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Watercolor Purge

This Summer required extra Weekend Therapy to unpack everything we went through the last two years. When it started, I was still feeling floored that we had shut down the year prior, let alone the ups and downs of the most recent school year.

My summer friend on 35 mm

So I took pictures, traveled a bit, walked around aimlessly, rode my bike, binged TV, obsessed over listened to true crime podcasts, hung out with the kids, talked to my counselor, and watercolored. I think it accomplished the goal of coming to terms with all of the transitions, and I felt ready to finally start to hope and plan for the year ahead…however unpredictable it might prove to be.

My own counselor is helping me realize that we often think of self-care like we can put rest in some reserve for later when our lives explode again. But alas, it’s not so easy! Self- care is an ongoing process, and in the down-time of summer I’m learning to use my energy to process the past, and develop sustainable self-care habits for the busy future.

Anywho, at the end of the day (or summer) I have a cautiously optimistic readiness for the school year and a big ol’ pile of photographic and art prints! I went the summer taking pictures of my watercolors and then gifting them to people who will find them meaningful. And after ordering some magical giclee prints, I’ve decided to motivate my self- care practice by starting to sell them!

It all started with this first illustration of a book store near my cousin’s house in Columbus. She started out our summer with her beautiful neighborhood!

More to come on this if I can ever for the life of me figure out the interwebs, but if the site looks a little different it will be a sign I’ve figured it out!

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Collage Self-Care

Mini collages based on our Legitimate Rights…

Legitimate Rights, Marsha Linehan in DBT Therapy:

  1. You have a right to need things from others.
  2. You have a right to put yourself first sometimes.
  3. You have a right to feel and express your emotions or your pain.
  4. You have a right to be the final judge of your beliefs and accept them as legitimate.
  5. You have the right to your opinions and convictions.
  6. You have the right to your experience – even if it’s different from that of other people.
  7. You have a right to protest any treatment or criticism that feels bad to you.
  8. You have a right to negotiate for change.
  9. You have a right to ask for help, emotional support, or anything else you need (even though you may not always
    get it).
  10. You have a right to say no; saying no doesn’t make you bad or selfish.
  11. You have a right not to justify yourself to others.
  12. You have a right not to take responsibility for someone else’s problem.
  13. You have a right to choose not to respond to a situation.
  14. You have a right, sometimes, to inconvenience or disappoint others.
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My book?! My book!

Got to come home from work to this beauty!!! So exciting, and can’t wait to connect with educators that find it helpful! 😍😍😍 Thank you Free Spirit Publishing for making a dream come true!

Get yours here: https://www.freespirit.com/teaching-strategies-and-professional-development/responding-to-student-trauma-stephanie-filio#reviews

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Free SEL Lesson!

Check out my latest post with Free Spirit Publishing for a lesson you can use with your kids (or staff!) to combat trauma response and learn self-care! ❤️

Responding to Trauma in Students—and Yourself

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Adjustments

As we await news of what our school year will look like, many people have weighed in on the great debate about how to best keep kids mentally and physically safe.

I don’t know what the answer is.

What I do know is that when we do get to go back to our daily grind outside of the home, in my house, there is one population that will suffer the greatest: our already spoiled pups that are now on a new level of rotten!

I had the audacity of trying to get her out of bed this morning to make the bed.
He’s literally at my feet crying right now because I stopped rubbing his back with my heel…like I had been for at least the past hour.
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Linocut Therapy

I’m participating in my second linocut print exchange! This one is inspired by a student from a couple of years ago. The title is 8th Grader, and I drew an image of her that haunts my mind often.


She would sleep on my office couch during times when her home was particularly unsettled. She had more life experience than me and taught me a lot about struggles that had previously felt so far away from my world- intense familial drug use at young ages, assault, generational prostitution, addiction, abuse, and the many things a family will go through to get by. I have unfortunately had many students who live in crisis, but her situation was a different universe of normalized trauma. She never disclosed these circumstances as complaints, they were peppered throughout our everyday communication. It was no different from other students who stop in daily to tell me about their relationship.


She disappeared to Florida, had said she would be fine once she could secure a financial set-up like her mom and the trucker. I think about her almost daily still. I miss being able to put eyes on my students to see that they’re still safe, or still there.

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Slow Start

I HAVE FOUR MORE DAYS OF SUMMER

Yep. Four more days. What a Summer it has been. We have had some serious changes this Summer in my family, some super sad and some exciting. It always seems to happen that way that the Summer is so seldom a slow burn. I can’t decide which way I like more. But I am ready to head back.

The crazyiness will begin soon, as I step into a new school. After my babies left for High School I’ve decided to take the leap and start a new adventure. As sad as I am to say goodbye to my old school, I am really excited to get my hands into a new place, new population, and forge new friendships. I get so much inspiration from the people around me, sometimes I think they get fatigued from my harassment! So now it’s time to give someone else a turn.

To prep for returning, I started reading The Balanced Teacher Path which has really helped me get into the mood to set my mind right, and remember to support the teachers on my hallway. It’s such an easy read, contains personal stories, and suggestions for the classroom and home. I seriously recommend it, and think it would be an amazing all-school read.

I also got to spend today in training with all of the secondary counseling peeps in VB. It was tough to wake up early, but it was so perfect to get me reignited and ready for the year. I am itching to get in, take care of scheduling conflicts, and get the year rolling. It feels so good to be in a profession that excites me enough to get my tail out of yoga pants and into business.

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KIT With GRIT- Thanks to Military

My school is lucky enough to have a school incredibly close to several military bases. We get to see jet formations all day, we have resources to help with mentoring and presence, and we get a divers student body that has seen the world. For Month of the Military Child, our School Counseling team decided that this year we would thank our military students by sponsoring and inviting them all to an after-school military social.

Fun fact? Kids don’t know what K.I.T. Stands for anymore, but they came up with some good and interesting guesses. Noted. Anyways, we got about a quarter of our invited students to participate (which is a ton), and I think the chaperones may have had just as much fun as the kids!

I found some of the ancient maps that used to hang in classrooms, and we used one for students to sign in and write all of the places they have lived in.

We also did a chalk-walk, where students decorated our bus loop with inclusive and military inspired messages, to greet other students when they walked in the net day. These activities, coupled with music, ping-pong tables, freebies, and (most importantly) ice-cream made for the perfect afternoon! The only criticism we received from he students was that we had waited so long to provide such fun.

Did your school celebrate Month of the Military Child?