"I Appreciate You For..."

Lisa Larsen, LPC
For my final Counselor’s Corner article of this incredible school year, I wanted to take some time to share my thanks and appreciation for each of you in this caring community of parents and families. One of my favorite group activities goes like this: I set a blank piece of paper in front of each person in the room with the statement at the top that says “I Appreciate You For..." and the paper remains while the entire group rotates through the room writing something specific and positive about that person on their paper. It can be signed or anonymous and each person is left with a page full of amazing feedback about how they impacted each person in the group, team, class, or family. I encourage everyone to hang on to this paper (even tape it to the fridge!) and on those days when you wonder if you’re doing anything right, you read it again and remind yourself of just how fabulous you are! For all of my St. Gabriel’s parents, this is what I would write on YOUR paper.

“I Appreciate You For...”
  • Partnering with all of us in doing the hard work of helping your child learn and grow - especially when it gets tough and messy and full of big feelings.
  • Being open to receiving both good and challenging feedback about your precious child and trusting our advice and care.
  • Sharing your hopes and dreams as well as asking questions and reaching out to us when you are unsure or worried.
  • Modeling at home that mistakes are indeed opportunities to learn!
  • Committing to and practicing all those hard social and emotional learning skills as a parent both in your relationships with your children, each other, and all of us at school such as:
    • framing things in positive language
    • modeling self-regulation and patience
    • holding firm to behavior expectations and goals
    • building trust through actions and encouragement
    • giving and accepting forgiveness
  • Being an important part of our community of faith and love through prayers, actions, and service.
  • Giving so much of your time, talent, and treasure to nurture this incredible school family.
  • Modeling kindness and respect with each other and with us.
  • Playing with joy!
  • Fostering creativity both at home and at school.
  • Being willing to participate and share in all of our parenting education programs - modeling for your children that we all continue to grow and learn.
For all of these many things and so much more, I thank each of you for trusting me with your children and trusting the loving care of each of our faculty and staff. It indeed takes a village to support one another in this most valuable journey. It has been quite an adventure this year with both challenges and huge successes. It is a privilege to support your children and to be a part of helping them grow and learn. Thank you for all you have shared with me this year. I look forward to seeing you all again in the fall! 

Happy Summer!

Lisa Hellmer, LPC
St Gabriel’s Counselor
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.