Our students always inspire me. I am so fortunate to work in a community that encourages creativity in all forms. The people I work with also give their heart and soul to all they do. Thanks to our wonderful Art teacher Sheila Stacey and Counsellor Erin Luong for collaborating on this fun project full of heart.
One of the innovative projects I am pleased to work on this year involves a collaboration between myself, another counselling colleague and our art teacher. BCHS Spectrum Club’s mission is to bring people together and spread a message of love and acceptance. Our aim is to educate and bring awareness to students while expanding our […]
My biggest lesson this week is what a simple thank you can do to turn your day and your mindset around. I rarely have one of those days and this week I did. I did let my administrator know (at least some of what was going on) and he did one of the best things a true leader can do . He simply thanked me for all the work I do with students . He let me know he was there for me and glad I was there for students and yes it made a difference.
I felt heard and valued. It turned my mindset around. It freed me from the negativity I was feeling and was such a great role model for me. As a leader I forget that my staff needs a simple thank you too. I really try to remember to do that often through a note or a comment, but sometimes I forget to make the time to do what is so important. So I sent each person I work with closely with a little personal note this weekend and next week I will try to finish by sending all those who help me by giving them a note.
I was extremely honored to recieve an award last week from the University of Calgary Counselling Psychology Program. Ph. D students I had previously supervised took the time and effort in their busy schedules to recommend me for an excellence in practicum supervision award . It was their BIG thank you and I am truly, truly grateful. They took the time to write such beautiful words and say thank you in a big way. Taking the time to thank people is truly a gift that you can give others. You have asked me to display it proudly and so I will.
However, this week that simple thank you helped to change my mindset and I believe will impact what I do next week and in the future with others.
Be on the look out for my thank you to IMMOOC.
Who will you send a simple thank you to … this week?
Sometimes tools can help us. Thanks to @dogtrax Kevin Hodgson in #IMMOOC , I discovered a new tool called Legend. It is possible that you may like it too. I hope you can use it to assist you as you learn or share ideas or thoughts in this MOOC. You may wish to use it in one of your blog posts. However you use it whether with students , staff, friends, or colleagues, enjoy … it’s easy and fun to use. You can check out how I used it today below.
People have been asking me if I am really serious about retirement and yes I am , but that doesn’t mean I don’t really love my job anymore . I absolutely do. I plan on making this year great! Why? Because each and every day I work with students and what I say and do matters.
I am far from perfect, but I really try my best to help students and create a positive environment in the school I work in. I love collaborating with educators and others that I know truly care.
I am often reminded that what I say and do matters and that is a scary and awesome responsibility. I never want to hurt a child or anyone for that matter, but I am human and I make mistakes . When I do I need to say sorry , make amends and do my best each and every day to be the best person I can be. I also recognize that I can be that one person who changes the trajectory of a students life , making a positive difference that they remember for a lifetime.
Does what you say and do matter? … you bet. Students are watching us daily … so as I enter my retirement year I want my students to know that I love what I do and will continue to do so until the day I retire. I love being with them and helping them as much as I possibly can. I look forward to this year and will treasure the memories I make with each and every person that crosses my path.
What I Say and Do Matters … and so does what you say and do.
“Be passionate, fall madly in love with life. Be passionate about some part of the natural and/or human worlds and take risks on its behalf, no matter how vulnerable they make you.” … “Offer yourself to the world — your energies, your gifts, your visions, your heart — with open-hearted generosity.” – Parker Palmer
Our students are passionate when it comes to mental health and wellness. They continue to work diligently when it comes to mental health and anti.stigma spreading messages of hope. All year they have continuued to do things that make a difference. Finally due to the generosity of Gary Nissen and Empowering minds … Connex we were able to produce this lovely colouring book for all to enjoy! Every year partial proceeds will go to a different chaity, but this year students chose the Children’s Hospital mental health unit.
Thanks so much to all those who collaborated with the wellness team to make this a very special project. Our photography , spectrum and who’s frank clubs. All know the importance of reducing stigma. raising awareness and improving overall wellness. We hope you have fun , relax and enjoy this students led project that is meant to touch your heart and make a difference. So let go, de-stress be as creative as you want . We hope you will be inspired to design your own colouring page while thinking about the messages that matter from our students.
Thanks for coming Verena and bringing your husband. Community members who care!
So School Counsellors celebrate. Share what it is you do because together we are better and can make a difference.
I look forward to you seeing the book we have collaborated in creating ColourYourWayTo AHealthyMindHigh School Students Creating Change. Coming soon to BCHS as well as our book made with grade 3’s Adventures of Frank at St. James. We can’t wait to share them with you.
It is the second year for Canadian School Counselling Week and I am very hopeful we will see more Canadian School Counsellors on twitter connecting and learning from each other. It is also National School Counselling Week started by my fellow Americans so I want to wish them and all the School Counsellors around the world an amazing week and an amazing career because it is . I still love this profession the same as when I started. Really, I love the students they make me love what I do.
If you are new to twitter and a School Counsellor anywhere in the world please follow the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat.
I’ve adapted the public announcements to suit our school and you can too. We plan on sharing these all week long.
Monday:This is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge each student and staff member to express your gratitude to someone at school by telling them thank you for… You could even write a card to them. The cards will be available all week in Student Services. Being grateful improves your overall happiness. Do it today! You make a difference.
Tuesday:It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge students and staff to do one small good deed and when you do please post it to the hashtag #carrollculture or come and share with us what you did and we will share it on our school Facebook site. Have a fabulous day. You make a difference.
Wednesday:This week is Canadian School Counselling Week. We challenge you today we challenge you to take 10 mins. out of your day to exercise or practice mindfulness. Set up a fitbit challenge with friends. Need more information or tips please pick up todays tips in Student Services. Have a great day! You can make a difference.
Thursday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge students and staff to let one of your family members know how important they are. Pick up a card in Student Services and tell people what a difference they make in your life and give it to them. Remember you can make a difference today.
Friday: It is the last day of School Counselling Week. Your School Counsellors want you to know we are here for you anytime. Come see us in Students Services. Today we challenge you to think about your favourite wellness quote and post it to the hashtag #carrollculture or share it with us in Student Services and we will feature it in the upcoming weeks. Have a wonderful weekend and remember, you make a difference.
This week is a time to be grateful and reflect. I am so grateful I have a principal who fully supports a comprehensive school Counselling Program and if you do too , make sure you take time to thank them.
Thanks to the Bishop McNally staff especially Adam, Emily, Loretta and Theresa for your assistance today in having me present. Presenting is always a collaborative effort. A big thanks to the principal Deana Helton @deanaH2 for asking me to kick off her mental health initiative. I had a great morning with you and your staff.
Kicking off Mental Health and Wellness with Susan Spellman Cann, Adam Russell and staff at Bishop McNally High School pic.twitter.com/kXBGlmBMTv
Below you will find all the resources I used and a few extra that might help you. Loved the pass the chicken activity organized by Emily and the PE department. It was a great fun and a wonderful team building activity.
Lastly, I really appreciate all of you sharing on your stickies:
One thing I will do to take care of my own mental wellness
One thing I will do in school to aide in the mental health and wellness of students
Hoping you have a great year as you focus on taking care of yourselves and your students.
Here is just a few great examples of things YOU plan on doing:
Today prejudice, stigmatization and discrimination are deeply embedded in our language, in our beliefs and in the way we interact with one another. Though a mental illness is one aspect of an individual’s life, all too often the label alone bars that one person from achieving a self-directed life with meaningful connections to his or her community.
Dr. Neil Houston Sociologist
According to Patrick Carney positive mental health is ” the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well being that respects the culture,equity,social justice, interconnections and personal dignity” ( public health Agency of Canada (PHAC) , 2006
There are already a hundred things you do right in your High School : Focus on those. There are also a 100 ideas of things you can do to promote mental health and well being. The wellness fund has a few videos to give you some ideas.
More resources from Who’s Frank? It’s More Than A Day It’s A Way …
Gratitude affects your wellness take a look:
When it comes to mental health we want students to:
With someone they trust like their Teacher Advisor , teacher, coach or other significant adult in the school who can then assist them in connecting …
With their School Counsellor who can assist them in connecting with their doctor, health care provider and or parents to assist them with their mental health concerns
About mental health and wellness and the impact it can have on themselves or their friends or families. Reduce Stigma!
We want students to be concerned about their fellow human beings and show COMPASSION when it comes to mental health
We want educators to collaborate to make a difference when it comes to mental health and wellness
and lastly we want to …
CHALLENGE you to take action and integrate mental health into your curriculums. We challenge you to make a difference when it comes to mental health. What is one activity that you could get students to do that would increase their mental health literacy and reduce stigma?
We CHALLENGE you to become literate yourself when it comes to mental health.
If you get the opportunity please go to a training with Dr. Stan Kutcher or a Go to Educator training in your area.
One of important things that Dr. Stan Kutcher discussed during a mental health literacy training that I attended was the difference between:
Mental Health Distress (one example lose your keys)
Mental Health Problem (one example a parent dies)
Mental Health Disorder/Illness (one example clinical depression)
We need to teach our young people the difference between distress, problem and disorder and the Mental Health Curriculum Guide does just that. It teaches students and educators the Mental Health Literacy that they need in today’s world based on present day research on the brain. You may get some ideas here to start to integrate this into the subjects you teach.
Are you ready to take the CHALLENGE? If you come up with some ideas please add it to our community doc.
We are excited about the many possibilities and hope you will join us in CREATING several resources that will be beneficial to all. School Counsellors and educators can make a difference when it comes to the mental health / wellness of our students and ourselves. We can work together all across the world to make this happen. Won’t YOU join in ?
Schools are a positive setting for promoting positive mental health for more background take a peek here.
I cannot believe I started teaching thirty five years ago. I have to say I am as passionate about my profession and even more so because of all the learning that has taken place over all these years. I am so grateful to learn with and from students , other educators , friends , my husband and our children.
I love what I do and I let students know that. I feel it is extremely important to care about what you do and remain passionate . If you are no longer passionate about being an educator or School Counsellor it is time to change as it is a major disservice to the students we serve. I plan on retiring (not now),but with passion for a profession that fulfills and will always hold a special place in my heart!
Being a lifelong learner has served me well. I feel I still have sooooooo much to learn. Thanks to Twitter and my PLN especially those in #etmooc#SCCrowd and #scchat, I continue to learn and grow every day. It has actually given me new ways to do what I love to do.
We love to collaborate at BCHS and Peter Damen one of our School Counsellors took the lead in creating a Post Secondary Planning livebinder to assist students with finding academic information. It is fantastic.
Erin Luong (another School Counsellor at BCHS ) and I are working on this Personal Wellness livebinder to assist students in finding resources related to wellbeing and mental health. We will eventually create a live binder just for parents. I am so fortunate to work with a School Counsellor @ehordyskiluong who loves using tech as much as I do.
I so look forward to this school year as I know I will find the extraordinary in the ordinary days and remind myself to be grateful for each and every day.
This is an email I recieved this week from a student who wishes to remain anonymous. The message is great so I share it with you. I am grateful that BCHS is such a great place to work. Graduates … you amaze me! I am in awe of you.
This is a message from a former Bishop Carroll High School student and it is addressed to each graduate in the class of 2015. Before anything else, congratulations! You have endured, grown, been challenged by, and are forever changed by your BCHS journey. You have earned the green slips, made the cutoffs, and can now call yourself a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School; a great Calgary institution that has developed a legacy for turning out exceptional people – people who forge incredible impacts in the world and help make it a better place.
My purpose for writing this is to imbue you with a few friendly words of wisdom, some advice, and to call you to service in your community. What is said in this message is opinion not doctrine and it is meant simply to convey some words of encouragement as you close a proverbial chapter in your life and turn to the next.
Bishop Carroll High School is not a school for a neighborhood or a quadrant – it is a school for the community of Calgary. As a result, it is a place of great diversity and great opportunity. The experiences you have had and the environment you have been in is something that is unique and one that has set you up differently than other people your age. You have been given the Carroll Advantage – the opportunity to learn in a system that hones your strengths, remedies weaknesses, and lets you discover who you are. The result: an ability to think critically, to manage yourself, to take ownership of your destiny, and the ability to make a profound impact on those around you. Self directed learning is a fantastic way to learn and appreciate personal responsibility, develop self management skills, and ultimately learn who you are and grow as a human being. The opportunities, skills, and experiences found in and taken from Bishop Carroll High School create potential for great things in every graduate. All of you have potential that knows only the boundaries you set for yourselves. There is no limit to what you can do; so believe in yourself, set your standards high, dream as big as you can, and never ever quit on something worthwhile.
My time since graduating has afforded me the ability to experience many great things and meet many great people, but every time I encounter something new – a challenge or an opportunity, I often find myself reflecting back on the experiences I had as a student at Carroll. Truthfully, everything I do now is somehow connected back to my time at Carroll. No matter what I face I always tell myself I am a Carroll grad and that gives me the confidence to do just about anything because who I have become was largely started in my three years at Carroll. If nothing else, please take some time to reflect on your BCHS journey: the highs the lows and understand how those experiences will always stick with you. In the bright times use those memories to reflect fondly and appreciate yourself, who you have become, and who you will grow into.In the challenging times use those memories to remind yourself of all you have accomplished and tell yourself you can do anything you set my mind to – you will be better for it. No matter what you face, who you face it with, or what you end up doing know this – if you understand and appreciate what your time at Carroll did for you and that it has helped make you then you really will be able to do anything. There is nothing quite like the confidence or the last minute quick thinking of a BCHS graduate.
Bishop Carroll High School is different than anywhere else, from what I have seen and experienced since graduation it truly does prepare you better and make you more ready for the world. The world you graduate into is one that seems to change exponentially each year. New challenges and new opportunities will demand more of everyone and will likely challenge us as a global community in a way we have not been challenged before. It will take people from diverse backgrounds and skill sets to confront them. Regardless of your path after high school YOU have the power to help change the world. Change does not have to come from grand actions or mega projects – the world can be changed at the grassroots level by the sum of individual actions. So find something you are passionate about – something you love, do it, do it well, and use it to help make the world around you better. Although not everything will be recognized no good action is too small. The opportunities and skills you have now give you the BCHS grad a responsibility to help make a positive impact on the world around you and doing what you love is a great way to make the world better. .
Enjoy each moment, learn from your successes and your failures, never ever give up, appreciate those around you, and live your life to the fullest. Congratulations on your achievement and welcome to the BCHS alumni community. Mane Nobisum Domaine