Canadian School Counselling Week … A time to celebrate what you do #cscchat

School Counsellors all over Canada are making a difference. I want to share what you do!! 

I thank you School Counsellors in Canada and in the world for all you do. YOU DO #makeadifference. Post to the hashtag #cscchat Canadian School Counsellor Chat to share what you do .

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Inspired by my dear friend Maria De Cicco, I am wanting to celebrate all the great work School Counsellors are doing in Canada this week. I want to feature YOU and what you do on my blog. If you would like to write an article and send it to me, I would love to feature the fabulous things School Counsellors are doing . Please send a pic if you can along with your blog post to susanspellmancann@gmail.com. If you would just like to send me a pic of you and a message that is great too. I would be happy to share it on twitter with your permission. I believe there are School Counsellors all over Canada doing amazing things and the TIME IS NOW to share what you do!!!!

Check out Julie Fantinato ‘s  @jfantinato school district’s comments from Elementary school students about their School Counsellor.

You can tell they love their School Counsellors

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The CCPA has some ideas for you . Below you can see an example of what we plan on doing at BCHS. Here are some possible examples of PA Announcements:

Monday: This week is Canadian School Counselling Week.  We challenge you today we challenge you to take 10 mins. out of your day to exercise or practice mindfullness. Need more information or tips please pick up todays tips in Student Services. Have a great day! You can make a difference.

Tuesday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge students and staff to do one small good deed and when you do please post it to the hashtag #empowerBCHS or come and share with us what you did and we will share it on our school facebook site. Have a fabulous day . You make a difference.

Wednesday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge each student and staff member to express your gratitude to someone at school by telling them thank you for… You could even write a post card to them . The post cards will be available all week in Student Services. Being grateful improves your overall happiness. Do it today! You make a difference.

Thursday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge students and staff to let one of your family members know how important they are. Pick up a You make a difference in my life card in Student Services and give it to them. Remember you make a difference.

Friday: It is the last day of School Counselling Week. Your school counsellors want you to know we are here for you anytime . Come see us in Students Services. Today we challenge you to think about your favourite wellness quote and post it to the hashtag #empowerBCHS or share it with us in Student Services and we will feature it in the upcoming weeks. Have a wonderful weekend and remember You make a difference.

You may also wish to send someone you know who supports School Counsellors a thank you. This one I made with haiku deck.

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jpeg Alberta School Counsellors are also doing amazing things . Check out their website here . Proclamation Canadian School Counselling Week.

 Proclamation from CCPA for School Counselling Week

WHEREAS, school counsellors are employed in public and private schools to help students reach their full potential; and   WHEREAS, school counsellors are actively committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents as these traits relate to career awareness and development; and   WHEREAS, school counsellors help parents focus on ways to further the educational, personal and social growth of their children; and   WHEREAS, school counsellors work with teachers and other educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals for themselves; and   WHEREAS, school counsellors seek to identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counselling programs and help students become productive members of society; and   WHEREAS, comprehensive developmental school counselling programs are considered an integral part of the educational process that enables all students to achieve success in school;   Therefore, I, ___________________________________ do hereby proclaim February 2-6, 2015, as Canadian School Counselling Week. School Counsellors make a difference . It is worth repeating. Thank you School Counsellors in Canada and in the world for all you do. YOU DO #makeadifference. Post to the hashtag #cscchat Canadian School Counsellor Chat to share what you do especially this week.

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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!

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

Coping Skills

When it comes to coping it really does matter what you have to cope with: Check out my haiku deck on coping skills here: How You Cope Depends On What You Have to Cope With. Understanding how stress impacts you can help you cope. Below you will find some strategies that may help you cope . Use the strategies that work best for you.

ABC’s  Coping Skills:

A: Attitude: Your attitude matters.

Allow yourself extra time to get up in the morning andget to places. Being 15 to 20 minutes early can reduce your strss level.

Allow 10-15 minutes a day for YOU time. Time to wind down, time to reflect, time to let go of your worries,

B: Books : A book on the topic you are trying to cope with can help. Beliefs Challenge your thoughts about the topic: Be positive! Books can be healing!

Be a person who can say NO and not feel guilty. It is OK to say no to things that are not healthy and things you really don’t want to do. It’s also ok to give yourself a break and say no to something.

Be a person who knows how to wait, read a book online or have a book with you that you can devour while you have to wait somewhere. It not only makes the time go faster but it is a wonderful way to pass the time.

C: Caring and compassion make a difference:  helping others helps you to focus on others not on your problems. Care about yourself. Write a positive message to yourself on a mirror with an erasable marker. Write a positive note to yourself on a card and carry it around in your wallet.

D: Decide if you are a School Counsellor that you need to take care of yourself. Watch out for compassion fatigue:

D: Decide if you are a student to reach out and ask for help if you need it. Reaching out is a strength not a weekness.

E: Express your feelings . Feelings are neither write or wrong. It’s what you do with them that matters. If you hurt yourself or someone else then that needs to be changed. So write down your feelings.Tell someone how you feel. Draw your feelings in an art journal. Find some great ideas for art Journalling on pinterest.

Exercise is always helpful. You might only need to exercise 7 mins. each day. You can do it!

F: Find great strategies.

G: Give yourself a break . Try these brain breaks:

H: Hope . It is so important to maintain a hopeful perspective.

I : Invite others to help you : Kids Help Phone.

J: Just be yourself.

K: Kindness is always a good thing . Do a Random Acts of Kindness for someone else today.

L: Listen to music . It soothes the soul.

M: Mindfulness matters. Focus on your breath.  Here are some tips for teens.

N: Naming game : 54321 Exercise.

O: Open your mind to new strategies.

P: Positive self talk matters.

Q: Quite your mind. Be still!

R: Relax:

S: Strategies : the more you have the better.  Here are 99.

T: Trust: that your feelings will not last forever. Feelings are neither right nor wrong they are just feelings. It is what you do with them that matters.

U: Understanding your coping skills matters.

V: Visualize what you want.

W: Watch a funny show to get your mind off all the serious stuff.

X:  A to Z  list.

Y: YOU MATTER . Remember who matters.

Z: A-Z another list. Thanks to Jordan Andrews @jta102 for making me think about this post today.  

Please share your coping skills and strategies Thanks for adding your links below. Remember:

The Smallest Good Deed is Better Than The Grandest Good Intention

#ReachHigher … You Can Too … Go Make A Difference

Susan University  (1)

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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.

10 Reasons To Live

In October while attending CCSDL conference 2014, I met Josh , a positive intelligent young man. Inspired by his teacher ( N von Krogh) who asked students to complete a project titled “15 reasons to live”,  Josh made this video. I hope watching Josh’s 15 reasons to live gives you inspiration to come up with your own top 10 reasons to live. The students projects at CCSDL in B.C.  inspired me to bring this idea back to our wellness team at BCHS .

The Mental Wellness team Living Aware,  Living Informed, Living Empowered  will be coming up with their own top 10 reasons to live to share with the Bishop Carroll High School Community. This project is an adapted version of what Mrs. von Krogh did. The project we plan on doing is also inspired by The Buried Life , who are positive young Canadians who go out and cross things off their bucket list by doing the things they want to live for, but a very important part of the process is doing something kind for others.

Directions for our project:

For our project I’d like you to reflect on your life and think about things that matter, the things that make you, you and give you reasons to live life fully.

Some questions to ponder:

What do you live for and love?

What are your reasons to trust, to overcome adversity, to cope, to laugh, to love?

What makes you get up every day?

What makes you happy and makes your life worth living?

What do you value?

What motivates you to make a difference?

What are the peak moments in your life that have impacted you?

Who are the people or relationships in your life that make you want to celebrate life?

What are the places in the world that inspire you or bring you comfort?

What do you want to do before you die? What are your TOP 10 reasons to live?

This is a reflective activity. You might start listing 100 reasons to live randomly. Then go through your list and pick the top ten to CELEBRATE .

You may wish to celebrate your TOP 10  in several ways:

  • An Art piece
  • A display
  • A magazine article
  • A mobile
  • Music … there are many ways to celebrate your reasons to live … an album cover …
  • A photo gallery
  • Postcards
  • Poster
  • Use a tech tool like @haikudeck to tell us about your top ten
  • You can make a YouTube video
  • You can be creative and come up with your own ideas

You may wish to collaborate with some others or you may choose to make this more personal to you .Who you do this with and how you do this is totally up to you.

Check out the trailer by Alan Zweig’s 15 Reasons to Live for more inspiration.

Our wellness team want you to think about all the things that make a difference to you and hopefully seeing others projects inspires you to think of many more ways to enjoy your own life as well as ways you can make a difference in others. We will be displaying or sharing some of the presentations at our Mental Health Symposium.

We challenge you to find two people who would be willing  to do this project and share this project with us so we can spread more HOPE in the world. What are your ten reasons to live? You also need to think of one way you can make a difference in someone else’s life. I’d like you to reflect on one of my favourite quotes when you do something good for someone else, something that will make them feel that you care and that they matter.

“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention

You can look back here at a later date to see our projects.

Now it’s your turn. Go make a difference and when you do please post your ideas to this blog or tweet @sspellmancann so I can share your inspirational projects.

Putting Passion Into Practice

This week I am presenting to the Alberta Guidance Council. Their closing keynote was unable to come so I get a chance to share with other Alberta School Counsellors what I am most passionate about School Counselling and technology. I get to put my passion into practice. One of the things that matters to me most after I have heard a presenter is if I am able to put into practice what I have heard by using something I learned or receiving a resource that I can use later. So I really hope this blog post provides you with several resources you are able to use long after my talk.

Here are some resources from my presentation:

Technology doesn’t always work the way you want it to as was evident today, so here is the start of my presentation Putting Passion Into Practice a Powtoon presentation.

We need to understand the students we work with. They are an Instagram generation and we can help them most by understanding their world and learning to use technology in a positive way to assist them.

Here is the Haiku Deck Putting Passion Into Practice that I shared.

The Putting Passion Into Practice  smore has resources that I discussed.

I know how important it is to have a back up plan and luckily I did, but such a great lesson today to remind us when presenting to download your presentation directly onto your computer /and or blog. Hopefully this blog will give you what you missed during my presentation.

I want you to know as a School Counsellor you are extremely vital to the well-being of students in your schools and play an important part in helping students #reachhigher. You are a leader and can demonstrate that daily in your schools.

I was extremely fortunate to attend this years American School Counselling Association conference where I met and collaborated with lots of amazing school counsellors who are connected and want to make a difference for the future of school counselling. I especially love that I got to surprise my twitter and now F2F friend Erin Mason ( she did not think I was coming to the conference ). Meeting F2F was fabulous and has made our connection even closer.  I had so much fun throughout the whole conference and the fact that we first met on twitter made the conference even more special. I felt like I was at home when I arrived. Another of my favourite parts of the conference was being present for Michelle Obama’s speech. I felt so happy to be present at such a historic moment for School Counsellors and the profession. I really wish we had someone as special speaking and advocating on behalf of School Counsellors in Canada.

Here is a clip from Michelle Obama’s Speech recognizing the importance of School Counsellors at this years American School Counselling Conference ( if you look very, very close you’ll see @sspellmancann at 1 min 22 sec. with @tmscounsellor I am the excited one with the Canadian iPhone camera taking a pic.) The whole speech can be found on YouTube, but below you can see a transcript of her talk.

“Your work lives on in their hearts and minds, and in the hearts and minds of everyone they touch.” Michelle Obama

For a transcript of the First Lady’s remarks, click here. You might get the inspiration you need to reach higher to make a difference in your school.

I love how Michelle Obama ended her speech. In the words of Michelle Obama here is what School Counsellors need to know:

So here’s the thing, ASCA members ( SCHOOL COUNSELLORS my insert) — whenever you get tired — and I know that you do — whenever you get frustrated or overwhelmed — and I know that you do — I want you to think about the extraordinary ripple effect of your work, because it’s real. I want you to think about the impact you have not just on every child whose life you transform, but on the family that child will raise, on the business where that child will work, on the community that child will one day serve. I want you to think about how long after those kids graduate your work lives on in their hearts and minds, and in the hearts and minds of everyone they touch.

So today, I want to end as I started –- by once again saying thank you. Really, thank you. Thank you for your compassion and determination. Thank you for the boundless love you show our children.

And I for one, as your First Lady, I am grateful for all that you do. And I look forward to working closely with you in the years ahead to give all our young people the bright futures they so richly deserve.

Thank you all. God bless.”

I believe through technology you too can make a difference.

TOP REASONS FOR SCHOOL COUNSELLORS TO USE TECHNOLOGY:

1. To Connect by

  • Using Apps

Thanks to Suzanne Tiemstra for sharing some favorite apps she uses : Kids Help Phone App,  Heart Math App, Reach Out Apps,  and  Panic Attack talk down App . You can see some of my recommendations in the smore and my livebinders.

  • Blogging  … Make your learning visible

School Counselling blog roll. So many great resources here you’ll be like a kid in a candy shop.

  • Developing and sharing ideas like Ten Reasons To Live
  • Using Flipboard Click here for and example for new School Counsellors
  • Utilizing Google Docs ( you can collaborate below )

( you can add your name to this google doc . for School Counsellors if it is not already here )

( you can collaborate  and get many resources in this google doc . on Mental Health in High School )

  • Using Google hangouts
  • Posting to School Counsellor Hashtags

#SCCrowd

#cscchat Canadian School Counsellor Chat 

#scchat  

My Pinterest board:

Erin @ehordyskiluong’s board:

  • Listening to Presentations by other School Counsellors

Carol Miller’s Tech Savvy Counselling presentation

Ross Wolfson’s presentation:

  • Connect on Twitter

Here is Alec Couros  @courosa video to get you thinking how twitter can help you.

  • Use Tellagami to connect with students and families

Here is one I made on “A JOY SEARCH instead of a JOB SEARCH”

  • Use Videos like Animoto to introduce yourself to students because “Video trumps text ” a quote that I like to use from Dean Shareski.
  • Try Vlogging
  • Connect and share on You tube

You tube videos we use to help students:

2. Collaboration

See how you can collaborate … check out the docs in Google docs

3. Collating resources 

Here is a great School Counselling Kit from the fabulous Danielle Schultz

4. Continue to professionally develop

Twitter is the best tool to do this or you can join a Google plus community

5. To Engage Students

hopefully all the resources here you can adapt to engage your students

6. To Ensure that School Counselling is Never Boring

An introduction to Ed Jacobs and Impact Therapy

Elementary School Counsellors : Here are some great videos you can use in your School Counselling Program.

Middle School / Junior High Counsellors:

A great Pinterest board for you to start following

High School Counsellors:

A must follow board:

School Counsellors need to know:

  • You are capable
  • You can curate
  • You save lives
  • You can commit to learning one new tool in the next week
  • You can be on the cutting edge in a very short time
  • You are a School Counsellor and you matter

Gratitude

I am grateful everyday that I chose this fabulous profession of School Counselling.

The Science of Happiness

Who are you grateful for? Tell them …

I am a School Counsellor

I was a School Counsellor the moment I realized students needed help and I could make a difference

Throughout the day I can be called upon to assist, encourage, intervene, give support, make serious decisions and more

I am privileged to see the potential in each and every student

Honoured that students and their families allow me to help them

Thankful that I have chosen a profession I can be proud of and one that allows me to leave a legacy

You, the parents allow me to enter your world and help the most precious gift you have been given in life your child

Students matter to me and I will counsel your children from my heart, always maintaining a professional response

I am a School Counsellor and I will never take that responsibility lightly

I will have the courage , strength and hope to do what is necessary

I will provide a place and a space where you can trust what I do

Knowing that you have allowed me to spend my precious days with the future

I am a School Counsellor and for that I am filled with gratitude each and every day

Susan Spellman Cann

End of the year thank you to students from your School Counsellor. Click on this smore . You can edit and make one of your own.

Thanks for the opportunity to present today at the Alberta Guidance Council and the wonderful introduction from my dear friend @HelenMacKinnon2 . She led us down memory lane when we used to lead conferences for the AGC. Now we get to watch such great leaders take on the very important job of connecting Alberta School Counsellors. I appreciate  the warm wishes this morning from my PLN.

I feel so grateful to have presented today and love that School Counsellors in Alberta may be willing to take the challenge to learn about one new tech tool this week.

I know that you all will continue to make a difference for our Alberta youth and use many of the resources available to you . If you ever need my help I am just a click away!

Enjoy!!!