Mr. Harris' Blog

Welcome... I hope this blog can be useful, particularly to parents and the community, as another way to stay connected to what's going on around McNair. Find out more about McNair school counseling by clicking around the blog or reading my program brochure. Students can use my "Mr. Harris Please Help" form to let me know they need to chat. Please browse around and contact me ( if you just cannot find what you're looking for! It's my pleasure to serve McNair and the community.

Child just needs more help?

Here are a couple options for therapy at no charge:
- Family Solutions for Kids offers a great variety of services to meet the needs of children and their families including therapy and psychiatric services (brochure).
- Community Psychological Service (at UMSL) offers therapy for children & families for a variety of concerns. Psychological evaluation is also offered.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Works like Magic?!

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12Over the past year, I have found myself more deeply considering effective discipline.  Part of what led me to this was my almost two year old daughter who has much "passion"!  In my search, I stumbled on a system called 1-2-3 Magic (website) Apparently it's been around for many years and they say it works well for children 2-12 years old.  Well, needless to say, we've begun using it at home and there does seem to be a bit of "magic" to it.  I think the real magic though, is how it teaches us adults to change our own emotional response to misbehavior, which sometimes makes matters worse.

In the spring of last school year, I started thinking about how we might be able to apply the principles of the 1-2-3 Magic program at McNair and what might happen if teachers had access to it as a simple tool for more easily stopping behaviors.  As a part of our staff training before school this year, I had the opportunity to share it with our staff.

UPDATE: 1-2-3 Magic will be the topic of our parent night scheduled for Thursday, October 27, 2011 6:30-7:30.  Come get an overview of how to begin using this with your children.  Please RSVP via email to

Consistent Expectations- "The Matrix"

For the past few years, McNair has been a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports) school.  This means that we're working intentionally on teaching and reinforcing student and staff positive behaviors.  One of the assumptions we continue to make is that students need specific teaching and re-teaching of expectations.  One of the leading causes of mis-steps in student behavior are "learning errors".  To aid in keeping our expectations among staff and students, we developed and continue to update "The Matrix".

Here's to a great start to the '11-'12 school year!

Well, we're almost through the first week of school and from what I can tell, this year looks to be shaping up as a good one! Students are teachers are establishing routines and building a foundation for the successful learning that will take place this school year. Lots of smiles and excitement. As for me, I'm planning to make rounds through the classrooms next week re-introduce myself to students, explaining what the counselor does and how they can seek assistance. As for parents, if you are looking for more information on what the school counselor does, I've published a new school counselor brochure which includes a referral slip.