Hello Lower Lab Families!
My name is Josh Goldstein and I’m very excited about being a full time school counselor at the Lower Lab School! I have heard wonderful things about the students and their families, and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone as the year goes on.
Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I graduated from Binghamton University and began teaching second grade in the South Bronx as a Teach for America Corps member, during which time I also received my Masters in Education from Pace University. I went on to teach at NEST+M, another gifted and talented school in the Lower East Side, where I taught third and fourth grade for ten years. During my last two years there, I went back to school to receive my Masters in School Counseling from Alfred University. Right before joining the Lower Lab community, I was working as a school counselor at an elementary school in Brooklyn.
Here are a couple of fun facts that you can share with your children. I have an 11 year old Jack Russell named Lily. She has a lot of energy and really has a hard time sitting still, so taking her to the beach is never relaxing! I also have a twin brother named Danny. I am 3 minutes older than himJ
One of the main reasons I transitioned into school counseling is because I wanted my main focus to be on helping students to grow socially and emotionally. In addition to working with students individually and in small groups on topics such as self- esteem, social skills, and anger management, I also have the opportunity to work with the whole school community. In the past, I organized a school wide event called No One Eats Alone, which gave students the opportunity to sit and chat with students from other grades during lunch. Fifth graders served as ambassadors and facilitated a structured game with their assigned table.
As you may have already heard, this year we are really stressing the importance of social and emotional learning as part of your children’s education. Just as academics are important, we equally want to help our students develop important life skills that will help to strengthen their relationships with others, and overall well- being. Teaching our students how to resolve conflicts peacefully, manage their emotions, empathize, and set positive goals are some ways we can accomplish this.
I am excited to be part of the Social Emotional Learning Committee. Throughout the year, we will be discussing ways we can continue to make the social emotional component an even bigger part of your child’s educational experience. One of the first things members of the committee discussed and implemented was a morning routine to set a positive tone for the day and ensure our students feel ready for the day when their teachers pick them up from the auditorium. It has been going really well and everyone seems very happy! Also, new students have been paired with an ambassador from their class to help make their transition to school easier.
I am looking forward to having ongoing conversations with the staff on ways we can bring more social and emotional learning into your child’s classrooms in addition to facilitating small groups. The groups will ideally run between 5-8 sessions, and will focus on a specific topic. Iris, the school social worker, will be helping to run these groups. The groups will meet once a week for half an hour during the school day. They will not take place during lunch or recess.
I would love to hear about the type of groups that you think your own child would benefit from in order to get a sense of the needs of many of our students. It would be really appreciated if you could fill out the attached sheet and send it back to school with your child by Friday, September 23, 2016.
download complete intro-letter with
Social and Emotional Learning- Small Group Topics handout