Celebrating A Piece Of Me I Did Not Think Existed

Truly before #ETMOOC. I did not even believe I could paint, or draw or really do anything artistically. Now , I know that is not true. I just need to be me and let the fear of making mistakes go and just go with the flow.

This past couple of weeks some very close friends of mine have bought my work. I was very excited to see them in it!!!!

I did not do this for the money.I did it for the fun , the joy of creating!  My son told me about redbubble, (although a friend had told me about it earlier ). I thought if he thought it was cool then it must be and so and it is!

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Redbubble turns your paintings and drawings into dresses, prints, cups, shirts, bags, pillowcases and much more.

I am grateful that people even enjoy my Art . If you happen to be one of those please send me a pic!

 

Letting Go

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Letting go while still feeling extraordinarily passionate isn’t easy, it is a process. I need to take my own advice and trust the process. This year will be a year of reflection and change. I am retiring in June , but still absolutely love what I do.

I am embarking on another powerful , innovative journey in #immooc with people from all around the world. I know already I will be changed because of it. ETMOOC and the people in it profoundly changed me. I believe I am a much better educator and person because of the people who influenced my thinking and my skill level. It is hard to put into words all the amazing things I learned , but trust me I am transformed.

Today I changed the name of my blog, not as easy as some people might think, but in doing so I have let go of some things to be ready and open to new challenges and experiences.

IMMOOC I look forward to all the possibilities ahead and learning new things that will affect the way I assist students in their journey this school year. What are you prepared to let go of in order to create , make or do something even better?

How do you thank someone? … You can too …

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Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. It is hard to believe three years has passed since ETMOOC. I personally have learned so much in the last three years thanks to my ETMOOC PLN and especially Alec Couros. How do you thank someone who has made such a difference ? For us in ETMOOC it was by helping to create something that will hopefully make a difference for Alec, his family as well as future educators.

According to Harvard Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy people judge you on two criteria when they first meet you .

  1. Can I trust this person?
  2. Can I respect this person?

Alec Couros  @courosa has earned the  trust and respect of so many , but especially those of us in ETMOOC and as a result we wanted to do something special for him. Thus the Mario Couros Memorial Bursary .

Please take time to read the criteria below and if you feel like you too want to thank Alec by contributing to an award that honours him and his dad who meant the world to him, then please do so. Several of us plan to work hard this year to promote and get others to contribute to this award and we hope YOU will join us.

About the award :

The Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will help newcomers to Canada in reaching their dream of being one of tomorrow’s educators by providing financial assistance to pursue their Education Degree at the University of Regina. Mario came to Canada from Greece on December 14th 1957. He lived, worked and raised his family in Saskatchewan. He wanted to make a life and a difference for his family. Mario was a volunteer, a caring supportive father, grandfather, a loving husband and an extremely hard working man. He was a great role model for his children and others as he continued to be a lifelong learner with a fabulous work ethic until his passing. This award is dedicated in his memory.

It is also a tribute to his son Dr. Alec Couros who continues his father’ s legacy by inspiring and encouraging others to pursue their educational aspirations and follow a path to life-long learning.

The bursary will make a meaningful impact by breaking down the financial barriers to higher education and encouraging outstanding academic achievement. By contributing to this bursary you will enable Education students to focus on what matters most : their education.

The goal is to raise $ 25.000 to create an endowment that will allow for a permanent bursary at the University of Regina ‘s Faculty of Education. Your contribution to the Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will live on in perpetuity in memory and honour of Mario’s legacy. 

To donate online:

  1.                    Go to http://www.uregina.ca/giving
  2.                    Click the Donate Now button on the right side
  3.                    Click the In Honour/In Memory button

Enter your donation information and click add to gift basket.

Please ensure you enter Mario Couros under the second tab and continue to payment

If you would like any assistance with contributing please contact Erin Werner at 1-306-585-5432 or erin.werner@uregina.ca .  Those from other countries may wish to do so if they have difficulty contributing.  If you need a paper copy just email her.

You too can help !  Consider letting other educators know they can contribute to this important fund. Each contribution can and will make a difference. Alec has 99.5k followers . If each person following @courosa donated $ 1.00 we would have more than we need to keep this fund alive and help young people who want to be educators.

A very special thank you to all those in ETMOOC that have volunteered to promote this fund and all those who have already committed to contributing. I am so grateful for you . Kindness flows in ETMOOC ‘ers

I look forward to many more years of connecting , growing and learning with all of you. I think my heart is bigger today because of all of you.

Have you or someone you know been impacted by @courosa or @gcouros ?  You may want to really consider contributing. This post yesterday by @gcouros on “Has twitter changed our view?”  is very thoughtful and thought provoking. Twitter has most certainly changed mine for the positive. #lifechanging #friendshipsIneverwouldhaveimagined #grateful

REMINDER:
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE ! Truly think about donating, even if only a small amount and pass this on to someone who you think would contribute. TOGETHER we are better!

Please consider blogging about this award and sharing on twitter , facebook and google plus . YOU too can help to make a difference. Thanking you in advance. There truly are so many good people in the world and if you have taken time to read this blog post to the end and contribute. I know you are one of them.

Please let us know you have contributed by either DM ing me at @sspellmancann or by posting in the comments section so we can acknowledge YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eliminating Exercise Stereotypes

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Another guest post from Ryan Fahey @wellnessrf and a great one to start the year.

The other day I was talking to a young lady who informed me that she ‘worked out like a girl’ and somehow did not workout ‘like a guy’. After disagreeing with her, I realized some inner motivation to write a blog post on this dichotomy of exercise myths. I began trying to understand and wrap my head around, what entails working out ‘like a girl’, however nothing came to mind. I mean, when I buy groceries do I buy guy groceries? Or do I buy girl groceries? Because clearly that makes sense, ….but is there really such thing as ‘working out like a girl’? If so, maybe it is just the way we use that statement. It seems that whenever I hear that statement used it is in comparison to ‘working out like a guy’ as if ‘working out like a guy’ is the gold standard….Hmmmmmm……

Given my two days of reflection on this topic I have some conclusions to make…

1) Ladies, take pride in all exercise you wish to participate in whether at the gym, in a Zumba class or in your small apartment. If you are to use the statement above, use it in a positive light. Be proud to workout and to be a girl . Moving is moving and movement deserves respect. Do not simply say, “I can only do girl pushups”. That is nonsense. From a training perspective, you have regular pushups and modified pushups, that is all.

2) Gents, if you agree that there is such a thing as ‘working out like a guy’ again use this language in a positive light. Be careful with your words. Do not use them in a way that degrades how someone else should be working out according to your standards.

3) Gents, start going to fitness classes with the ladies! I have been a bootcamp and aerobics instructor in Canada for over four years and can almost count on two hands the amount of guys that came through the door to participate in my classes….. maybe we could further understand how each one of us workout if we participated in exercises WITH each other, regardless of whether we are XX or XY.

4) To both ladies and gentlemen, take the time to critically think about the type of language you are using at the gym, around your friends and around your workplace. Sometimes positive reinforcement can go very far in breaking down stereotypes. Also, be comfortable enough with your own fitness routine so that you do not feel the need to compare yourself with someone else and their routine.

The bottom line here is that movement is movement. Whether you are a girl or a guy, movement is very important to us all. Be encouraging to those people trying to live healthier lifestyles. That is the standard we need to build healthier communities at large. It is up to each one of us to break down the gender barriers in the fields of exercise, health & wellness

Lastly, I have seen many strong women that I both respect and admire as fitness models and fitness instructors. Their mentorship and guidance are some of the foundational pieces of my health and wellness knowledge and philosophies. Conversely, I have worked alongside 80+ males and elite level coaches whom I learned so much about conditioning, coaching and overall health & wellness in athletics. Tweet me anytime @wellnessrf.

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Ryan , of course I’d like to add my two cents. I know sometimes people look at me and think oh she doesn’t work out because  of the way I look. That is far from the truth … you can’t judge a book by it’s cover . I am 57 years old and I still play lacrosse which I absolutely love. I also walk 5 days a week as well as move during musical theatre once a week. I so agree with Ryan. Movement is movement. Let’s work together to eliminate those exercise stereotypes and maybe even stereotypes in general. I take pride in all the movement I do, and though I certainly don’t run anywhere like I used to.  I like that I do run and can still shoot and score. I have to admit I loved it when the past captain of the Calgary Roughnecks, Tracey Kelusky told me I had “golden hands.”  It was a boost, especially for someone my age. I can’t run for beans, but I have golden hands (that was few years ago he said that, but it still brings me great joy.) When Andrew McBride, another past captain of the Calgary Roughnecks would ask me to show the much younger ladies how to shoot or pass, yes inside, I beamed with pride. I am happy I can still play a game that I played and loved in my youth.

In 2016 I plan on moving even more … you may want to join me. Here are a few youtube free workouts  here and here that you may enjoy. I plan on tryng out a few of them myself.

Important Videos : For Counsellors, Educators, and Psychologists

As a School Counsellor and or Psychologist there are people who have informed  and influenced your practice. Who are the people that have impacted you in a positive way and why have they influenced the way you serve others?

Below you will find people’s work I admire and have utilized in my own practice. While not a comprehensive list, it is an important list to me . The list is not any any particular order of influence.

The people below have had a great impact on me and the students I serve. Many of the people in theses videos I have had the great honour  and privilege to meet in person and dialogue about the amazing work they have done. Some have become friends for which I am truly grateful. I would have loved to have met Victor Frankl and Leo Buscaglia, but am fortunate to have cherished their books and videos. I have and will continue always to pass on the wisdom from their works. I am grateful to all!

DR. ED JACOBS

DR. DAVID BURNS

DR. CARL ROGERS

DR. VIKTOR FRANKL

DR. LEO BUSCAGLIA

 

DR. KEITH DOBSON

DR. ALEC COUROS

DR. VIANNE TIMMONS

DR. ERIN MASON

DR. DONALD MEICHENBAUM

DR. JANE NELSON

STEPHEN GLENN

Digital Leaders

Digital leaders are those who build others up. They are those who help other educators/people along their journey.

Digital leaders:

  • Know that when you help someone else you help yourself.
  • Are those who are not afraid to make a mistake and continually learn. You don’t need to be in the front lines to do that, you just need to share your experience and know that others have so much to teach you.
  • Are responsible digital citizens themselves and demonstrate this so that students and other learners can know what this truly means.

Every person has an opportunity to be helpful … every person has an opportunity to collaborate … to make a difference … to celebrate the good works of others (student, teachers, parents, community members) … to be a digital leader means to learn and be a responsible digital citizen yourself. To truly care enough to enter the digital world so that you can as Alec Couros says “think together” and I would add learn together. It is never too late to learn to be a good digital leader yourself.

photoCC image by Catherine Cronin

School Counsellors are in an amazing position to be digital leaders to help students and others know the importance of digital citizenship . At BCHS we start every year with a grade 10 retreat where the School Counsellors present on Digital Citizenship . Throughout the year we discuss digital citizenship through our School twitter feed as well as through our Facebook pages. We ask students if we can use their pictures before we publish making sure they have signed the required consent. There are many great School Counsellors who are digital leaders . Just check out the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat.

We want our students to be excellent digital citizens, but we know that takes time , effort , patience and great role modelling by all staff and educators in general.

Fortunately I know many great digital leaders (too many to list here)  which is a great thing , however I will list a few if you are just getting started :

Dr. Alec Couros @courosa

George Couros @gcouros

Dr. Erin Mason @ecmmason

#etmooc ‘ers

Want to be a good digital leader? You can start today. It is never too late.

Privacy an Illusion

Too many people think that what they post on line is private. I was one of those people before #ETMOOC almost three years ago. I thought if I put on my privacy settings that I would be protected. Don’t be fooled. Act as if all is public always. I know that it isn’t easy for young people today because the world is watching. It makes me wonder if I would have acted any diffferent in my youth if I knew that. Teachers, School Counsellors and Administrators are increasingly posting on line and they most certainly need to be good citizens online and off. We are role models for all. Take a look at what Russ Sabella had to say during his session on Ethics at #ASCA15

If you scan Dr. Sabella’s QR code you can download the presentation into your dropbox files. if you are not sure how to scan go to the website on the tweet above.

I like the statement JUST BECAUSE YOU CANDOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD

One of the many great things I learned in ETMOOC was that you need to create your own digital footprint before anyone else does it for you. So flood the internet with the positives that you do and are.

School Counsellors you can and must be a leader. Google yourself often to make sure your presence is what you want it to be. Set up google alerts to make sure your footprint is positive. You can start today to create your digital identity. By you learning all the ins and outs of posting online you will better understand your students and how you can help them. Will you make some mistakes? I am sure you will, I certainly have, but I feel I am much better prepared today to prepare our students for tomorrow.

You can spread your positive ideas and make a difference in the world and as a result be a role model for students and encourage others to do the same.  So if you don’t know already complete privacy is an ilusion.  I ask you to please make your mark in the world a positive one. Think before you post.

Here are a couple of my haiku decks on Digital Citizenship and privacy:

The Illusion of Privacy

Digital Citizenship lessons

For our High School Students

Now it’s your turn. What will you post today?

Alan Levine, #etmooc, and the cMOOC That Would Not Die

I don’t think I could say it any better Paul and Alan. Etmooc is definitely alive and well. The connections we have made will last a lifetime and for that I am truly grateful! I get to keep learning with all of you fabulous people that I consider a part of my extended family.

Building Creative Bridges

We can cut off its head, fill its mouth with garlic, and drive a stake through its body, but we apparently can’t kill a well-designed, engaging, dynamic learning experience and the community of learning it spawns. Nor would we want to.

Graphic by Alan Levine Graphic by Alan Levine

At least that’s what a cherished colleague, Alan Levine, suggests in “The cMOOC That Would Not Die,” a newly-posted article (with accompanying graphics that puckishly draw upon horror-film imagery) that captures the spirit and reach of #etmooc—the Educational Technology & Media massive open online course he helped shape and facilitate as a course “conspirator” in early 2013.

Inspired by the #etmooc community’s latest learning endeavor—a tweet chat that drew community members together for a lively hour-long discussion about integrating Twitter into learning earlier this week—Levine combines his usual wicked sense of humor and insightful perspective into a set of reflections that…

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Words Really Do Matter

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Words really do matter. I had originally wrote this post because I was developing an online presentation for adults on mental health and wellness so that they may assist students in their Post – Secondary programs. As I thought about what I would say I recognized that my words matter. What I say could potentially influence educators. What they say to their students could potentially transform what happens for the students and their families. Mental health literacy matters, stigma matters , words matter.

This week our students at BCHS released their anti-slur campaign . Real evidence that words do matter . CAkkWFXUwAASC6N.jpg-large CAWd1M6VAAAMKPp.jpg-large Click here for all of their words.

Sometimes I hear people use words way too loosely when describing someone with a mental illness or someone who has special needs or challenges. They may say so and so is an ADHD kid or so and so is bipolar, an alcoholic etc. It matters to me when I hear words used inappropriately as I believe strongly that we are people first ( the labels used like ADHD are only a very small way of telling us something about someone). We are so much more.

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Who we truly are cannot or should not be described in a few words. So the next time you find yourself using the label first STOP and THINK about the power of your words. Jim or Joan may have a million attributes that are positive and when you use one word to define them you are missing out on such huge pieces of who they truly are. 10419043_911951492189094_3575560603208004517_n7075_911952008855709_5968776292462405218_n10676148_911951908855719_9132407601018882210_n Eliminate so and so is a developmentally delayed child etc. and say their name and the many wonderful things about them. When you do this you start to perceive them differently. You also begin to treat each human being , each child in your care with so much more dignity and respect. Words really do matter. Words can bring about acceptance.  Words can change our brains. Words can hurt or heal. Words can hold back or help. Words can break hearts or touch hearts. Words can build others up or tear them down.  Words allow people to tell their stories .             11054330_911952025522374_6761228367194168442_nWords give people their voices . Words can challenge us to be resilient. Words can give us the strength to carry on … to give us HOPE.  Words can ruin someone’s day or make someone’s day . Words have the power to change others and change ourselves. What words will you use when speaking about and to your students today?

2014 A Year To Remember

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There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.

– Mark Twain

Thanks to a post by my fellow #etmooc ‘er Helen Blunden @activatelearn. I was inspired to write this post.

My most viewed posts of 2014

1. Career Speed Dating

2. Ten Reasons to Live

3. Hope In My Idea School

4. Putting Passion Into Practice

5. School Counsellors Connecting

6. Children of Alcoholics School Counsellors Can Help

7. OCLMOOC: SChool Counsellors Joining In And You Can Too

8. Connections Have Transformed Me

9. Conference With A Difference

10. Lessons For A New School Counsellor

Wishing my PLN a fantastic 2015 and hoping you and your families enjoy all the blessings of life.

          LOVE THIS TWEET : Something we all should practice in 2015

I am so fortunate to work with @NeilOF12 a great leader, and @ehordyskiluong ( my co-inspirer) I know that’s not a word, but she always works with me to inspire students and helps me with so many other projects and ideas. To Peter Damen who always has great ideas  and is a fabulous School Counsellor ( who I am grateful is on our team ) thank you for who you are and all you do. To my fabulous colleagues who continue to inspire me by what they do and their comittment to education . I am grateful to work alongside you.

In 2015, I hope to see more Canadian School Counsellors on twitter. I look forward to celebrating and connecting with you. Thanks to those who have already taken a leadership role. See you in #SCCrowd #scchat and #cscchat.                                        

GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE in 2015