Sharing: Unlocking the Key to My Filing Cabinet and Keeping it Open … HOPE


This blog is the beginning of me keeping my filing cabinet open. I have many resources I have wanted to share with school counsellors,but did not realize I could do it. This blog is how and the time is now thanks to the fantastic open sharing in ETMOOC and especially because of Alec Couros. The process stated with me being referred to Alec’s work by Vianne Timmons, so I went to his workshop and got going on twitter. So began the best PD ever. I have been following the fantastic work of Dr. Erin Mason and other school counsellors in the United States and beyond, but I was still not ready to jump into a blog. Fears got in the way. I have been fortunate to have many, many great dialogues with Erin Luong which also helped with my decision making. ETMOOC was the final push and as a result I believe I will share, share, share and in an OPEN EDUCATOR way. I have so much more to learn and as I do this I am very GRATEFUL for all of ETMOOC participants who have inspired me to share openly.

My first THEME HOPE.. I hope school counsellors can use some of the ideas and materials. Take what you like REMIX ( a term I now really understand because of ETMOOC ) and leave the rest.

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible” Christopher Reeve

HOPE is essential when it comes to school counselling. School Counsellors can take a leadership role when it comes to instilling hope in students. Listen to Derek’s story of not giving up which demonstrates the power of HOPE. We know that if students are resilient they are better able to self- regulate and that means they can cope more effectively. According to Barbara Frederickson a psychological researcher at the University of North Carolina, “a positive mood makes people more resilient physically”.  Resiliency and hope definitely go hand in hand.

Shane Lopez, psychologist and author of Making Hope Happen helps us understand more about hope and the steps needed to help students be more hopeful.

We want students to never give up and if we can access resources to help us do this we will make a difference and possibly save a life.

How can we spread hope throughout the school in a digital way?

  • We can post videos like Derek’s story on our counselling website.
  • We can tweet out to stories of hope on twitter.
  • We can post stories of hope on our school Facebook site as well as our school website.
  • We can embed Hope themes and pictures into our curriculum guides

Hope is an Open Heart a book by Lauren Thompson can be used with younger students to discuss losses and the overcoming of hardship.

Students could be encouraged to:

  • Make videos of HOPE
  • Create Art pieces around the theme of HOPE
  • Make @haikudecks on iPad with a HOPE theme
  • Design hopeful songs or music
  • Find people who inspire HOPE and write about them
  • Brainstorm ways to inspire hope in others
  • Make bulletin boards on themes of HOPE and Suicide Prevention
  • For younger students they could make trading cards the size of hockey cards and design cards of HOPE that they can trade with others
  • Performing Random Acts of Kindness can inspire hope as well.


  1. At you can find smile cards which you can download and hand out.
  2. Who I am Makes a Difference ribbons can be ordered at These ribbons are great to use in a Celebration of HOPE assembly or as a beginning of the year activity.
  3. Some great books for school counsellors are called :The Power To Prevent Suicide  A Guide To Helping teens by Richard E Nelson, A Parent’s Guide for Suicidal and Depressed Teens by Kate Williams Beyond the Blues a workbook to help teens overcome depression by Lisa M Schab
  4.  At you can make your own bulletin boards or make them and post for all kids to see.
  5. At pinterest you can see some ideas for HOPE on this board
  6. Search institute has done extensive research on what adolescents need to be resilient. They have great resources. Go to

As a school counsellor incorporating a suicide prevention theme with the theme of hope just makes sense. Running suicide prevention workshops for your students at the beginning of the school year is also very valueable.

Look Listen and Link is a video which could be very helpful for Suicide Prevention for teens. You can find it on Youtube. Here is another message of hope.

The Centre for Suicide Prevention has fantastic resources for school counsellors.

  1. A great book for students is When Nothing Matters Anymore by Bev Cobain

At the APP store students can access a digital blue ribbon that they can share with others sending positive messages to anyone they feel makes a difference. You can find a link to the blue ribbon in my livebinder.

Finally you can access my livebinder on HOPE for more ideas.

These are but a few ideas. Please share yours so we can help students everywhere.

This blog post will be a work in progress and as I continue to learn. I will share more and more.

2 thoughts on “Sharing: Unlocking the Key to My Filing Cabinet and Keeping it Open … HOPE

  1. Susan Spellman Cann, you are my ultimate mentor. I love your post and the way you have presented the idea for hope allowing both space for creativity and suggestions for how to get started (kind of reminds me of our #etmooc process). I am honoured that you have opened this filing cabinet on hope and encouraged all of our talented colleagues around the world to remix it. You have inspired me and hopefully we will be able to use #cscchat and our blogs to continue the remix culture for school counsellors everywhere!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s