At this time of year I know some of you are already preparing for next year, so I thought I’d add a little way to get to know your students and their stories better. If you’d like to do this yourself and share with me, that would be great too. Have a fabulous summer. You deserve it!
You 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.
I love creative tools and I especially love Haiku Deck . I know that is no big secret yet I am still finding creative ways to use it. Combining Haiku deck with a cool little tool like wheel decide allows School Counsellors and educators to start their day in a positive way and have fun with kids. Click on this haiku deck to get started. Thanks to Adam Tratt @adamtratt for the inspiration to make this deck and there will most certainly be more to come. You too can make your own Wheel Decide by clicking here.
Want to take a spin?
Click on Wheel Decide | Kindness
There are so many creative things educators and School Counsellors could do with these tools. Let students create their own. You can make them too! Have a blast and please share yours with me. I plan on putting a positive spin on my day every day with Haiku Deck.
This is my first blog post in a long time, I had eye surgery ( crosslinking plus limited PRK I have keratoconus ) on November 23rd and I realized I have been focussing way too much on what I can’t do instead of what I can. So as 2018 begins, I am going to focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t!
I can ask for help when I need it ( this is so hard for a helper especially for me who is used to helping others).
I can learn to use the accessibility keys on my computer and phone.
I can write more , paint more, sing more dance more , be more ...
I can exercise more, eat healthier more, do more …
I can live more and spend more time focussing on what I can do!!!!!!!!
I can be kinder , more loving , more helpful!
I can elicit the help of others to do more of what I want to do and can do.
I need to stop that voice in my head that says I can’t drive ( for now) , I can’t see as well as I would like ( for now) , I can’t … I can’t …
Oh yes I can, I just need to figure out how and do it. Just like how I figured out how to fix my computer at school and at home with bigger fonts. At work I asked for help, at home I googled how for my Mac system and did it! I asked for a bigger screen at work and can now easily use the scroll to increase font size to see my email. I am using the accessibility keys on my phone and computer to help me do lots of things. I can and do access online support through a keratoconus Facebook group. I am very grateful . This group and my friends and family have helped me a tremendous amount in my recovery process.
This is the first time in my life that I have lost my independence , but with help and support I can and will do lots of things … sometimes I just have to ask (even when it isn’t easy to do).
There are so many things I can do if I stay focussed on the I can! I can choose healthier options psychologically and physically. Not only can I … I will!
“Everything you do has an impact. Who you are – that you are – actually matters. In an interconnected world (the only kind we have), our actions and the actions of others are inextricably linked- we are always and forever in a dance of mutual influence with those with whom we directly and indirectly participate. It is the unavoidable reality of being social creatures, only magnified by an ever-increasingly complex and interwoven societal structure. We matter to each other.” – Paul Greiner
This sums up my feelings about so many people and about so many things. Today I sobbed as I viewed the faces of all those lost in the Vegas tragedy. They mattered to so many people and today they mattered to me even though I did not know them.
Life is truly fragile and I am ever reminded of this. I try very hard to live every day as if it is my last. Am I always successful ? No, but I really wish to live life as fully as I can, love those I can and let the people in my life that I am closest to know they matter. I don’t want to wait til someone passes away for them to know that they really matter to me.
So if you are one of those precious people in my life reading this , know that you do really matter to me and I am so grateful to have you in my life. So today and every day let others know that they matter and hopefully you too will see as Greiner says that in this complex interwoven societal structure we matter to each other.
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!
I am grateful that people even enjoy my Art . If you happen to be one of those please send me a pic!
I have been an educator since 1980 and a School Counsellor since 1999, but never have I been so passionate about School Counsellors across the world having a collective voice for the students we serve as well as being a support for each other. As I get ready for retirement I am no less passionate about what I do and what we do in this profession.
I am so hoping during Canadian School Counselling Week and National School Counselling Week #NSCW17 that others across the world will step up and let us hear their voice. Be an advocate for this profession. A special thank you to my American colleagues who often step up to be heard and have made transformative changes in attitudes and practice for School Counselors.
There are so many ways to do this .
- Speak up in your district
- Take on leadership roles at the district, local , provincial, state, and national levels
- Get someone like Michelle Obama to be an advocate for you “School Counselors You Are Heroes”
- Post ideas on twitter, facebook, instagram
- Blog, vlog, and/ or podcasts
- Share your BIG ideas on advocacy
- Share, share, share (we are better together)
- You can make a difference
- You do make a difference
- You can make change
- You can stand up for students and your profession
I am a better person because I collaborate with other School Counsellors. Collaborate with others in your own school, others on-line and others who are and are not educators who all want the same thing a better life for our students.
Let your voice be heard. There are so many counsellors who are focused, determined and willing to give hope to School Counsellors and their students. I would love to see more School Counsellors from across the world STAND UP, SPEAK OUT, and SHARE your wonderful knowledge to others across the world who care as much as you do.
You can if we collaborate with others and one of the best ways to do that is to join us each month as we chat on-line using the hashtag #SCCHAT
Most importantly be grateful for all those who work together to make this a better profession. The unheard heroes who work tirelessly everyday to be the best School Counsellors they can be.
- help the most vulnerable of our populations
- that go the extra mile in the caring department
- assist students across the finish line of graduation
- do small things that matter , but they never find out until years later
- save lives, but are silent
- spread HOPE daily
Remember you are that leader. Don’t wait to be asked , take action TODAY! Yes you, no matter where you are a School Counsellor in the world ,YOU have a voice. Don’t just listen … be that voice so that together we can make not only the positive changes in our own communities that we want , but maybe we can make a change and a difference for some child somewhere in another part of the world that we never imagined we would.
TOP SCHOOL COUNSELLORS TO FOLLOW : here
Worth saying again:
Celebrate what you do with students. Celebrate other School Counsellors and educators every chance you can.