovre is the embodiment of what she teaches. As a master communicator, with skill and compassion, she can help transform a school. During 9/11, 2001, I was Director of Pupil Personnel Services in the NYC school district, surrounding the World Trade Center. The advice, warmth and wisdom Cheri offered, while essential during crisis is needed everyday, in every school, facing the challenges and stressors of daily lives.
5 Radical Minutes is the foundation of our classroom interactions and relationships. It's helped students immediately feel more comfortable talking with each other and sharing ideas without fear or judgement. We've been able to discuss issues we don't normally get to explore. The connections that they've made with each other at the start of each class has helped with group projects, conflict resolution, and overall acceptance of each other. My students love the program!
Using the 5 Radical Minutes program with my freshmen gave me a chance to include all students in the classroom activities. Students had a chance to interact with each other on a daily basis. Pairing students together allowed them to interact with students they might normally not interact with. It brought a level of comfort to the classroom that allowed all students to contribute to the classroom activities. The various topics of discussion kept the conversation fresh and allowed the students to add their own unique personality to the classroom.
Build Stronger Peer Connections
When you know each others’ stories, it is much more difficult to be unkind. 5 Radical Minutes for School Counselors promotes both peer connection and school connection.
As with our classroom program, 5 Radical Minutes for School Counselors is designed to be a five-minute paired experience that includes all students and adults who might be in the room. Over time, all are to be paired with new partners until everyone has been paired with everyone else before you begin again.
The five-minute format is perfect for groups. It is a solid check-in and it can be adapted to be a whole-group check-in for the last minute.
Teach Positive Coping Skills
Engagement in the program gives students effective coping strategies for a range of stressors and challenges.
Using techniques from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), students and staff learn how to find inner calm. This results in less peer conflict, less stress, and increased self-esteem. 5 Radical Minutes for School Counselors addresses issues that many students face silently on their own, such as anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or depression. It also positively impacts more generalized school issues like cliques, tattling, bullying, and violence in schools.
As in our classroom activities, we ask school counselors to reinforce deep breathing techniques in their group sessions for at least one minute before doing the paired sharing activity to help students calm and focus. These techniques not only aid in coping skills, they help improve academic performance as well.
Address Difficult Topics
Our kids are growing up in an increasingly complex world. They need to learn as they grow, and this program grows with them.
Using methodology that supports the classroom experience, 5 Radical Minutes for School Counselors anticipates a smaller group format whose participants may have similar issues. As such, we’ve categorized prompts by topic so counselors can more specifically meet the needs of each particular group.
The Neuro-Biology of Kindness
Acts of compassion or love exercise the vagus nerve. Research shows us that teaching kindness in schools is essential.
Students who have a high vagus nerve response will voluntarily stay in from recess to help a peer who is behind on schoolwork or step up to support a victim. 5 Radical Minutes for School Counselors gives you brief instructions that help students engage this nerve, relax the body, and listen from a place of kindness. This transformative program takes the positive outcomes from the mindfulness programs already in some schools and gives them life as students actually practice these positive skills in their relationships every day.
Need a little more information?
We’ve got you covered. Implementing change can be challenging, so we’ve added a few more details to help you understand the radical difference our program can make on your classroom climate.
Check Out Our Parent Program
A supporting parent program is available to teach parents how to listen to their children, how to provide a safe space for their children to speak their truths. This positive reinforcement at home will only enhance outcomes at school and increase resilience in school youth.
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