Social & Emotional Counseling

ISD wants to ensure that our students develop as caring, happy, confident, empowered adults. That they go out into this world well-adjusted with integrity, empathy and the positive values required to make a difference.  We want to support the development of peaceful homes and a peaceful world. ISD Primary and Secondary counseling services are dedicated to ensuring these qualities through our regular classroom lessons, meetings with individuals, teachers and families; workshops and assemblies.

Children who are supported socially and emotionally learn better. The brain is better able to focus and think when it is clear of worries. Students learn best when they feel comfortable and supported during life’s challenges. When parents are asked, what are their greatest hopes for their children, the responses are often: happiness, self confidence, successful work, integrity and harmonious families. ISD counselors feel confident in providing your children with these life skills.  

Social & Emotional Counseling Team

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

Sekai Chitaukire
Social & Emotional Counselor (Secondary)

Vivian Huizenga
Social & Emotional Counselor (Primary)

Primary Social-Emotional Learning

In Primary, students receive weekly Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons on learning skills, feelings, dealing with strong feelings, and problem solving. These skills are taught through the Second Step Program—effective research based program designed to enhance student wellbeing. Children gain self-confidence, self awareness, respect, skills to help focus, use positive self-talk, assertiveness, and the skills to find solutions to problems. With these skills, young children are ready to manage themselves independently, feel good and make a difference in their future. 

    Unit 1: Skills for Learning 

  • Being Respectful
  • Focusing Attention and Listening
  • Using Self-Talk
  • Being Assertive

    Unit 2: Empathy  

  • Identifying Feelings
  • Learning More About Feelings
  • Feeling Confident
  • Respecting Different Preferences
  • Showing Compassion
  • Predicting Feelings

   Unit 3: Emotional Management

  • Introducing Emotional Management
  • Managing Embarrassment
  • Handling Making Mistakes
  • Managing Anxious Feelings
  • Managing Anger
  • Finishing Tasks

   Unit 4:  Problem Solving

  • Solving Problems Part 1
  • Solving Problems Part 2
  • Taking Responsibility
  • Responding to Playground Exclusion
  • Playing Fairly on the Playground

Secondary Social-Emotional Learning

In Secondary, lessons cover a wide range of topics that are relevant to students in this age range including but not limited to - Self Awareness, Healthy Relationships, Body Image, Goal Setting, Mental Health & Well-being,  Choices and Decision Making. The Social-Emotional Secondary Counselor offers individual counseling to help students resolve personal or interpersonal problems. Small group counseling may also be offered to help students enhance listening and social skills, learn to empathize with others, and find social support through healthy peer relationships. School counselors provide support at no cost for students who are otherwise unable to access mental health services. School counselors also support school staff by assisting with classroom management techniques and developing programs to improve mental health or school safety. When necessary, counselors may also intervene in a disrupted learning environment.

Social-Emotional Secondary Counselors play a role in providing

  • Opportunities to develop knowledge and an appreciation of themselves and others
  • Opportunities to develop relationship skills, ethical standards, and a sense of responsibility
  • Opportunities to acquire skills and attitudes necessary to develop educational goals which are suited to their needs, interests, and abilities
  • Information that would enable them to make decisions about life and future opportunities and to prepare students to become 21-century global citizens
  • Collaboration regarding developing action plans to facilitate their personal, social, and emotional learning and growth
  • Counseling relationships that are offered with dignity and respect for each individual


  • An environment that maximizes student wellbeing
  • Academic standards with goals for academic success
  • Develop skills to improve organization, study habits, and time management
  • Space to work through personal problems that may affect academics or relationships
  • Improved social skills
  • The ability to cope with school or community-related violence, accidents, and trauma
  • Identify interests, strengths, and work on areas where improvement is needed

The Core of PSHE


The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values influences

behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”

  • Identifying emotions
  • Accurate self-perception
  • Recognizing strengths
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-efficacy


The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different

controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

  • Impulse control
  • Stress management
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-motivation
  • Goal-setting
  • Organizational skills

Social awareness

The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

  • Perspective-taking
  • Empathy
  • Appreciating diversity
  • Respect for others

Relationship skills

The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek help when needed.

  • Communication
  • Social engagement
  • Relationship-building
  • Teamwork

Responsible decision-making

The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of the consequences of various actions and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

  • Identifying problems
  • Analyzing situations
  • Solving problems
  • Evaluating
  • Reflecting
  • Ethical responsibility

Parent Education Series

At ISD we strongly believe in the importance of the home-school partnership. As such, we will offer a Parent Education series throughout the school year. Topics may include How to Communicate with Your Child, The Adolescent Brain, The Importance of Family Meals, Developing Resilience, Coping with Change, Family Transitions, Dealing with Behavior and How to Talk so Kids Will Listen. We welcome suggestions from parents on other topics. Please contact the counselor in your child’s section of the school if you wish to make suggestions.