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!
If you don’t know what #SCCHAT is . It is an International School Counsellor Chat that runs from Sept. – June 6:30 MT 8:30 ET . It was founded by the amazing Erin Mason @ecmmason in 2011. You can post in #scchat all year-long at any time of the day no matter where in the world you live. We’d love to get to know you.
- We are happy to have you join us this year and if you want to tell us a bit more about yourself please click here.
- If you would like to learn more about our co-moderators this year please click here.
- We are wanting to get to know you better so one way to do that is to add your video to flipgrid. You can do that here .
We have some great topics . Mark your calendars and join in!
|MONTH||TOPIC||Co – moderators|
|SEPTEMBER 5th 2018||The School Counselor’s Role in Suicide Intervention and Postvention||Look for these in September|
|OCTOBER 3rd 2018||Relationships/Rapport w/ Students, Teachers and Parents|
|NOVEMBER 7th 2018||Bullying Prevention
“Promoting Positivity & Self-Esteem in a World of…
|DECEMBER 5th 2018||Collaborating with Other Professionals in Your Building|
|JANUARY 2nd 2019||Counselor as Leaders: How do you Advocate for your School Counseling Program?|
|FEBRUARY 6th 2019||Celebrate School Counseling! (special invite for grad students)|
|MARCH 6 th 2019||Equity in School Counseling|
|APRIL 3rd 2019||Developing Positive Relationships with Challenging Students|
|MAY 1st 2019||The 21st Century Counselor|
|JUNE 5th 2019||Celebrating Our Year|
We are so excited to get to know and celebrate you all year-long! You are doing amazing life changing work, so keep it up!
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!
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.
Life is a process of healing and I love to create more than ever before. Using art with students is a wonderful way to connect with them and let them express themselves. We often use art as a way to talk and share. They inspire me and I have found another way to help them. I am not an art therapist , but that does not mean I or you cannot use art in your counselling sessions to help students. Referring students as always when needed to a certified Art Therapist is ethical.
Here are some ideas to get you to start on your own creative journey. Let go of the fear and create art anyway. You may become a better teacher or counsellor. I know I have. A new chapter … a new journey. An ever ending journey of learning for me and I hope for you.
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.
- 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.
YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN GOLD will never get old.
As soon as I entered the field of School Counselling I knew I had to be an advocate. I thought as a teacher I knew what School Counsellors did. Was I wrong!!!
Since then my colleagues and I have advocated at a district level to bring more awareness to what we do. Has it made a difference? YES! YES! YES! Our district is one of the best in the country when it comes to supporting , understanding and recognizing the work that School Counsellors do.
I have also advocated at a provincial level by being one of the voices and president of the then Alberta Guidance Council. Today my friend Erin Luong has taken up that advocacy role in the ATA Council Of School Counsellors and they are lucky to have her.
At a national level in 1999 , I was part of the first delegation of Counsellors to go to China along with my leader and friend Maria de Cicco as part of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association . My administrator and district supported me as a School Counsellor advocate on this journey. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will treasure and never forget.
Strong leaders are needed to be the voice along with School Counsellors . We need someone in Canada who has the same powerful, inspiring voice as Michelle Obama does here:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 2, 2018
Today although I am semi retired I still want to advocate. I believe School Counselling is one of the most important positions that every school still needs , maybe now more than ever.
So I say Canadian School Counsellors raise up your voices, if you want change , make it happen … be the change!!!!! We need your voice! Being silent won’t produce the changes needed across the country. You are valuable. You do matter . You are needed and you do make a difference. YOUR VOICE MATTERS!
Want to know how to be a great advocate just follow the #SCCHAT feed on twitter to see how it’s done. Let’s join in Canadians with our world counterparts who are advocating and being the voice for School Counsellors worldwide.