‘ABC Crayons to College’ lessons teach soft skills to students at Hamilton K-8

Lauren Egbert, first-year counselor at Hamilton K-8 School of Hemet Unified School District, teaches students how to improve their “baditude” during her monthly lesson “ABC Crayons to College,” which teaches soft skills like maintaining a positive attitude in the face of disagreeable situations. Courtesy photo

HEMET –Lauren Egbert, a counselor at Hamilton K-8 School of Hemet Unified School District, is determined to set the campus’ students up for success. In an effort to ensure all graduating students are college and career ready, Egbert has implemented a new lesson plan for students called “ABC Crayons to College.” The lesson plan uses the alphabet to focus on one word per month to help students develop soft skills that are often overlooked.

The word for September is attitude. Egbert noticed when she asked students what attitude means, students associated it with a negative term. Instead, she explained what it means to have a good attitude and how a good attitude can change behavior. Next, students participated in an activity to better understand the soft skill.

Egbert connected each month’s word with a book, and this month’s book is “Baditude” by Julia Cook. “Baditude” tells the story of Noodle, a boy who learns how to turn his bad attitude into gratitude when life isn’t going the way he wants. In the book, Noodle learns how to turn the things he has to do into things that he gets to do. This improved mindset allowed him to see the positive aspects in all situations and learn to overcome his bad moods.

After reading the book, students wrote down things that they have to do that they don’t necessarily like doing. Each student wrote down three things they have to do, and Egbert encouraged them to turn those negatives into a positive. Egbert said she was impressed with students’ responses. For example, one student wrote that she didn’t like cleaning her room, but she explained that the room smelled better and she was able to find things easier when it was clean.

“Students have been responding very well to this lesson,” Egbert said.

She said students come up to her on campus and chant the mantra, “Change your baditude into gratitude.” Egbert said she is excited to continue the lessons surrounding soft skills and to engage all the students on campus.

Egbert, a first-year counselor and West Valley High School graduate, said it is important for the students on campus to know that she is there to support them through their educational journey.

“I came back to Hemet Unified because my love for education and helping others started and flourished in this community,” she said. “I want to give back to a community that had given so much to me.”

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