Each day as a School Counsellor you have an opportunity to impact a child’s life in a way unlike others are able to do. Never ever lose sight of that. It might be a small action that touches a child’s heart and makes a difference for a lifetime. You have the time to truly listen and understand what it is a child needs and how to help them in a way that can change their perceptions of themselves and the world around them. It is a gift you have been given to give away , so treasure the moments that are right there in front of you each day as you enter your school. You are there for a purpose.
Crisis Response: School Counsellors Are You Prepared?
Handling a crisis can impact the school and the School Counsellor in ways that are unforseen. The School Counsellor often takes the lead along with administration in our schools, but may be missed in recognizing the support they need because of their uniques role in offering social emotional supports to so many.
This podcast below will help all School Counsellors in a preventative way . Thanks to Trish Hatch @hatchingresults for the excellent podcast on Putting Out The Fire: A School Counsellors Role in Times of Crisis.
Your comment, “what’s unique about the School Counsellor is that they are involved in the crisis as well, what often happens is the School Counsellor puts their own needs aside as they take care of others.” This concept is so important for all to recognize. We are helpers and how we model handling a crisis is vital. If we remain calm, then students and staff will see that . As a School Counsellor I know I often handled crisis with calm , but on the inside I knew I would need support after the crisis was over. That’s why debriefing and supports are essential.
If we are the leaders in our Student Services teams, we need to monitor how our team is doing and if they have been triggered by the crisis for whatever reason. We need to step in and step up to support them. Even if that means letting them know it is ok to step back and let others handle the crisis. The School Counsellor may have worked with the student or students related to the crisis , so they may need time for themselves to process and take care of their own needs. We too as the leader may be impacted so we need to be self-aware and know when we ourselves need to step back. This is one of the many great reasons to have districts who have a district crisis team that can come into the school and assist.
We are most certainly in the uniques role of helping others , so having a supportive admin. team is essential. Fortunately for me I have had wonderful leaders who know, support and understand the role of School Counsellors.
I hope you will use this podcast as a reflective tool and a great segue to important discussions with your counselling teams.
For easy access to this podcast, click here and listen to the end. It is perfect PD all online for School Counsellors.
At 20:00 check out Vanessa Gomez Lee where she discusses ( a crate, a file box) I’ll call it a CR Kit for SC that every School Counsellor should have .
All districts have an emergency response plan and lock down kits each unique to their district. The CR School Counsellor Kit will be different . What should be in the kit that is different from your lock down kits?
Crisis Response Materials
- Brochures or other materials on natural responses to grief. So many other great resources here .
- Crisis Plan
- Important Phone numbers
- Community Resources
- Markers and Paper for Students to write or draw their feelings
What else do you think should be in this kit?
- Stress balls ????????
I would love to hear your ideas. Again thanks to all the great School Counsellors who not only take the lead in their schools , but are always willing to share and help others . Thanks #scchat!
Anxiety: Plugged In Or Out? How Can We Help Mitigate The Effects Of Social Media On Our Kids?
guest post by: S. Helen MacKinnon
The impact that social media has on kids is undeniable. A recent article in the New York Times highlights some of the more concerning issues.
I don’t think we need much convincing that social media has had an impact on all our lives and it is not going away anytime soon. I am a neophyte when it comes to social media, but in my work with children and their families over the past 30 years has allowed me a first hand insight into the world of children and their families.
What can we do as parents, counsellors and educators to mitigate the impact that social media is having on our young people? As in any situation where we are trying to teach children, we ourselves need to be the role model. We need to examine the message we send our kids when we are engaged in use of our own devices. What parameters do we have for ourselves when it comes to use of devices? Do we actually have discussions with our kids about amount of usage, times and places that are no go zones for adults and kids? Do we understand the safety issues and if not do we educate ourselves about these issues and discuss them with our children? Yes, with any privilege comes responsibility, both for us as the adult and for our children whom we must guide to be ethical digital citizens. Don’t let their media skills fool you! Although they appear to be very savvy in the area of technology, they do not have the life experience or a fully developed brain that allows them to project the outcome of what they may see as just having a little fun or wanting to fit in.
A Simple Thank You … is enough #IMMOOC
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?
Relationships Relationships Relationships … Great Leaders Matter
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 Mindset when 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.
How do you thank someone? … You can too …
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 .
- Can I trust this person?
- 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:
- Go to http://www.uregina.ca/giving
- Click the Donate Now button on the right side
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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
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!
Mental Health Symposium with Dr. Alec Couros @courosa
Living Fully Alive
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman
At Bishop Carroll High School we take mental health and wellness seriously. Our district and province have made a committment to focus on the well being of our students . Take a look at the video below to see what Alberta teachers are saying.
Our mental health wellness committee put together our second symposium featuring Dr. Alec Couros.
Need a background start here and really think about the words you use when it comes to mental health .
Take a peek at our 2005 Mental Health Living Fully Alive Symposium:
Mental health is important and if you need to find out why take a look at these facts about mental illness. It is one of the reasons we decided to put together a symposium. It will be a great day when mental health is understood and de- stigmatized.
If you want to see what we did last year you can can take a look at the pins below:
Below we hope you could make use of some of our resources. Feel free to use any and or all ideas. We need to work together to make this a better world for our youth.
- Our Living Fully Alive advertisement can be found here.
- Our challenge for ten reasons to live is posted here: 10 Reasons To Live
- One of the most important things we wanted our students to gain from this symposium was coping skills.
- Haiku Deck Reasons To Live
- Haiku decks for School Counsellors and students click below:
We need to teach students how to find their flow state and use it to keep themselves healthy. How do you get yourself into this state? For me one way is painting.
Our mental health wellness is a collaborative project that we began last year . The following document has a wealth of resources that we hope high schools, educators and school counsellors will use. It is an ongoing work in progress, so if you’d like to collaborate with us please feel free to tweet me @sspellmancann and join us on our journey as we pay attention to our own mental health as well as the mental health and wellness of others.
101 ways to Live Your Life to the Fullest
101 things to do Before You Die
Thanks Dr.Couros for your passion and assisting students to think about their identities on and off line. As our students would say . YOU rock!
Now go have yourself a great day and remember you have a purpose … YOU MATTER
Thanks to @haikudeck for this video! Love you guys!
#ReachHigher … You Can Too … Go Make A Difference
Created using smilebox
I am so inspired by the First Ladies commitment to help students #reachhigher as well as her dedication and support for School Counsellors.
When I reflect back to my high school years , I am not sure if I would have attended University if it were not for my School Counsellor, Mrs. Brown from Dartmouth High School. I certainly could not afford to go to post-secondary , even though I had worked part-time for a very long time. In fact I am certain I would not have attended, if it were not for that meeting.
It was only after a meeting with my School Counsellor who led me in the direction of a Bachelor of Child Study at MSVU Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, that I even considered the possibility. She also contributed $100.00 to my University Education which was a lot of money back then. I am so grateful to Mrs. Brown ( who has since passed away ) . I never got to thank her , but I have attempted to pay it forward many times.
Becoming a School Counsellor was never on my radar back then , but again as I reflect back I am sure that one gesture had a HUGE impact on me. I would be the first child in my family to graduate from University.
My community also stepped up to help me. I was very fortunate to receive a university scholarship for playing lacrosse from Canada Fitness and Amateur Sport( A member of my community Shannon Park – Wallis Heights – a forces base, pointed me in this direction to get this scholarship ) . I also received a bursary from Officers’ Wives.
They say it takes a village to raise a child , and for me that was true. My community came together to help and support me and as a result I now have a University education and a lifelong love of learning. I am forever grateful. I feel passionate about students believing they can go on to post-secondary, no matter what their situation.
So School Counsellors, let’s gather together and let students know they can #reachhigher , no matter where they live whether it be in Canada , the US or wherever they live in the world.
Make a poster like the one I did above and share it . Maybe one student will be inspired to reach for their dreams. A special thanks Mrs. Obama for your fabulous leadership and support for School Counsellors . We feel it everywhere.
Thanks to all those who helped me reach my dreams along the way including so many teachers who I adored and one special School Counsellor who really made it all possible. Mrs. Brown, you made a difference. If ever any one of your relatives reads this, know the impact one person can have to change the trajectory of a child’s life. I strive to be that kind of person each and every day for the students in my care.
OCLMOOC Week 1: School Counsellors joining in and you can too
Check out attribution in Haiku Deck here
If you have been thinking about joining in #oclmooc, but have been a little hesitant then you need to read Paul Signorelli ‘s post on our first session with Dave Cormier, I am positive it will peak your interest. It is fabulous . You can find it here. I love that Massive does not neccessarily mean big. It means “Massive Potential”. I would add that Mooc’s have the massive potential to make a massive difference for you. Here is the archive to last nights session.
The Possibilities Are Endless.
I am so happy to see School Counsellors joining us in this Mooc. @bridgethelms , @c_morton, @tmscounselor, @BriseboisJoanne and @HelenMacKinnon2
The wonderful learning from Moocs transfers into what we do with students. We learn and they get the benefits of what we learn through connecting in this positive way. Even if you are not an educator Moocs can make a difference.
I am so pleased at how quickly @gailmwhite8 ( a lifelong learner extraordinaire) who is joining a cMooc for the first time has jumped into the learning. I look forward to seeing her growth in the month ahead and learning along with her and you.
If you or anyone you know is interested in the Open Connected Learning Mooc you can still join in. Check out this smore here for how to connect and for more information on why I love Moocs click here by Verena Roberts.
I look forward to connecting with you in one of our communities . Check out our calendar and our google plus community here and share your learning. We look forward to it.
If you want to know ” Who Matters?” click below:
You really do not want to miss #oclmooc
All you wanted to know and more about Open Connected Learning Mooc. If you have never joined a MOOC before , this is the MOOC for you. Join us!!!