For Desmond Tutu meeting Trevor Huddleston determined the path of his life. In my own life there are many defining moments that led me to who I am today. Teachers, coaches , community members and a School Counsellor had an impact.
In grade 12 (1976) my School Counsellor Mrs. Brown gave me $100.00 towards my post secondary education. My family could not afford to pay my way. I was the first in my family to go to University so it was certainly a big deal. I did not realize at the time just how much money that was or even how incredible it was that she did that. What a gift and an impact she had on the trajectory of my life. A lacrosse scholarship and a bursary ( both recommended by community members) paid for all four years of my Bachelor of Child Study degree. How fortunate was I ?
I never underestimate the power of a small (albeit grand) gesture in forming who we are and what we choose to do in our lives. I intentionally make sure each day I work with students I keep that in mind. I intentionally pay it forward on as many occasions as I can.
All it takes is a defining moment and you might be the one that makes that happen and if someone makes that happen for you tell them.
I moved to Alberta 40 years ago in August with 500 dollars and 5 boxes. I knew no one who lived where I was about to go to start my teaching career,
I love this province and have happily chosen to make this my home. For the past while I have been exploring parks and places that I have never been to and today my friend Shivaun and I ventured out to Saskatoon Farm to start our day and what a glorious day it was.
There is so much to see as you wonder along in this beautiful space. Start your day with a homestyle breakfast and then explore and shop if you must.
After we spent the morning here we made our way out to beautiful Elbow Falls.
I have had many a picnic here when the kids were small. It will always be a special place that I love to go and sit by the water.
Then it was off to Bragg Creek for a little lunch and shopping. There weren’t many people in any of the shops, so I thoroughly loved browsing and eating outdoors on a patio. Today was amazing. I felt, yes I truly felt “normal” for the first time since Covid19. Being outdoors rejuvenates me and lifts my spirits. There are so many places to explore, but that will have to wait for the fall once I return to Alberta. My next venture Nova Scotia.
After I self isolate for 14 days I plan on exploring the Cape Breton outdoors. I look forward to exploring as many places to walk and stroll along beaches as I can. It’s good for the wellbeing and a lot of fun too.
So get out and explore the outdoors. Thanks to this period in time I am spending so much more time outdoors than in the past and for that I am grateful. Especially when I get to spend quality time with friends. Go ahead and enjoy the outdoors wherever you are.
As soon as I entered the field of School Counselling I knew I had to be an advocate. I thought as a teacher I knew what School Counsellors did. Was I wrong!!!
Since then my colleagues and I have advocated at a district level to bring more awareness to what we do. Has it made a difference? YES! YES! YES! Our district is one of the best in the country when it comes to supporting , understanding and recognizing the work that School Counsellors do.
I have also advocated at a provincial level by being one of the voices and president of the then Alberta Guidance Council. Today my friend Erin Luong has taken up that advocacy role in the ATA Council Of School Counsellors and they are lucky to have her.
At a national level in 1999 , I was part of the first delegation of Counsellors to go to China along with my leader and friend Maria de Cicco as part of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association . My administrator and district supported me as a School Counsellor advocate on this journey. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will treasure and never forget.
Strong leaders are needed to be the voice along with School Counsellors . We need someone in Canada who has the same powerful, inspiring voice as Michelle Obama does here:
Today although I am semi retired I still want to advocate. I believe School Counselling is one of the most important positions that every school still needs , maybe now more than ever.
So I say Canadian School Counsellors raise up your voices, if you want change , make it happen … be the change!!!!! We need your voice! Being silent won’t produce the changes needed across the country. You are valuable. You do matter . You are needed and you do make a difference. YOUR VOICE MATTERS!
Want to know how to be a great advocate just follow the #SCCHAT feed on twitter to see how it’s done. Let’s join in Canadians with our world counterparts who are advocating and being the voice for School Counsellors worldwide.
Hope you’ll join me and @counselorPCE for a very special #NSCW18#scchat this Wednesday at 8:30PM ET! Time to celebrate our favorite profession!