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Mr. Johnson's School Counseling Page

St. Norbert Families/Parents,
It has been great seeing all of your friendly faces at school! I look forward to supporting your child's social, emotional, and academic/career skill development this year. Our families' resilient spirit has energized me during this unprecedented time. For more info on the services I provide, you can click on the following link:
Please reference this page for important mental health resources and trends in the counseling community.
Additionally, I will be be posting e-learning tools, activities, and articles on the school's e-learning website (specific to e-learners and their families):
Mr. Johnson's Counseling and Cultural Bites
Processing Feelings and Finding Connection During the Holiday Season
Holiday etiquette for gift-giving this season
All of us have been either directly or indirectly influenced by grief and loss during this period. Here are some tips from Willow House on how to deal with grief/loss:
This holiday season will hopefully bring many families together (in some way). During these moments, many people will be discussing challenging issues facing our world. The Family Institute at Northwestern University has some helpful tips to help families foster meaningful conversation:
Virtual Mental Health Services for Parents of Children ages 0-8 (through the Erikson Institute):
Coping with Stress and Anxiety
During this challenging school year, it is important to be providing children with relative structure and routine, while allowing for time and space to process challenging emotions. Please take a look at this article here for tips and advice:
Additionally, here is a great, comprehensive resource guide from the Yale Child Study Center:
November is National Native American Heritage Month! As we navigate the pandemic, I thought it would be nice to offer some online resources for children and their families to explore the history of Native American cultures in Illinois and around the United States. For more on the local history of Native Americans, I would recommend visiting the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston (currently closed, but they are posting e-learning resources in the coming months).
K-8 Conferences
Please sign up for conference time using the Calendly link below
K-8 Parent Conferences are coming up! Please see my schedule through Pickatime below:
(I am available the afternoon and evening of October 8th only. Scheduling deadline is Thursday, October 8th at 10am.)
Social Media Picture
Attention Parents: With some of the troubling events this year, there have been more graphic/suicidal videos being posted on social media outlets. Some of our students may see some of these posts or be curious about them. Please check out this link from CATCH, a local, children's mental health advocacy non-profit, if you are looking for help or guidance on how to start these difficult conversations:
September is Self-Care Awareness Month! Parents need self-care too! See Tips below
Learn about and see some of the incredible butterflies at the Peggy Notebaert Museum! (link at the bottom)

1. Carve out Time to Be Alone

Some parents find the only opportunity for solitude in the restroom. It's important to give yourself a few minutes of alone time aside from bathroom breaks. Even if it's just five minutes each day that you set aside to relax by yourself, a little solitude can help you unwind. Whether that means waiting until your child takes a nap or waiting until a friend or family member is watching your child, permit yourself to charge your batteries with a little alone time.


2. Engage Your Senses

It’s hard to be in the moment when life is busy. Engaging your senses is a good way to relax and find a sense of inner peace. Light a scented candle, take a hot bath, listen to soothing sounds, or drink some herbal tea. Engaging one or more of your senses can be a simple but effective way to take a time out from the hustle and bustle.


3. Spend a Little Money on Yourself

You might find it's easy to spend money on your kids while neglecting yourself a bit. However, it's essential to show your kids that you value yourself, too. Permit yourself to spend a little time and money on yourself.

Just buying yourself a new shirt or paying to get a haircut can make you feel good. You might set aside a little bit in the budget each month to spend on yourself, or perhaps you do something nice for yourself once in a while. Either way, it's okay to treat yourself sometimes.


4. Savor Something

If you feel like you're in a rush all the time, there's a good chance you don't ever really get to savor anything. Commit to savoring something and make it a daily habit. Whether you want to savor your first cup of coffee or you decide to savor those moments when you're snuggling with your child, practice being in the moment.


5.  Check the To-Do List

It may not seem like doing chores are good ways to take care of yourself.  However, checking something off your to-do list that has been bothering you can free up a lot of mental energy. Whether it's scheduling an appointment for yourself or finally cleaning that messy cabinet, consider doing something on your to-do list that will give you a sense of relief and a feeling of accomplishment.

You might decide to choose one task each day to tackle outside of your regular duties. You might find that getting things done, rather than letting those little things pile up, helps you maintain a sense of calm.


Peggy Notebaert link:



Prior to working at St. Norbert School, I was a school counselor in Chicago Public Schools. I have my masters degree in School Counseling from DePaul University and am a state and nationally-certified professional school counselor. 
I am an advocate for social justice and spiritual development. I enjoy the outdoors and enjoy helping students find their passion for life-long learning and growth.