School Counsellors play a vital role in the education system, helping students with everything from academic concerns to mental health issues. However, with the ever-increasing student population, it can be challenging to keep up with… More
- Centre for Clinical Interventions for Clinicians.
- Resources for Alberta Psychologists and a few other resources that will help a Psychologist no matter where you are.
- Resilience Articles Meichenbaum.
- Child and Youth Mental Health Toolkits .
- Psychology fact sheets Canadian Psychological Association.
- Psychology Tools.
- Psychologists Association of Alberta Resources.
- American Psychological Association Resources for Psychologists.
- Between Sessions Ideas to use with clients
- Impact Therapy is a form of therapy that combines creative counseling techniques and certain counseling theories.learn more at Impact Therapy.
Every now and then I come across something truly meaningful and useful that I think will help others. Today a friend of mine shared these words with me by a close relative of hers. Like many of you , I know and love someone with bipolar disorder. I am hoping by sharing his story (which I have permission to do so), it will help you too.
_________’s Story … it may be yours
A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, previously referred to as manic depression. Never in my life would I have expected to be diagnosed with bipolar, yet at the same time it made so much sense to me and helped me to better understand myself, my past and my current emotions/actions on a deeper level.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that approximately 4.4 % of US adults have bipolar disorder. and 1% of Canadians meet the criteria for bipolar disorder. Knowing these stats may be helpful for some who feel alone.
Growing up I felt like there was a stigma around bipolar disorder, at least for me personally there was. I was no stranger to friends and family who struggled with depression, anxiety, ADHD and other mental illnesses. However, if you had asked the juvenile me to picture a person with bipolar disorder, I probably would have pictured a crazy person. A literal maniac, someone who would need to be permanently hospitalized or sheltered from society.
I consider myself to be a fairly high functioning individual. I am blessed to have attended an excellent high school and university, played sports in my youth. I have great career, lots of friends and a beautiful family.
Thus given my biased lack of understanding for the disorder and positive perception of myself, I never expected to be diagnosed with bipolar.
What is bipolar disorder? Here is what the Mood Disorders Society of Canada has to say about the symptoms.
Knowing I had some of these symptoms and have been diagnosed with bipolar, I thought I would share what a week in my life may look like, understanding full well yours may be different.
Here is a week in my life with bipolar disorder. I don’t pretend to know what it is like for everyone else who experiences bipolar, but here is what it is like for me.
Hypomania: One week I feel on top of the world. I am energized, extroverted, and may be overconfident. My creative juices are flowing. I have more ideas than I know what to do with. I may feel like I could go all day without eating or I feel I can work all night without sleep.
During this time, I am Mr. Social and in a networking mode. Lots of my friends come to mind and I feel the need to reach out to reconnect, call or catch up with them. I find myself multi-tasking and may be more prone to be distracted. Perhaps it feels like I have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That being said after getting distracted, I get back on task quickly and tend to be very productive. I find myself setting lots of ambitious goals in this energized state. I am more optimistic and decisive. I am less sensitive to spending money and may be more open to making purchases and investments. I find myself extra assertive and unfiltered in my communications. I may be more prone to agitation or being argumentative.
Depression: The following week I seem to crash from my high energy state into a state of depression. I feel lethargic. It’s tougher to get out of bed in the morning and I am more tired and calm throughout the day.
My confidence is gone and some imposter syndrome may begin to creep in. I am more timid and soft spoken. I withdraw from others and seek to be alone. It feels like I can only concentrate on one task at a time, yet I find myself getting lost within my own thoughts. I find myself thinking about the past and my mistakes. Life feels like it is moving in slow motion for me while everyone else is on double speed. I may feel socially awkward. I am introverted and tend to overthink things. I may be overly apologetic and am hypersensitive to the emotions of those around me. I worry about money/budget and find myself being ultra conservative when it comes to spending or investing.
The cycle repeats.
I am hoping some of you may relate to my experiences . Knowing each of us is unique, it is best to seek medical and psychological intervention when getting any diagnosis.
Coping skills are vital , so I’d like to share some that work for me.
- Sleep: 7-8 hours is the sweet spot for me. If I am not getting proper rest , all my other coping mechanisms seem to be in vain. Sometimes this means taking melatonin to help my mind relax and go to sleep. What works for you is between you and your health care professional.
- Medication /Psychiatric treatment: Meeting with a Psychiatrist on a regular basis to assess my mental/emotional health is important. Having them monitor my specific needs for medication as needed.
- Exercise:Exercise helps me relieve some of my excess energy when i am in a hypomanic state and to feel more accomplished . When i am in a depressed state it balances me out.
- Journaling: Putting my thoughts to paper helps me become more aware and mangae my well being.. Hypomania can be a great time to set goals for me. A minor depression can be a great time for reflection and cultivating humility.
- Counselling/ Psychology: Being open with my family members about my emotions and checking in with a professional counsellor can also be very helpful.
- Music: Wholesome positive music such as classical music can help me when i am depressed or calm me down when i am hypomanic.Positive music without words can also hel me when i need to study or work.
- Diet:I tend to be more balanced when i eat healthy. For example, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats , whole grains, nuts. legumes, fish. poultry. eggs and lots of water. many mental health professionals advise avoiding caffeine, sugar and junk food. It’s worthy asking your health care professional what is best for you.
- Outdoors:I find that I feel better when i get outdoors. Some fresh air , sunshine and blue sky seem to do wonders for my mental health and mood. The ocean and outdoor swimming are also a favourite of mine.
- Planning/goal setting: Planning and goal setting help me reel in my energy when i feel hypomanic. Executing on plans/goals even in the little things helps me to feel accomplished and stay motivated when i am depresssed.
- Routine/ Schedule. A regular routine is also very helpful for me. For example, waking up and going to bed at the same time each day, eating meals and exercising around the same time, consistent work hours, etc. a tidy/organized home and work environment also help me focus and be happy.
- Meditation / Prayer meditation and prayer help calm me and sleep better, especially when I am focused on gratitude and positivity.
- Recreation: A little recreation on a regular basis helps me to relax, enjoy life and be more happy.
I hope you find coping skills that work for you. It is my hope that someone is helped by my words and for those of you who don’t have a mental health disorder , that you will gain a clearer perspective while developing empathy and understanding.for others with a mental illness. At the end of the day, I am grateful for the experiences I have had with depression and bipolar. I am glad God made me the way I am and would not have things any other way. These experiences have been tough at times, but have also been interesting and have helped me have much more empathy and compassion for others.
As a psychologist I am privileged to listen to the story of others and this story is one that I believe could definitely help others, so I am thankful to ____ for allowing me to share.
For those of you in Calgary here are some resources that may assist you:
Mood Disorders Program
Resources for those 18 plus in Calgary Mental Health resources and supports
1. I will face the school year with strength and demonstrate my leadership skills. I will lead from my heart with courage.
2. I will bring my best to school each day helping as many students as possible, wherever and whenever possible.
3. I will live just for today helping students while taking care of myself.
4. I will radiate confidence, strength and hope in all I do.
5. I will be brave and model bravery for my students and staff.
6. I will practice being grateful each day as I enter the school building or my workplace wherever that may be.
7. I will look at all the possibilities and opportunities this time offers me.
8. I will open my heart to the staff and students I work with focusing on their strengths.
9. I will celebrate all that is right in my school and in the world.
10. In my words, actions and deeds, I will let go of fears and embrace love, joy and hope. I know that being a School Counsellor is what I am meant to do and be.
“Education is inherently an enterprise of openness and sharing and generosity.”
– David Wiley
Sarah Weston – Director of Instruction & Technology – Mountain Heights Academy
License: Mountain Heights Academy: Sarah Weston Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Adapted by Susan Spellman Cann @sspellman cann
- Curriki includes thousands of OER materials vetted by educators and searchable by subject, grade level, and learning standard.
- EDSITEment features OER materials for the humanities.
- Edmodo.com use the spotlight feature
- Gooru.org lesson plans and more. You can find full courses that can be downloaded.
- OER Commons includes a vast collection of OER materials searchable by subject, grade level, and learning standard.
- ShareMyLesson includes a host of “open” lesson plans.
- Smithsonian Learning Lab features more than a million images, recordings, and texts that can be reused, shared, or adapted.
- K- 12 teaching and learning
Open Educational Resources publishing an open textbook
OER How To Courses
- Copyright for Educators Course
- Get CC Savvy Course
- How to Use Open Educational Resources Course
- Open Detective Course
- OpenWashington OER Course
OER Content Resources
- CTE Online
- Digital Public Library of America
- Eureka Math
- Georgia Virtual Learning
- Louisiana Believes
- National Science Digital Library
- NROC Hippocampus
- OER Commons
- OER Commons Network Hubs
- Open Minnesota
- OpenUp Resources
- Science NetLinks
- WA Open Course Library
OER Building Resources
- Google Classrooms
- K12 Collaborative Open Up Resources
- OER Commons Lesson Builder
- Online Learning Survey Infographic on OER
- Open Attribution Builder
Other OER Resources
- Algebrahelp.com is a collection of lessons, calculators, and worksheets created to assist students and teachers of algebra. Algebra Help – Calculators, Lessons, and Worksheets
- BrainNook is a new online game that helps kids develop Math and English skills while exploring the Earth and playing safely with others. brain nook
- Calculus: A Comedy, is an awesome post from a great teacher and blogger, Shawn Cornally.Shawn Cornally
- Construction of a Golden Rectangle using SketchUp digital photography
- Digital Photography Resource Digital photography
- Estimation 180 daily estimation challenges
- GeoGebra is a resource for teachers GeoGebra has loads of lessons and sample videos using GeoGebra.
- Glean search for quality math and science videos on this site.
- Graphing Calculator Desmos graphing calculator
- Illuminations is designed to provide standards-based resources that improve the teaching and learning of mathematics NCTM illuminations
- Math games, lessons, practice, puzzles, books (Geometry, algebra, pre-calculus) Cool Math
- Math nrich Lots and lots of math resources from this publisher’s site (many middle and elementary resources as well)
- Math Munch an amazing blog with new math connections, ideas, and activities daily. Inspiring love of math.
- MPCC: Math Open Minnesota Math Course Collection
- Mathematics Vision Project (MVP) Mathematics Vision Project
- NLVM The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) is an NSF supported project with web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials, mostly in the form of Java applets, for mathematics instruction (K-12 emphasis).
- SketchUp Sketchup
- The Federal Government produces an immeasurable amount of data each day. DataMasher helps citizens have a little fun with that data by creating mashups to visualize them in different ways and see how states compare on important issues. Agen SBOBET
- Visual Patterns What is the next step? Here’s step 43…what is the equation?
- Would You Rather? “Would you Rather?” daily math challenges…usually money related.
- A teacher’s guide to genius This educator version of an otherwise possibly inappropriate site may be more higher-ed appropriate…but the ability to annotate texts digitally, including already hyper annotated texts like Shakespeare’s plays and The Great Gatsby are worth checking out, if only as a teacher resource!
- Become a writer with Storybird Storybird Example: the power of friendship
- Breaking News English is a free current events based lesson builder. New lesson every three days. All lessons are based on stories currently in the news – as the world’s news breaks, teach it.Breaking News English
- Book track classroom listen to or create the soundtrack for your favorite books!
- Create tag clouds Word Art Tagul
- Dictionary, word of the day, etc .Merriam Webster
- eeiioo Very highly rated grammar app with a modern diagramming feel.
- Fluency Tutor many leveled passages, students record and download. Teachers can then complete running records from recordings. Free for basic functions. Premium includes online analytics and online running record support.
- Get a single word and 59 seconds to free write...quick and creative? http://oneword.com/
- Google trips Literature resource using Google Maps: google trips
- Great site for emphasizing detail and complex sentences. Create expanding sentences: http://www.telescopictext.org/write/ and see a sample of a finished product here:Telescopic Text
- Hemingway Editor Amazing writing review program…have students review their work here first?
- Level It Books scans a book’s ISBN number and gets the reading/lexile level.
- Loyal Books makes the world’s public domain audiobooks available for browsing in a visual and entertaining way./Loyal Books
- Multi Language dictionary Elovivo
- Primary Source Sets | DPLA Primary source sets from the Digital Public Library of America. Super resources curated by literary work, date, topic, and more.
- The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.Poetry Foundation
- VoiceThread Voice Thread
- Word Tamer Word Tamer for developing creative writing
- Writing Workshop on Persuasive Writing teaching tools
- Atlapedia Online contains full color physical maps, political maps as well as key facts and statistics on countries of the world. Atlapedia Online
- American Battlefield Trust from a rather generic looking opening page, dig deeper to find free BattleApps for your iphone or android device, 4 minute videos on specific topics (in4), animated maps and more.
- Ancient Egypt reference from The British Museum Ancient Egypt
- Awesome Stories is a gathering place of primary-source information. Its purpose is to help educators and individuals find original sources, located at national archives, libraries, universities, museums, historical societies and government-created web sites. Awesome Stories
- Bomb Sight an amazing view of the Blitzkrieg in London.
- Digital Vaults Create a movie or poster using the National Archives Digital Vaults.
- DPLA Primary Source Sets | DPLA Primary source sets from the Digital Public Library of America. Super resources curated by date, topic, and more.
- Earth Cam provides webcam content, technology and services EarthCam
- Games, videos, animals & pets, photos, countriesNational Geographic Kids
- Google Arts & Culture The Google Cultural Institute includes amazing exhibits from museums re: history, art, and world wonders. Teacher tools are available.
- Hip Hughes History includes brief, fun, explanatory vids re: government, us history, world history, civics and more. Hughes History Youtube Check the 30 second bill of rights here: The Bill of Rights — How to Remember the Amendments in 30 Seconds
- History Animated History Animated: excellent narrated, animated maps and vids.
- Ken Burns (PBS) Ken Burns PBS
- Measuring Worth lots of economic tools and resources on comparing the worth of a dollar or pound (or a few other currencies) over extended periods of time, as well as many other tools and data sets.
- Mission US Mission US…a story-based interactive game about various aspects of US history.
- Overlap Maps overlay a country, state, or body of water over another to compare sizes.
- OER Project
- PBS Teachers PBS learning media
- The Library of Congress American Memory
- The Library of Congress Library of Congress
- The National Archives – DocsTeach DocsTeach
- An online, interactive Periodic Table of Elements Chemical Elements
- Another Periodic Table Ptable
- Biology Pop amazing resources for biology teachers.
- ClassroomEarth is an online resource designed to help high school teachers include environmental content in their daily lesson plans.Classroom Earth
- Computer animations of physical processes Physics Animations
- CyberSurgeons simulation provides an authentic way for high school and college students to apply science knowledge and skills.Cyber Surgeons
- EarthSky has science interviews and other audio and video content available via both broadcast and Internet outlets.EarthSky
- Edufy provides a free platform to find, share, and edit high quality learning activities shared by other teachers with a focus on STEM education.Edufy
- eSkeletons Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.
- Glean search for quality math and science videos on this site.
- Human Biodigital interactive, 3D anatomy tool with great graphics
- JVSC Japanese Science and Technology Center includes some incredible video lessons in several areas, including the “Mind Lab” on perception, the “Earth Guide” regarding planetary science and geography, and “The Human Genome.”
- Knotebooks provides users with the tools to create, collaborate on and share customized, self-guided physics lessons. Knotebooks
- MIT A Slower Speed of Light – MIT Game Lab MIT online physics game which illustrates conceptually challenging physics and math concepts.
- Nanospace Molecularium The Molecularium: view, learn, and play with many different activities, molecular explorations, and more.
- NASA Kids Club NASA kids club games
- Nature Lab Conservation game and many other resources from the Nature Conservancy
- Rocket Science 101 (also apple and android apps available) NASA external flash
- Scientific Research Publishing Scientific Research: amazing resource for vetted research and access to many journals. Robust Android and Apple apps are also available.
- Shatters The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Shatters
- Smithsonian Science Education Center | Smithsonian Science Education Center (great interactivities and more!)
- Stellarium Full-featured astronomy application for all platforms – MacOS, Windows, Linus, plus mobile devices
- What is fat? – George Zaidan | TED-Ed Ted Ed lesson: What is Fat?
- Who Pooped Funny but surprisingly informational game about scat…”On the Farm”, or “In Africa.”
- Youtube The Periodic Table of Videos Periodic Videos provides amazing slow motion science videos, and many other unique YouTube located chemistry resources.
ELL and World Languages
- MWS “My Words” has several facets including vocabulary study, text-to-speech, and other ELL focused tools.
- Phrasal Verbs Itunes and Google Play Store for PhrasalStein, a game all about learning phrasal verbs.
- Study Stream (instremia beta)
Music and Art
- Art Pad
- Creating Music
- Google Arts & Culture The Google Cultural Institute includes amazing exhibits from museums re: history, art, and world wonders. Teacher tools are available. (http://www.googleartproject.com)
- MET Read Online and Download – MetPublications – The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website is a great resource, but this link goes directly to the 390 art history texts which are readable online as well as downloadable and searchable.
- NEH edsitement
- Perfect Pitch The Kennedy Center’s Arts Edge created the Perfect Pitch game, with a focus on musical eras, instruments, and orchestral composition.
- Soundtrap record, share, and mix music with your friends.
- Student Interactives 7-12 Student Interactives
- CTE Gateway :: California Educators Together CTE Online has resources for myriad CTE courses (fashion design, woodworking, IT, Foods), hundreds of Model CTE Online STEM Integrated and PBL Projects
- Digital Lessons & Curriculum – Applied Digital Skills – Google for education offers many applied digital skills lessons using their technology tools that are mostly released under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
High School and College level
- Book on pressbooks Teaching In A Digital World 3rd edition
- CosmoLearning has tons of courses, vids, images, units and more, all available online for free Cosmo Learning
- Connexions open source content chunks for HS and college courses.CNX
- Merlot, open source content resources, geared to university level courses. Could easily be used by higher level HS courses. MERLOT
- MIT Open Courseware for High School MIT high school
- MOOCS Coursera: Coursera , edX: EDX moocs Udacity: Udacity, Udemy: Udemy
- Open Courseware Consortium. Another open source course resource. Again geared to College/upper high school.OCW
- OpenLearn is the Open University…free college level courses Open Learning
- Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University: Independent Learning Course
- Open Source College Textbooks.Open textbooks
- OpenStax resource for open source college level textbooks
- Open Yale courses Open Yale Courses
- P2PU College level course content P2PU
- Saylor Academy has free and open college level courses.
- Tufts Open Courseware Tufts
Middle /High School
- CK-12 CK-12 Foundation: Exceptionally well organized and usable. Free standards-aligned and customizable educational resources. This non-profit foundation is an amazing place to start your search for open source content.
- Curriki has f2f and online lessons and lesson plans for k-12 Curriki
- Debategraph: visual maps on nearly any debate topic. Public, constantly growing perspectives on hundreds of topics.Debate Graph
- Discovery Streaming: Discovery Channel content available online.Discovery ed
- Khan Academy has a VAST collection of video lessons, practice sessions, and review activities covering math from basic addition to advanced calculus. Also includes some additional subjects.Khan Academy
- Open Culture has just a ton of material (courses, books, movies, lessons) that is freely available for educators 1700 free online courses
- Opened IO catalog of educational videos, games, and assessments that you can browse by topic, grade level, or Common Core standard.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education Standards Aligned System Portal: Karpeles documents with e-reader, lessons, PhET simulations, and much more, aligned to the PA Common Core standardsStandards Aligned System
- ABCYa.com Educational Computer Games for kids. Amazing volume of resources for each grade level, in multiple subjects. Don’t miss the animation program!ABC ya
- Audio and video storybooks, activities, karaoke, and much, much more for elementary students. Learn with Homer
- Curriki has f2f and online lesson plans for k-12 Curriki
- FluencyTutor many leveled passages, students record and download. Teachers can then complete running records from recordings. Free for basic functions. Premium includes online analytics and online running record support.
- K-2 Student Interactives – UEN and 3-6 interactives Utah Education Network: lots and lots of resources and interactives.
- Kinetic City from the American Association for the Advancement of Science provides games, activities, challenges geared to elementary students.Kinetic City
- Opened IO catalog of educational videos, games, and assessments that you can browse by topic, grade level, or Common Core standard.
- Planet Nutshell Short video resources in Math, Science, Net Safety, and more. For Teachers – Planet Nutshell
- Teacher LED Whiteboard/ipad resources for elementary and middle school. Mostly math. Some primary letter/number material.Teacher led
200 Educational Resources
- 200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites… | Open Culture Open Culture list of free ebooks, videos and much much more. Will take some curation time, but a good starting point.
Determining if a Resource is OER, Creative Commons Licensed, or Public Domain
- Look for the Creative Commons button somewhere on the page,
- Look for a link to the Creative Commons website in the page’s source code (in Firefox do CTRL-U to show the source code and CTRL-F to bring up the “find” dialog – you’re looking for a link that includes the creative commons domain and the phrase ‘rel=”license”‘), or
- If worst comes to worst, find contact info for the author and email them to ask about how the content is licensed
- Use the Public Domain Calculator to determine if a piece of work is in the Public Domain
Please be aware that if no copyright information is given on a resource, it is still copyrighted. You cannot cut/paste/copy material from websites and use it on our courses unless it is OER, Creative Commons licensed, Public Domain. If a resource is copyrighted, you can always link to it. Linking externally to materials does not violate copyright.
All current CC licenses require that you attribute the original author(s). If the copyright holder has not specified any particular way to attribute them, this does not mean that you do not have to give attribution. It simply means that you will have to give attribution to the best of your ability with the information you do have. Generally speaking, this implies five things:
- If the work itself contains any copyright notices placed there by the copyright holder, you must leave those notices intact, or reproduce them in a way that is reasonable to the medium in which you are re-publishing the work.
- Cite the author’s name, screen name, user identification, etc. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice to link that name to the person’s profile page, if such a page exists.
- Cite the work’s title or name, if such a thing exists. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice to link the name or title directly to the original work.
- Cite the specific CC license the work is under. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice if the license citation links to the license on the CC website.
- If you are making a derivative word or adaptation, in addition to the above, you need to identify that your work is a derivative work i.e., “This is a Finnish translation of the [original work] by [author].” or “Screenplay based on [original work] by [author].”
In the case where a copyright holder does choose to specify the manner of attribution, in addition to the requirement of leaving intact existing copyright notices, they are only able to require certain things. Namely:
- They may require that you attribute the work to a certain name, pseudonym or even an organization of some sort.
- They may require you to associate/provide a certain URL (web address) for the work.
If the resource is in the public domain, please include at attribution at the bottom of the page that specifies the URL the item was pulled from and “Public Domain”
Examples of Attributions
Attribution: Egyptian Architecture Egyptian Architecture – Karen’s Whimsy in the Public Domain
Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous (born Maria-Bernada Sobirós; 7 January 1844 – 16 April 1879), was a miller’s daughter born in Lourdes. From 11 February to 16 July 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of “a small young lady.” Despite initial skepticism from the Catholic Church, these claims were eventually declared to be worthy of belief after a canonical investigation, and the apparition is known as Our Lady of Lourdes.
The Big Idea
The universe has many remarkable qualities, among them a rather beautiful symmetry: the total amount of motion in the universe is constant. This law only makes sense if we measure “motion” in a specific way: as the product of mass and velocity. This product, called momentum, can be transferred from one object to another in a collision. The rapidity with which momentum is exchanged over time is determined by the forces involved in the collision. This is the second of the five fundamental conservation laws in physics. The other four are conservation of energy, angular momentum, charge and CPT. (See Feynman’s Diagrams for an explanation of CPT.)
Key Equations and Definitions
Art has a way of taking you away from all your troubles and worries , so today is just the right day to begin creating.
Creating art can be very therapeutic. You can start simply by creating for 10 minutes a day, or once a week whatever works for you. I love that art allows me to express my emotions and no one else really knows what I am feeling. I create because it feels good in the moment. I let go of my fears of what others think and just do it. Below are a few tips to get you started. If you see any of my art online feel free to use it as inspiration to get you started.
Anything goes, so just start today being creative. Have so much fun. You can use any medium acrylic, watercolor, or oil paints whatever works for you is good enough. if that seems too daunting doodle or cut out pics from magazines and create.
Be like a child and create.
Create, don’t critique yourself.
Don’t give up … Don’t be afraid to try new things … play away.
Experiment with different papers and mediums.
Forget about your worries and create art instead.
Get your space ready to play.
Have a blast.
Imagine all the great things you will create.
Just be yourself and create what makes you happy.
Kindness matters when you start out. Everyone can do art and we all get better with time.
Let go and let it flow.
Mistakes make marvelous art pieces.
Music brings out the creativity in you . Listen while you create.
Practice , Practice, Practice.
Quit saying you can’t … you can!
Relax and let the paint take you away.
Spend time in the moment.
Trust the process.
Understand it takes time to get to where you’d like to be so enjoy every moment.
Visualize what you’d like to create, then do it!
Watch lots of artists’ YouTube videos.
XO from me to you.
You’ve got this!
Zazzy that’s you and so will your art be.
Some think purpose has to be a big thing , but I think it’s all the little things in life. What gives my life meaning today may be different than yesterday. For me I have been so fortunate to work with youth for over forty-three years and for me that gives me great satisfaction and indeed a purpose. But what happens when I stop working with youth?
I believe each day that I help others in some small way is my purpose. It could be helping a stranger , but it can also be doing something nice for those I love. Sometimes we take each of the people in our lives for granted, so maybe it’s time to focus more on them, finding ways to bring joy into their lives. It’s time to make a list of all those people and find purposeful ways to make their day.
I am passionate about so many things , so finding ways to use my creativity and love of life to fill the next chapter in my life with purpose should not be too difficult.
My life has been a series of ups and downs like most of us, so finding ways to lift others up and spread a little hope gives me a raison d’être. I hope you find your purpose today. as it affects our well-being in such a positive way.
Sometimes you see something and you just know you cannot pass this opportunity by. That’s what happened to me as I read a post by my friend Marian on Facebook on Alberta Teachers volunteering with students in Ukraine. I then contacted David who coordinates volunteers for Smart Osvita and have never looked back.Your legacy in life is created by each life you touch. This is one way to connect with youth who are presently living in Ukraine that is meaningful. I could not pass this opportunity by.I hope you too chose to volunteer.
“This opportunity is going to be life changing for those kids, but it will also be life changing for Teachers, and School Counsellors and others who deeply care about youth”
D Falconer adapted by @sspellmancann
A Volunteer Opportunity
If you are interested in volunteering on your own please contact David Falconer (see below) , but if you’d like to co-present with me please contact me at @sspellmancann on twitter
David signed on to a program that gives children who are presently living in Ukraine hour-long virtual lessons where they get to learn about a place in the world, or a topic of interest. The goal is to provide the youth with an hour that they can escape from their worries and focus on their well-being. So fortunately for me I got to present with my co-workers and wellness team Sheila Stacey and Deanne Arada two amazing counsellors who are passionate about making a difference for young people.
Ukrainian children log in to Zoom sessions at whatever location they can, then Falconer , teachers, School Counsellors and others tell them about life where they are and / or present a lesson. Our goal is to make it interactive , provide as much Canadian content as possible while being fun and letting youth escape the worries of the world.
Falconer has had up to 250 people taking part,in his sessions providing Ukrainian children “an hour where they can dream and be totally separated from their current reality.” There are thousands of displaced students needing this support.
Falconer said the lessons being organized are supposed to be educational, but “ultimately, the goal is to have these kids know that people care and indeed that is what we hoped as well. We have completed three sessions and plan on many more and we sincerely hope you do too. Our ultimate goal is to leave them feeling uplifted and hope filled and from their feedback we believe we accomplished this so far.
It is so important to not retraumatize youth providing them with a sense of safety allowing for activities that help them feel truly connected . When planning sessions presenters need to be mindful of this.
For youth who are affected by trauma, the teacher / school counsellor play an even more vital role. Volunteering in this capacity does makes a difference.
What You May Want to Know:
You can do this!!!! It’s fun and a great way to make a meaningful contribution. Feeling powerless like you can’t do anything …well yes YOU CAN, The students so appreciate what you do. They are absolutely amazing. The interpreter is so helpful and positive.You don’t have to do this alone. Find a co-fascilitator. We planned our sessions together and did a run through before each session which was so, so beneficial. We know you will love this experience too. So jump in and do it, you will be so glad you did!
These are some potential resources for you, some may be applicable , so please use what works for you. Just be yourself, share some of your life and most importantly pass on a little hope.
- A- Z Coping Toolkit for Teens in Tough Times @sspellmancann #twopsychologiststalk
- Activity manual for educators 135 virtual activities Jays Care Foundation
- Accessibility for Equity | Smore Newsletters
- Adolescent social and emotional learning in contexts of conflict, fragility and peacebuilding
- Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators
- Crisis & Trauma Resources – American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
- Introduction example Mrs. Spellman Cann | Smore Newsletters for Education
- Five Ways to Support Students Affected by Trauma
- 👐Gratitude and Kindness Jars @TeachersUsingTech
- 25 Fun Mindfulness Activities for Children and Teens (+Tips!)
- Resources for Responding to Trauma and Tragedy | Edutopia
- Resources for Ukrainian children and their families The Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights
- SEL resources
- Supporting Youth Affected by the War in Ukraine: Tips for Caregivers and EducatorsTeaching Resources to Help Students Make Sense of the War in Ukraine – The New York Times
- Tips for helping students recover from trauma
- Tools for Teachers – Canadian Red Cross
- Trauma-Informed Classroom Strategies
- Trauma-Informed Care Teaching activities and resources | RNAO
- Trauma-Informed SEL Toolkit – Transforming Education
- TRAUMA-INFORMED VIRTUAL PROGRAMS Jays Care Foundation
- Virtual Calming Space
- Wellness team Tips
- Wheel decide on HOPE
- Wheel decide Positive Intentions
- Wheel decide Your Thoughts Matter
- Affirmations Wheel of names
- Wheel of Names Positive Affirmations for Teens
- Wheel of Names What You Say and Do Matters
Please remember to practice self-care and share how you do with the youth. You will be in the presence of extraordinary acts of courage as you connect with these young people. Embrace all the moments.
Each year for the past forty two years I have returned home to Nova Scotia. I guess you could say it tugs at my heart every year. If you want to find tranquility and have a good time, I’m betting it will yours too . It’s not just the place, it’s the people and the way of life that make it a place I long to return to as the summer draws near.
If you are thinking of going there are a few places I would recommend. Of course number one for me would be Cape Breton often named the #1 island to visit in Canada and North America. It’s a beautiful little Island with so much character and fun things to do.
Here are my TOP 10 places to visit in Cape Breton for a good time:
- Louisbourg is a great little town to check out. You can stroll along the fabulous 2km Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail where you will enjoy the sounds and sights of the ocean. It is always one of my favourite things to do. A few places you might like to stay are the Louisbourg Harbour Inn a lovely B and B , where you will be treated to a fabulous place to stay, a welcoming host and great food . For a new adventure you can try the newly renovated North Star owned and operated by down to earth celebrities Justin and Colin who will no doubt make this a memorable experience you won’t soon forget. You can also enjoy a great meal at Highway 22 or the newly opened Spoondrift Cafe where you can expect a tasty meal made from some of the best locals. Of course you won’t want to miss visiting the Fortress of Louisbourg where you will take a step back in time to the 1700’s. For the past few summers I have visited the fortress and each time I enjoy something new.
2. The Miners Museum in Glace Bay is always a favourite of mine on a rainy day. You get to go down in the mines with a retired miner who will sweep you away with real stories of heroic men and women.
3. Cabot Links in Inverness is an amazing place for golfers , it’s also where my favourite beach in Nova Scotia is. You can spend hours walking up and down the beach. There is nothing like the smell of the ocean , the sound of the waves and warm sand beneath your feet while spending time with one of your best friends.
4. The Skyline Trail is worth the stop. The 6.5 km walk is definitely worth the view. It will not disappoint.
5. The beautiful village of Baddeck is a nice place to go sailing or enjoy a lobster dinner.
7. Out on the Mira. Well it’s really my number 1 as we have a bungalow (cottage) there. Nothing better than a good swim in the Mira River or a kayak ride on the 55 km ( 34 mile ) meandering river. It’s my home away from home , it feeds my soul and I love it there. Be sure to stop at Mullins Rite Stop on the Louisbourg Highway and pick up a fresh loaf of bread and some treats on your way to wherever you are staying.
OUT ON THE MIRA …
8. Sydney the historic capital of Cape Breton. If you did not stop there on the way to Louisbourg then turn around and go back and make sure you have a bite at Flavour on the Water or Governors. A stroll along the harbour is always a good thing.
9. Cheticamp a place rich in Acadian culture. Be sure to stop by the Doryman for some music and memories.
10. The Cabot Trail is a must, but in the fall it is glorious. The 300 km loop of the trail, weaves around the incredible coast of Cape Breton with magnificent views.
I guarantee Cape Breton and all of Nova Scotia with more than 7,400 kilometres of coastline will hold a place in your heart forever and you will want to go back. Yes indeed , you must go back to see all the wonderful things it has to offer music, ceilidhs, the people , the vistas and so much more. Don’t leave home without the Doers and Dreamers guide so you can find out what is happening wherever you may travel. Cape Breton is but a beginning.
How fortunate am I to still be connected with youth. I love their energy and it helps me realize that I am still a learner. Being in an online school is interesting and challenging. It forces me to continue to learn new skills. I need to find multiple ways to connect with students and staff which forces me to learn new technology skills.
I love collaborating , so working with a team that is full of ideas invigorates me. As we work together to create a group for students online, I am reminded of the joy that learning can bring.
So just for today I will enjoy a cup of tea, learn something new and be excited that we never age out of learning. What are you learning these days?