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.
This year I was so lucky to be at Ascension Elementary and Junior High School as a part-time counsellor for #pinkshirtday. In discussion with students we decided on the theme YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN GOLD . You can get an idea of how our celebration went below .
A couple of weeks before the celebration ALL students at Ascension got to make 5 ART CARDS where they were to celebrate their champions, those people who are worth more than gold in their lives. We displayed the beautiful cards on a couple of bulletin boards. You can see our singers from Notre Dame and Diefenbaker standing in front of some of them .
Students made 5 cards each and are going to eventually give those cards to their champions. You can see a few of the great cards below.
Processed with MOLDIV
We started the celebration off with a slide show shared by one of our grade 6 students. You can find it here called One Kind Word.
A student from Notre Dame sang a beautiful rendition of Brave.
3 grade 7 students sang Don’t You Worry by Star.
A grade 8 student did slam poetry on anti bullying.
The Bishop Carroll High School Sassy Jazz singers sang two great songs that students clapped along to.
Then we showed this version of your worth more than gold that the students loved …
5 of our most important people in the school received YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN GOLD trophies., Our caretaker, our librarian and our three of front office superstars.
Students from ECS to grade 6 all stood up front flipping the letters to YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN GOLD spreading the message to all their classmates.
To end we had a student from John D Diefenbaker sing a beautiful rendition of Perfect which was a perfect way to end our celebration.
As students left for the morning they all got a gold piece of chocolate and a positive affirmation . We also had dogs around all day to be with our students.
I love working with elementary and junior high students. They helped bring awareness to an always important topic anti-bullying and hopefully our new generation of young
people will grow up more aware than ever that it is always cool to be kind and will understand the message that they are worthwhile.
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?
Having worked in schools for 36 years I absolutely recognize the importance of a great leader. I am grateful to have worked with so many.
Fortunately for me I get to work with an outstanding leader everyday. He is forward thinking, innovative, positive , intelligent , has great sense of humour , cares deeply about students and staff , is extremely supportive of School Counsellors and most importantly kind. He makes a difference. Thanks @neilof12.
On this Canadian thanksgiving day , I think it is very important to tell the people who you care about and are grateful for that you do. Too often people think it , but don’t say it. I try to say it as often as I can because I recognize life is precious.
I make a point of telling those that have impacted me that they have including my students.
As a leader myself , I make every effort to be the kind of leader I want others to be. I gave my principal The Innovator’s Mindsetwhen it came out knowing that he was already an innovator, but also knowing like me he too is a lifelong learner.
Today most importantly I am grateful for my husband and children who have had the biggest and most positive impact on my life. Because of them I can be the kind of educator, leader and person I want to be.
I am so… so… so grateful for the wonderful friendships that I have in my life. They have and still do enrich and transform my life.
I am grateful for #immooc and @gcouros for having the insights and passion to make a difference in students and educators lives including mine. Thanks to all those in #immooc who have connected and shared with me. I am grateful. I believe very strongly when we are excited about learning we pass that on to all those around us and can make a real difference in the life of a child. Isn’t that why we chose this profession? Yes, George relationships do matter … they are absolutely everything.
Today I decided to go with a new theme on my blog. I wanted a new fresh look to start off the summer. After a lot of exploration I decided to go with the theme you see here on my blog. I am using the picture of HOPEthat was given to me by Ray Mirshahi @mirshahi. I love this picture for so many reasons. I hope you do too.