School Counseling
Kerry Bynum Phone Icon (423)837-6117 Email Icon Email

The Counselor's Pad

Welcome to the South Pittsburg Elementary Counselor's Page! 

As the school counselor, I love working with all students on discovering more about themselves, learning how to excel academically, developing positive social interactions and exploring options for future careers.  After an introduction to myself and what I do, August's lessons include discussing the power of treating others the way we want to be treated and learning the importance of setting goals for self-growth.  Students choose goals for themselves to work on throughout the year in August, as well!  The character focus in August is RESPECT.  I have outlined below some of our topics for the remaining months this year.  Over the course of 10 months we embark on a wonderful trip together where we all learn new things and have great adventures.   I challenge everyone, young and old alike, to find happiness in the journey through life and not expect to find joy only in the destinations!


SEPTEMBER - Character focus is CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship Day is in September, so what better month to learn about citizenship?  We also focus this month on how we feel about ourselves and how to get along with others by learning we are all uniquely special and we should recognize that in each other and ourselves.  If conflict does arise, we learn to use "I messages" rather than yelling or saying mean and hurtful things. Then, we continue to strive for academic excellence by learning good, productive study habits! 



October is all about R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - for self and for others.   Bullying is disrespectful.  Our students are encouraged to treat each other they way they would like to be treated and to not be a by-stander when they witness bullying behaviors by others.  Self-respect includes making healthy choices like saying, "NO" to drugs and alcohol.  Red Ribbon Week is the last week in October every year! 


NOVEMBER - Character focus is THANKFULNESS

In November our focus is on Thankfulness as we reflect on our blessings.  We will also discuss the harmful effects of smoking. Our students at SPES would like to encourage anyone who smokes to participate in the Great American Smokeout which occurs on the third Thursday in November each year and put your cigarettes away for the day! We continue learning about health in general with our OrganWise Guys curriculum.  Internet safety and etiquette are also topics for the month.


DECEMBER - Character focus is CARING

December is naturally a season for giving and caring so we will carry that theme on in the classroom!  National Flu and Hand Washing Awareness are also in December.  Remember, hand washing and vaccinations are the best ways to prevent viruses such as the flu.  Stay well this winter! Before leaving for our break, we get a glimpse of our career unit to come later by discussing how jobs can be similar and different and we work on developing job application skills.



Responsibility and self-discipline is our focus for January.   Since many students receive pets as gifts in December, January is a great time for lessons on how to be responsible pet owners.  MARC (Marion Animal Resource Connection) will be here this month to give us tips for taking care of animals and information on options for spaying and neutering our pets.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. contributed so much to this nation.  This month we remember him and how he taught us to fight for what is good and how to do it peacefully.


FEBRUARY - The focus this month is on CAREERS

February is a month for love, career love, that is!  It is never too early to start thinking about careers and self-interests.  In the elementary grades, students will focus on learning about the broad range of career clusters and some examples of jobs within these clusters.  Later, in high school, students will become more specific in their career exploration as they narrow down their choices.  In order to make a career choice that truly fits, students need to know themselves well so we are always embarking on self-discovery as well. 


MARCH - Character focus this month is TRUSTWORTHINESS

The safety topic for March is stranger danger and more internet safety.  Our March madness before spring break is a good time to learn about stress and how to cope with it.   Coping and relaxation skills not only help with stress but can also be used to manage anger.  Being honest and trustworthy will prevent a lot of stress and just help make life a lot less complicated so we always promote "honesty is the best policy!" 


APRIL - Character focus is FAIRNESS

In April we learn about our differences and that different does not mean less!  We observe Autism Awareness week with school wide activities and learn about autism in class.  We also learn some techniques that help us be our best on big days in life, including test days! Showing appreciation to others is important because we all want to be appreciated!  We spend some time in April practicing this for the upcoming Teacher Appreciation week in May.


MAY - Character focus is PERSEVERANCE

May is a good time to reflect on what we have learned all year and look forward to what we want to accomplish in the coming year.  After PERSEVERING through another challenging but fun filled year we turn our focus to safety over the summer and learn about how to have fun in the great outdoors and in the water without any injuries or accidents!  We also have some time to reflect on what we have actually accomplished this year and can celebrate the bounty of our perseverance and hard work.  This is also the time to set some goals for the coming year.