The Tough Topics in Education … Suicide

This week in #openspokes we were asked to tackle the tough topics and I decided to tackle the topic of suicide which is NOT easy.

School Counsellors often have to assist students with the grief process. Over the years I have seen students who have lost parents, siblings, friends, classmates and family members some due to a completed suicide which is the most tragic of all.

Below listen to a young man’s story that begins to tell the story of the impact on family and friends. I am not sure that there are any words to descibe the impact that this tragedy truly has,but his words I am hopeful will help other students.

As school counsellors our role is to be helpful in anyway that we can by infusing HOPE in as many ways as possible.

When a school experiences the loss of a student everyone feels the loss as expressed here by a note left to a student who died.

Dear_____,

Even though we haven’t formally met, I look at your spot in English class and I am deeply saddened that you are not here with us…

It is never easy seeing a student in deep pain especially if the loss was tragic or sudden. Often times school counsellors need to ensure that they have dealt with their own issues surrounding grief so that they can best help others. School Counsellors need to be aware of vicarious trauma or counsellor burnout when assisting students who have experienced traumatic events.

Here are my livebinders on Suicide Prevention and HOPE:

Suicide Prevention and HOPE

Mental Health resources

I know school counsellors save lives everyday and I want to thank you for the important work you do that no one else sees. I know because I have been a school counsellor for a long time. So keep doing what you are doing even though it can be extremely difficult at times.

There are students who you will make a difference for… of that I am sure! Take care of yourself so that you can continue to help others.

Do You Really Want To Be A Teacher?

I say an emphatic YES. I have no regrets about choosing a profession I love and have loved since 1980.

When I hear people tell young people to not go into teaching it saddens me, because I think we need great teachers who love what they do. Of course there are things that are not so great that teachers have to do and yes parts of what teachers do are extremely difficult. There is no doubt about that, but it is still a wonderful profession that has many, many rewards.

The students are why we do what we do.  We want to be part of their learning. We want to make a difference in their lives. We want to impact how they live their lives and contribute to society. So if anyone asks me if they should become a teacher I will say YES, YES, YES. I will tell them they have an amazing opportunity to be around and impact youth. No doubt there will be frustrations and work you don’t like to do, but the positives will so outweigh the negatives.

There are so many great things about being an educator:

  • Working with students is number one
  • Working with people who love what they do is number two
  • Having choices to do a variety of jobs within a district…teaching at different levels, consulting, administration, counselling etc.
  • Having the freedom to be creative every day
  • Learning, learning, learning. If you are a teacher you are always learning
  • So many, many more reasons

This is an exciting time in education. There will be many changes over the next few years and teachers will have the opportunity to work with youth differently while still impacting their lives in a positive way. I encourage you to find your passion and if it happens to be teaching both YOU and the students will benefit! So I say go ahead CHOOSE TEACHING.

Since 1991 I have been a School Counsellor and I believe teaching and School Counselling have been the best careers in the world. Everyday,I am grateful!

All you educators out there tell me why you would tell young people to go into teaching. Please share your ideas.

Haiku Deck A Fantastic App for School Counsellors

HAIKU DECK is a fantastic app to use for School Counsellors. It is no secret that I love this app. I love this app because it is easy to use and creates professional looking beautiful presentations that I can easily use in my counselling office or as a professional development tool that I can use in presentations with other school counsellors. Stunning visuals have the ability to evoke emotion, a powerful tool for school counsellors to utilize. By being an active champion of both learning and technology school counsellors can use Haiku Deck to create amazing visuals that not only assist students in learning , but they can actually help students.

If you would like to try the web app please click  here: You are invited to try the Haiku Deck web app.

 Image                     

Click here to see this deck:

The newest version of Haiku Deck is even better than before. Check out the Haiku Deck blog for some hot tips on how to make new and exciting presentations.

The truth about stories is, that ‘s all we are”.

Thomas King

Image

School Counsellors can use this app to:

  • Share stories (while still keeping confidentiality)
  • Engage students brain to help them remember what is important
  • Share small and/or  big ideas
  • Present topics to other counsellors
  • Share ideas or topics with students ( easy to share in your office as topic starters)
  • Have students create decks on coping skills or to tell their story
  • Co create a deck with students
  • Create positive quotes and have them rotating in your office
  • Post Haiku Deck’s on your schools facebook site.
  • Tweet decks to students in your school with messages that promote school counselling
  • Tweet decks to other school counsellors.

Please feel free to share ideas you come up with so we can remix and share the best Haiku Deck’s for School Counsellors ever.

Parents might also like getting Haiku Deck’s. It is a great way to promote your School Counselling Program.

Because HAIKU DECK has a Creative Commons license, finding a picture that fits your ideas is fast and easy and as school counsellors this is extremely helpful. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to set yourself up and share.

How to use Haiku Deck for school counsellors:

STEP 1 Go to: http://www.haikudeck.com/

STEP 2: Sign up for Haiku Deck and create a password

STEP 3: Download the app on your IPAD and start creating

Haiku-Easy-Steps

Need ideas and visuals go to the gallery where you will find all kinds of great HAIKU DECKS.

Start using Haiku Deck now and your life as a school counsellor will become be enhanced because you’ll get to share great presentations with others that look like it took you forever to create!

You can view more presentations in Haiku Deck’s Gallery, Haiku Deck’s Pinterest boards, and make sure you follow and share your experiences with Haiku Deck on Twitter (you can even tweet your fantastic presentations to them with #setyourstoryfree ) .

Check out  Susan’s Pinterest HaikuDecks for school counsellors to get you started with some ideas. 

Follow Haiku Deck on twitter @haikudeck

School Counsellors please share your counselling haikudeck’s with me on twitter @sspellmancann. I would like to pin and share with others. let’s work together to make some of the best deck’s ever for students. 

Click below to see Erin Luong’s Haiku Deck ( high school counsellor)  that she co- created with a student.


 HD Tips and tricks

Connection In a Self- Directed Learning Environment: Learning and Teaching in the Digital Age

What’s going on inside the building of Bishop Carroll is not only exciting, but innovative, educational and engaging. Not only are the halls of Bishop Carroll High School buzzing, but inside the offices of several educators learning is taking place.

Bishop Carroll High School is a part of the Canadian Coalition of Self- Directed Learning

Bishop Carroll works together with other members of the coalition to improve the self-directed experience of all the learners. These schools meet together on an ongoing basis as well as convene at a yearly conference to look at ways of improving the model for students.

All of us at Bishop Carroll agree that we have never been in a school where so much focus and dialogue on instruction takes place on a regular basis. In fact, our staff has biweekly professional development meetings to ensure that we are able to collaborate on best practices and share new ideas. Teachers are continually focusing on how they can make things better for students in a self-directed learning environment.

Bishop Carroll has been around and functioning for over 40 years. Changing visions and learners have meant that staff has also adjusted to honor the shift.  Within the last four years, the staff started making a technological commitment. Innovative practices, sharing, collaboration, encouraging our students to experiment with different formats and technological materials has produced growth for not only students, but also teachers. Students have many choices in how they choose to receive information ranging from personal exploration of a topic, pod casts, discussion forums, Google- docs, multimedia presentations, digital learning guides and a focus on digital citizenship.

Technology has not replaced teachers, but has enhanced the learning experience for both the teacher and the student. Technology can be seen as a launching pad for further and more in depth discussions.

Three of us at Bishop Carroll have signed up for an educational experience like none other.  Seeing as we already focus on technology as part of our teacher professional growth plans, we felt that getting involved at an international level would be very beneficial. This is a first MOOC for all three of us. What is a MOOC? It is a Massive Open Online Course. We are taking #ETMOOC and are so happy we are involved in this process as it reminds us of what it is like to be a student in the 21st century. For more information go to ETMOOC

How are #etmoocers like students in our self-directed school?

Both:

  1. are self- directed learners.
  2. set our own learning goals
  3. at first experience an increase of  anxiety in a new learning environment
  4. are following a personalized program
  5. are excited about learning in a place that honors the way we want to learn
  6. are encouraged to be autonomous and have opportunities to direct our own learning
  7. are taking risks (we ask students to do this every day)
  8. are critically examining what we do and why we do it
  9. look to teachers to guide them through the process
  10. are self- paced, involving continuous progress
  11. are student centered environments with a focus on active learning, reflection and collaboration
  12. ask for HELP, and often it’s  just a click away

Today we chose to collaborate to write this blog post as part of the sharing experience. As we progress through this open forum we hope to continue to share best practice in both the teaching realm as well as what we are doing in the role as school counsellors.
Happy blogging
erin heather susan

http://www.sspellmancann.wordpress.com
http://www.erinluong.wordpress.com
http://www.heatherenzie.wordpress.com