Opening A Space and a Place For All In The Heart of The City

“For our family the library is more than just books it’s a source of inspiration” Ayers Family 

Today I got inspired seeing this on the window of the new Calgary Public Library. What a gift for our city and the children about to grow up in a place where libraries are spaces like never before. You don’t hear anyone saying shhh in this new building.

There are so many exciting features of this new space:

  • Library access FREE
  • Access to information and ideas like never before
  • 30 meeting rooms that you can book out anytime for FREE
  • 220 accessible computers
  • Artist, Historian and a Writer in residence
  • 190 chairs all over the building to sit in
  • 450,000 items to choose from
  • any magazine, newspaper or book you can imagine
  • large print books
  • an interfaith room for anyone who may need to pray during the day
  • 50+ lecture series
  • Resources for  career development
  • You can exhibit your art
  • Accessibility services
  • Audio Video and Post Production Studios can be booked here all for FREE and the public library is

The library also has ways to watch 10 movies each month for FREE. Check out Kanopy here.

How fabulous to see an mazing piece of art inside the library as you first walk in by the exceptional artist Kalum Dan. The library is showcasing his art in this amazing space as you walk in for all to see.

Illustrated by Kalum Teke Dan

I love this new library. How grateful am I that I live in a city where resources like this are open to people of all ages and incomes. What an amazing space that is easily accessible to all by C Train. It is definitely a space and a place that is a must visit if you come to Calgary.

 

Celebrating School Counselor Angela Avery

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                               Be the change you wish to see in the world  Ghandi

Angela is a School Counselor in Biddleford , Maine who graduated from the University of Maine.  Did you know that she loves chocolate, the ocean and taking pictures? She wants students to know that they are ok being who they are. “I accept and celebrate you- gay, transgender, black or brown or white, from a tough family, from another country, using substances, failing classes, skipping or making mistakes. I won’t judge, I’ll help. I’m here for you, I will always accept you, listen and be there. It gets better, I promise.”

She wants other School Counselors to speak up, write, share pictures, follow and connect. Share what’s in your heart, what makes your job special, what may help others feel less alone. Speak your truth, share your ideas, listen and empathize. Don’t settle. Trust your gut. But please, speak… don’t be still, don’t be silent. We need more kind yet honest, sincere yet straightforward change makers in this world, in our communities, in every school, for our children. Lead in your own way, but speak up. You are worth listening to. Using your voice for good is the only way to lead our youth, to shine a light for them to follow so they may also lead. You can find Angela in #scchat and on Twitter @mrsaverybms .

Tonight she will co-lead a chat Promoting Positivity and Self-Esteem in Youth in a World of Bullies, Social Media and Constant Criticism.  You can join her and @counselorpowers at 6:30 MT 8:30 ET on Twitter using the #scchat hashtag. Join her.

Celebrating School Counselor Rebecca Atkins

IMG_0019 2Do or do not, there is no try. ~Yoda

Rebecca is a School Counselor in Chapel Hill , North Carolina and went to Furman University for her undergrad and UNC for grad school. Did you know she is a voracious reader? She wants others to know that School Counseling has a unique role in proactively supporting students in academics, career, and social emotional domains while responding to students needs. By creating a Counseling Program Plan for your school , you can maximize your effectiveness so that all students are successful. You can find Rebecca in #scchat and on twitter @counselorup . She also has an amazing blog you can follow at counselorup.com.

Thanks Rebecca for all you do!

 

 

 

Celebrating School Counselor Shawn Adkins

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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Shawn is a School Counselor in London Ohio and went to Wright State University. He absolutely loves learning . Did you know he is an avid Browns and Reds fan? You can find more about Shawn in #scchat and follow him on twitter @sadkinsump. Thanks Shawn for all you do!

 

 

 

The World Would Be A Different Place Without YOU In It

 

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“You are not here to fill space or be a background character to someone else’s movie. Consider this: nothing would be the same if you did not exist. Every place you have ever been and everyone you have ever spoken to would be different without you. We are all connected, and we are all affected by the decisions and even the existence of those around us. ” David Niven

I believe we all have a purpose in life. Each child that comes our way is precious and we were brought to them to make a difference. It is up to us to leave them feeling or thinking or doing something differently than when they walk into our office. It is up to us to help . That is the reason we do what we do. So keep doing it! The world would be a different place without YOU in it!

 

 

 

Aim For Improving Lives

 

IMG_2896As a School Counsellor you have many roles to play and from personal experience I know sometimes we get caught up in all the daily things that need to get done . So just for today why not aim for improving the lives of your students and better yet why not look for ways to improve your own life. Amy Fast @fastcrayon says , “we don’t do what we do in schools to get good results/ data. We do what we do to improve the lives of humans. Good academic results are the byproduct. If we only aim for data, we may not succeed in improving lives. But , if we aim for improving lives the data will always follow

First let me start with a few questions.

  • What are ways you feel hopeful that you can improve the lives of your students? How do you instill hope in your students?
  • How do you help those that are struggling academically, socially emotionally?
  • How do you educate the mind and the heart?
  • How do help students love learning , life and living positively as a good citizen in their community and in the world?
  • How do you build healthy meaningful relationships with students and help them to do the same?
  • How do you help students feel a sense of belonging?
  • How do you assist students in finding their purpose and passion?
  • How do you help students make better choices?
  • How do you create a spark in a child’s eye so that they can become the people they are meant to be?
  • How can you make a difference in the lives of the students you serve, academically , socially, emotionally , physically and spiritually?
  • How can you collaborate with others to improve the lives of students so that they know how much they matter and can be successful in school and in life?

Reflection makes us all better and in the end it not only helps us improve our own lives, but also the lives of those we work with. Let’s start with you and your worth and then let’s move on to students. How can you improve your own life? :

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If you take good care of yourself you will be better able to assist students in improving their lives. Every day you as a School Counsellor reach out to help make students lives better. Keep doing the amazing work you do every day and keep on reflecting. As a Professional School Counsellor you can and do make an impact  and a difference every day in oh so many ways.

The Effect You Have As A School Counsellor Is Not Always Measurable

Cq4QzbFUkAEiZCS.jpg-largeYou have them , I have had them. You know that student that you had no idea you had such an impact on, but they let you know years later. Sometimes 36 years later as I did two years ago. A young man came into the office at the High School I was working in at the time. He wanted to see me to tell me how I had influenced his life. He had googled me and tracked me down because he wanted to tell me his story . I am grateful he did as I would have never known that I had affected his life in the way he let me know I had.

I have been blessed with letters and notes from students who have told me they believed I had saved their life. It is an honour and privilege that they believe something I said or did had impacted them in such a positive way. More often than not we don’t get these notes, calls or letters and we may not know the impact we have had on students. Not because we did not , but because the person may not have put their thoughts to words for whatever reason.

A couple of days ago one of my best friends who is also a retired School Counsellor , got one of those notes from a student whom she had known 18 years ago. The note was from a young woman reporting she was now happily married with two children , She told my friend that she was the reason she was alive, happy and successful today. She let her know it was World Suicide Prevention Day and that maybe my friend would like to know the impact she had on her life when she was in High School.

The woman had tracked my friend down on Facebook and felt compelled to write her the beautiful moving, heartfelt note (I’m purposefully leaving out the details, but trust me we both cried a lot reading it) . Of course she had no idea that particular student felt that way. So what a gift it was to receive a note like this. It is truly why we do what we do choosing to be in education.

If one young person is impacted in this way by what we have said or done, then our years of dedication to a career we have loved is all worth while. We both agreed that we were so fortunate to work in schools with amazing young people and feel truly blessed to have had a career we both were passionate about.

So many still do not fully understand what a School Counsellor does behind closed doors, but know and trust that you need to keep doing what you are doing as a School Counselor wherever you are in the world. You can never know the impact you can have. Small gestures and words can matter.

The effect you have as a School Counsellor is not always measurable , but that does not matter. What you say and do everyday does.