Elementary Counselors

Mission Statement

The mission of the elementary school counselors in the MSD of Martinsville school district is to provide a comprehensive program addressing the areas of academics, social/emotional support, and career development for students in grades K-4.  This mission is accomplished through the development of a positive, supportive environment that encourages students to be successful in their learning and future productive members of society.

The elementary school counselors provide ALL students with support through several avenues including one-on-one meetings, group instruction, and classroom guidance.  The goal of these interventions is to promote learning in an environment that is safe and engaging to the student. School counselors collaborate intentionally with teachers and school personnel to develop the best plan possible for each student.

School counselors also work cooperatively with community stakeholders including parents, community representatives, and others involved in promoting student success to create positive relationships between the school, students, and community.


School counselors are dedicated to providing opportunities for academic, career, and personal/social development for all students.

Direct services


Individual counseling

We meet individually with students to address current stressors and situations, teach social skills, increase self-esteem, learn new ways to cope, manage emotions, and more. Students may be referred by staff, parents, or they may self-refer. We maintain confidentiality with our students.

Small group counseling

We provide small group instruction for students who face similar concerns. Small groups provide a safe and caring environment for students to share emotions and acquire the skills necessary for learning. Permission is requested before students begin working in group counseling.

Classroom guidance lessons

We present developmentally appropriate and preventative classroom lessons to promote social and emotional learning, academic skills, and career development.


Indirect services


We work with administration, staff, parents, and community organizations to ensure the students’ needs are being met. We consult to explore strategies and interventions that best serve the student. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is any way we can support your child here at school.



We support students and their families through providing school and community resources for additional assistance and information.


In addition, we closely monitor testing and attendance data, provide informational workshops for parents, work with families to coordinate 504 plans, serve on the school’s RTI committee, attend professional development events to stay up to date on current trends and interventions in school counseling, and collaborate with other counselors in the school district.


Parenting tips/issues:


When parents are involved and engaged in their child’s education, they are more likely to succeed. Parental involvement is linked to higher grades, better attendance, and an overall stronger parent/child relationship. Here are some ways you can help your student achieve academically:


  • Read with your child regularly and encourage them to also read on their own.
  • Stay in touch with your child’s teacher.
  • Ensure that your child has time to finish work brought home from school.
  • Volunteer at school events.
  • Discuss the link between school work and your child’s future.
  • Be a positive role model.
  • Keep high expectations for your child, while reminding them they do not have to be perfect.
  • Encourage a healthy mindset; help flip their negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
  • Reach out for help and resources from the school counselor, teachers, or other community professionals if you are having trouble.



Children experience a wide range of emotions, as adults do. However, unlike adults, children may not understand how to regulate the difficult emotions that they face. Remember these tips as you help your child recognize and express their emotions:


  • Help your child to put a name to the emotion that they feel.
  • Allow your child to describe how their body feels when they feel different emotions.
  • Identify common thoughts your child produces in their minds when they feel different emotions.
  • Normalize the emotion! Let them know it’s completely okay that they’re feeling that way.
  • Set boundaries: It’s okay to feel angry, but it is not okay to hurt ourselves, others, or property as a result of being angry.
  • Create a list of coping skills your child can use when faced with an unpleasant emotion: deep breathing, listening to music, writing a letter, drawing, counting to 10, taking a break, getting a drink of water, tensing and relaxing muscles, visualizing their calm place, etc.
  • Practice those coping skills with your child when they are calm so they are ready to use it when they need to.



  • Take time to communicate with your child.
  • Ask them about the highs and lows of their day or week.
  • Pay attention to the friends they choose to hang out with.
  • Spend time together. Whether it’s watching a movie, eating dinner, or walking in the park, children value the time they spend with parents.
  • Listen to your child when they have something they want to share.
  • Compliment your child and find ways to help boost their self-esteem.
  • Talk to them about adults in the school that they can trust

Coping Skills

As adults, we hear “get it together” or “settle down” and we know how to do it. However, just like everything else, kids needs to be taught the skills to help them do that. Coping skills are strategies we can use or activities we can engage in to change our feelings and our thoughts. We can’t always change our situations, but we can do things to help us manage the feelings and thoughts we have about situations.

Why are coping skills important?

  1. What we think affects how we behave and how we feel.
  2. How we feel affects how we think and how we behave.
  3. How we behave affects how we think and how we feel.
  4. How we feel affects how we think and how we behave.
  5. How we behave affects how we think and how we feel.


Here are a few tips are helping your child expand their coping skills:

  1. Identify Emotions- Sometimes kids struggle to identify how they are feeling. Talk to them when they are upset to help them recognize the emotions and cues their body might be giving them.
  2. Learning Coping Skills- Being able to cope with the ups and downs in life is vital to a students success. Each child is different. What works for one student may not work for another, but luckily there are lots of options!
  3. Practice Coping Skills- It great to have a list of options, but we need your help to have your kids practice their coping skills at home in the heat of the moment in order to gain success in using coping skills.

Communicating with Your Child

Communication is Key!

It’s important to take the time in your day to have conversations with your child. Whether it’s on the way to school, at the dinner table, or as you tuck them in to bed, touching base with your child will help them remember how much you care.

Here are some phrases you may add into your vocabulary to help facilitate these conversations:

  • Ask for clarification – “Help me understand what you meant…”
  • Validate – “You have every right to feel…”
  • Speak encouragingly – “Tell me more…” and “Can you describe that…”
  • Summarize – “If I understand you correctly, you said…”
  • Restate points – “Tell me if I heard you right…”
  • Avoid preaching, guilt, and jumping to conclusions.
  • Be brief! Children retain shorter messages longer.

Remember that every child is different in how they choose to communicate, and you know your child best.

Parent Involvement

See how important parent involvement is here


Career and College Exploration

The desired outcomes of career and college exploration at the elementary level are:

  • Understanding the concepts of job and career  
  • Building awareness of the world of work
  • Understanding the importance of education to a successful life
  • Associating the work lives of adults to subject matters being learned in school
  • Understanding the importance and value of work and jobs to society

As counselors we reach these outcomes by prioritizing the following in a child’s education:


Awareness of self: Career Exploration

Students at the K-4 level should begin exploring what kinds of careers interest them most.  The best way to explore is through exposure. Exposure can be done in several ways:

  • Meeting professionals in several careers
  • Watching shows and videos featuring different careers
  • Reading children’s books highlighting professional careers
  • Playing with toys that are based on or feature certain careers


Dreaming without limits: Broadening the view of the working world

At this age level students should be encouraged to explore all kinds of careers including professional and trade careers.  Students are the expert at what makes them interested so it is best to listen to were their career attention lies.


Encouraging creativity: Incorporating career interests into their day-to-day lives

Students should be encouraged to explore their career interests through using them as inspiration in their lives.  This can be done through:

  • Themed assignments
  • Relating what is learned in school to the outside world
  • Research in the school setting
  • Reading into college and career interests


Reaching for their dreams: Instilling confidence and belief in ability

The number one motivator to future career and college success in confidence in ability.  A student begins developing this confidence and belief at a young age. Consequently, it is important for educators, counselors, and parents to give their students positive encouragement in their school work and career interests.


Start preparing for college!

It is never too early for students to begin looking into:

  • Colleges that meet their career goal
  • Saving for college
  • College scholarships
  • 21st Scholars (an income-based program for Indiana residents. must be registered by 8th grade) https://scholars.in.gov/

We also encourage these strategies to be used at home to prepare students for their future college and career experiences.