Ranch Reflection – Peer counseling provides lessons in and out of class

Ranch Reflections are articles written by students who want to share their experiences, thoughts, and concerns. This is a great opportunity for students to branch out beyond traditional news stories.

Kara Mae Mathis – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)-  There’s one place at LRHS that I can always count on to be a happy, positive place filled with welcoming smiles…room 563.  That’s where you can find Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teacher Melissa Koehlinger’s peer counseling class.

I volunteer there because I enjoy working with kids who are eager to learn and grow in their education. It is extremely rewarding to help out and have a good laugh while doing it.

I always look forward to seeing and mentoring the kids. Ashlee, she always wears a bow in her hair and shares with everyone. Bain loves to race around class and has a contagious laugh. Jim is so smart and is super athletic. David is so kind-hearted and loves to listen to his music. Alicja is always giving compliments and loves to talk about Naruto.

Jessie likes to have her hair done by the peer counselors and is an expert at puzzles. Haleigh, she wears the cutest outfits and has a gorgeous smile. Sebastian is a great person to talk to and loves his rabbits. Christina, she is so kind and is just a total sweetheart.

Mrs. “K” is amazing because she is such a great role model for all of us. She has an amazing bond with every single kid and makes the class such an amazing place. Along with Mrs. K there is Mrs. Sheri (Sheri Haber), the teacher aide. She also has great relationships with every kid in the class. Both of them work exceptionally hard to make the classroom a great learning environment.

Working there I’ve learned so much. Every student in the class has such a positive attitude, although there are some days where they might feel down, they brush it off and spread a smile across their face.

Working with these remarkable students has helped me realize that stressing out and worrying about silly things is not worth it.  I have learned patience and understanding. I have a learned to embrace the things that are unique about me and accept that it is okay to be different than those around you.

The kids have also taught me to always think positive and realize that the world is a wonderful place no matter what is going on. I notice all the small things and appreciate them, rather than focus on the bigger, more distracting picture. I feel very fortunate that I have gotten to work with these amazing students for two years and learn many new things along the way.