We Want to Turn Ourselves Around: Doing the Hokki Pokey!
My students need eight hokki stools for our small-group counseling table.
Children dancing the Hokey Pokey "turn themselves about." My students face problems that they wish they could so easily turn around: the death of parents, divorce, poverty, violence, and more. My hope is that individual and small-group counseling provides them the opportunity for healing and change.
I am the school counselor at a suburban elementary school in Tennessee.
Each day I work with students facing difficulties that no student should have to endure. I see them struggle to make sense of situations well beyond their understanding and control. I often marvel at their ability to participate so fully in school given the challenges that weigh so heavily on their hearts. I am able to work with these students individually and in small-group counseling sessions. Through these services they can see that they are not alone in their struggles and can learn coping strategies to face life's challenges.
However, children, like adults, are often reticent to reveal the difficulties they and their families are facing. For this reason, I do everything I can to make it as easy and comfortable as possible for them to access my counseling services. I have found that the greater their physical and emotional comfort, the more likely these students are to get the help they need.
I am requesting eight hokki stools to replace the chairs I now use around my small-group counseling table. There I work with six to eight students at a time on issues such as how to express feelings appropriately, how to build and maintain positive friendships, and how to cope with family changes such as divorce or the death of a parent, among others. These stools will increase the comfort level for my students as well as aid in the brain-storming processes so critical for developing alternative, pro-active choices and behaviors.
Many of the at-risk students with whom I work are "wigglers." Hokki stools allow students enough "wiggle room" to quietly satisfy their need for movement without being disruptive to the teaching process or other students. This will make it easier for all of my students to access whatever lesson is being addressed. The front-to-back, right-to-left movement of the hokki stool should also stimulate brain activity and promote students' problem-solving abilities.
The more inviting my office, the greater the chance that students will seek out my help.
The hokki stools will render my office less institutional and more comfortable, they will allow my "wigglers" to meet their needs for movement without disrupting the learning of their peers, and they will promote pro-active brain-storming. These conditions set the stage for students to access the help and support that will allow them to move beyond their present circumstances to a better, healthier future.
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