Tonya Balch

Dr. Tonya Balch is a professor in the Department of Applied Clinical and Educational Sciences in the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University and has been the program coordinator for the School Counseling M.Ed. program for 15 years. She is passionate about ensuring excellence in graduate programming and providing authentic experiences in practice.
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Building Great Mental Health Professional-Teacher Teams

Categories: Authors

Teaching is no doubt a daunting task. Teachers need to regularly ask themselves, “Does serving my students on a daily basis energize or exhaust me?”  If the latter, your professional situation may not be sustainable, leading to dissatisfaction and decreased morale, and the potential for leaving the profession altogether (Garcia and Weiss 2019). Whether exhausted or energized, teachers who team with their building’s mental health professionals best ensure a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning with maximum capacity to best support student success. Read more

Addressing the Whole Child with a Team Approach

Addressing the Whole Child with a Team Approach

Categories: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Based on Building Great Mental Health Professional–Teacher Teams

Education is clearly in an era of rapid change, with many pressures bearing down on the teaching and learning environment—from student and family challenges to the need for continuous improvement while addressing the whole child. 

This can be daunting, if not exhausting, for educators. In fact, many educators did not receive the pre-service training to address these complex and often competing pressures. Other educators may have access to quality professional development related to whole-child issues but have not been able to successfully translate these new learnings into new classroom skills or dispositions.  Read more

Bully-Free Zone

How do I, as a school board member, work on preventing bullying at school?

Categories: Authors

Based on Building Great School Counselor–Administrator Teams

Students being bullied at school is not a new phenomenon. With the developments in technology, cyberbullying has become another form of bullying that impacts students. However, bullying is commonly confused with other types of conflict. defines both bullying and cyberbullying:

    • Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
    • Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation.

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