“It helps me teach my students kindness and confidence.”
By Kristin Clark Taylor
You know how some people seem to exude excellence and enthusiasm with simply the sound of their voice?
BriJea Colvin, a counselor at Rose Valley Elementary in Fort Washington, Maryland, is one of them. Her energy zings, zaps, and zipwires across the airwaves as we speak on the phone. The power of her presence is palpable.
The reason for Colvin’s enthusiasm is two-fold – and the sound of that double-edged enthusiasm is as rich and resonant as a ringing bell. Colvin is clearly enthusiastic about being an elementary school counselor. She loves her students and she appreciates the counseling tools she has at her disposal that allow her to reach and teach her students in the most effective way possible – which leads us directly to the second source of enthusiasm: QuaverReady.
“Our music department already had Quaver, so I already knew what a great resource it was,” she says. “So when we were selected as a pilot school [for the QuaverReady curriculum], I was excited about jumping into it right away!”
And jump she did.
“I love the lessons. I love that it’s so easy to navigate. I love the worksheets that go along with the lessons. I love its interactivity and the way it engages my students. I love that the songs make my students feel so good about themselves and each other.”
That’s a whole bunch of love.
But believe it or not, there’s even more.
Colvin says that having QuaverReady has allowed her to change her entire curriculum: The ease of use and the rich resources allow her to focus on developing deeper, more sustained relationships with her students in a way that highlights and nurtures her own counseling skills.
And the fact that the curriculum adheres to closely to the CASEL competencies is yet another benefit. As a counselor, Colvin is intimately familiar with the various layers of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and she says QuaverReady explores each one of these layers with thoughtful intention.
“SEL is about developing problem-solving skills, decision-making and listening skills, teamwork, and coming to understand and manage emotions,” she says. “I know that [this resource] will focus on every one of these things and more – for whatever grades I want to teach.”
Here are some highlights of the QuaverReady resources:
When it comes to instilling self-confidence and self-awareness in her students, Colvin claims one song in particular helps get the job done.
“’You-Nique’ is everybody’s favorite!” she exclaims. “It’s a song that makes everybody just feel good about themselves.”
“What I like about the song, especially as a school counselor, is that the lyrics let each student find happiness in themselves – and it reminds them that they are enough!” she says with gratitude.
“Everyone is different. Everyone is beautiful. This song really spoke to me during the pandemic – it spoke to all of us, really – when we were all going through such a difficult time.”
A Culture of Caring
Colvin says that as a school counselor, she wears many hats. Lesson planning is an important part of her job, but it can also be time-consuming.
Having QuaverReady close at hand, BriJea says, “definitely helps with time management,” she says. “It allows me to spend time caring for and interacting with my students, devoting attention to them that they really need and deserve. So, in addition to the great content, there’s this added benefit of letting me manage my time in a way that allows me to be the best counselor I can possibly be.”
Colvin reflects on the growth and maturation she’s seen in her students since bringing on QuaverReady:
“They’re learning how to interact with and respect each other,” she says with gratitude.
“I am able to see that growth with my own eyes. When they come to me now with certain problems, I can see that they are developing the skills to work through some of these issues on their own. They have the tools.”
With QuaverReady, maturation happens. Hearts, lives, and minds expand. The development of the whole, healthy child unfolds.
Combine all of this with compassionate counselors like BriJea Colvin, and you’ve created a culture of caring, where everyone benefits.
Call it a win-win, all the way around.
Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.
For more information about QuaverReady go to www.quavered.com/ready.