There is always great information on twitter for school counsellors. One of the things I like best is that the information is relevant and usually makes you think about what was posted. I really like this article by Gary G Abud Jr posted on twitter by Alec Couros @courosa who often posts extremely resourceful information that school counsellors can use. Enjoy and share what you think!
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
How many of the students you have worked with with would you describe as bent , but not broken? Even under the most horrific of circumstances they remain resilient.Why is that?
According to Steven M Southwick and Denis Charney in Resilience The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges there are 10 resilience factors that people use as coping strategies that make them more resilient.
People who are resilient :
- Are active problem solvers who look for meaning and opportunity in adversity
- Accept social support and seek it out
- Accept the things thay cannot change as well as confront their fears
- Attended to their health and well being
- Have an optimistic, but realistic outlook
- Imitate strong role models
- Rely on their own inner moral compass
- Use humour even in their darkness
- Take personal responsibilty for their own emotional well being
- Utilize religious or spiritual practices
People who are resilient will often look to their experiences as ways to find a platform for growth. I have seen this with students who have lived through physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as other traumas. Students will find a means and a way to ask for help, but do more than that by using their inner strengths to push forward and make a difference in themselves and their world. They show themselves and the world what they are made of.
One of my all time favorite authors Viktor Frankl , who wrote Mans Search for Meaning, describes in this rare seen footage how we can help students by promoting them to what they really can be. We need to see students as they should be and help them to see what they are capable of becoming. We can help them in becoming more resilient by being that role model for them.
Over the years, I have seen many examples of students who are amazingly resilient as well as those that need to be taught how to be. I know I want to model resiliency for the students I serve. What about you?
Here is a great video on teen stress and how to cope:
Today prejudice, stigmatization and discrimination are deeply embedded in our language, in our beliefs and in the way we interact with one another. Though a mental illness is one aspect of an individual’s life, all too often the label alone bars that one person from achieving a self-directed life with meaningful connections to his or her community.
Dr. Neil Houston Sociologist
When it comes to mental health we want students to:
With someone they trust like their teacher advisor , teacher, coach or other significant adult in the school who can then assist them in connecting …
With their school counsellor who can assist them in connecting with their doctor, health care provider and or parents to assist them with their mental health concerns
About mental health and wellness and the impact it can have on themselves or their friends or familes
We want students to be concerned about their fellow human beings and show COMPASSION when it comes to mental health
We want educators to collaborate with us to make a difference when it comes to mental health and wellness
and lastly we want to …
CHALLENGE you to take action and integrate mental health into your curriculums. We challenge you to make a difference when it comes to mental health. Our mental health/wellness committee is working on several ways to make a difference , but one idea started by Peter Damen ( fellow Counsellor) was to have an alternative activity that students could get credit for in every discipline Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Phys. Ed, Music. Art, Drama, CTS etc. What is one activity that you could get students to do that would increase their mental health literacy and reduce stigma?
We CHALLENGE you to become literate yourself when it comes to mental health.
If you get the opportunity go to a training with Dr. Stan Kutcher or a Go to Educator training in your area.
One of important things that Dr. Stan Kutcher discussed during a mental health literacy training that I attended was the difference between:
Mental Health Distress (one example lose your keys)
Mental Health Problem (one example a parent dies)
Mental Health Disorder/Illness (one example clinical depression)
We need to teach our young people the difference between distress, problem and disorder and the Mental Health Curriculum Guide does just that. It teaches students and educators the Mental Health Literacy that they need in today’s world based on present day research on the brain. You may get some ideas here to start to integrate this into the subjects you teach.
Are you ready to take the CHALLENGE? If you come up with some ideas please add it to our community doc. We will be creating a google doc that will be ready in June that we will be sharing with you about all our ideas around mental health and wellness in High School.
We are excited about the many possibilities and hope you will join us in CREATING several resources that will be beneficial to all. You can open this doc to start collaborating. School Counsellors and educators can make a difference when it comes to the mental health / wellness of our students and ourselves. We can work together all across the world to make this happen. Won’t YOU join in ?
Do something today to remain CALM make a difference when it comes to your own mental health. Practice self-care.
The students in my school have inspired me and I truly mean it. I am in awe of them. I know I did not have the creativity, determination, passion, compassion and self -direction that they have to make a difference at such a young age.
I have been working alongside these students since September on an initiative called #whosfrankyyc and what transpired yesterday was absolutely amazing. Last week students brought me their outline and a full detailed moment-by-moment plan of what our day would look like. I added or deleted nothing to the plan. I knew it would be great, but I really had no idea just how it would move others and me. It was one of those experiences that you had to be there. The media coverage just does not tell you how much thought, effort and caring went into what these students are trying to do. I received several notes and calls to let me know just how fabulous the day was and how fabulous our students were. There were several reporters there to interview Barbara Coloroso and students .
One reporter noted that he “could honestly say that in more than 25 years of reporting , and having sat through many student presentations, I’ve never witnessed one that was as inspiring as the one created by your students. It was simply amazing.” Yes, indeed it was and we shared this note with them.
#WHOSFRANKYYC is more than a day … it is a way. Bishop Carroll and Mount Royal University students and staff are working together to raise awareness and empower students to stand up and be brave. They want to make a difference when it comes to people not hurting other people. Hurt people hurt people, but students can make a difference by having the courage to speak up and act to end the cycle of violence.
Our students have begun to do just that and we hope you join us in the movement. We want all people to post positively to #whosfrankyyc. Thinking about your digital tattoo is one way to make a difference and let others know that bullying is never ok.
Yes, students can make a difference. I see it in my school everyday.
- students who raise money all the time for those less fortunate and don’t get any recognition
- students working together to make the world a better place through water initiatives
- students braiding it forward
- students opening the door for others
- students showing random acts of kindness like posting positive messages handwritten on stickies on every locker which happened a couple of weeks ago
- holding faire trade fairs
- volunteering with students with special needs in their school and community
- volunteering with elderly in their communities
- volunteering at feed the hungry
- students raising 10,ooo to build a home in another country
No this is not a comprehensive list, but I do see acts of kindness almost daily in my school. Too often students do not get recognized for all the good they do. It does not make the news, but they do it anyway.
A gigantic thank you to Barbara Coloroso who was extremely compassionate and engaging with our students. She took the time to converse with them in a meaningful helpful way , letting them know that what they are doing can have an impact in their school communities and the world. Also a big thanks to Julie @dinnerwithjulie a Bishop Carroll alumna who prepared a beautiful lunch for our guests.
Look out for more to come on students making a difference at Bishop Carroll High School with our Mental Health Symposium and more…
To find out more about #whosfrankyyc click here . Elephants (WHO”S FRANK?) are intelligent, compassionate beings and #WHOSFRANK is is only the beginning of the process these students want to continue in assisting their fellow human beings to being the kind, caring, compassionate humans they are capable of being.
We are very grateful to our partner Mount Royal University. Working together on this initiative has been an absolute pleasure and together we are able to invite others to come along on this journey to make #whosfrankyyc make a difference in the world. Eighteen other schools have gathered up their frank banks to join us.
Here is another example of the great work our students do. This was a project for Religion:
There is so much to celebrate at Bishop Carroll High School. Too often we notice the things that others do wrong instead of all the great things they do . Let’s continue to celebrate all the great things others do especially our students.
Yes, students can and do make a difference and you can too. Join us #whosfrankyyc.
Many people think that education is all about preparing students for the world of work. While I believe we must provide them with the tools to be successful adults, education must include human values.
Schools provide a means to connect students with others so that they develop into caring adults. It is a place for students to be inspired in a culture of caring to think for themselves. A place where their curiousity is developed. A place where they can develop into confident, competent, creative, compassionate citizens, online and off who care about themselves and the world around them.
I love what the Dalai Lama had to say about Education,
”Education must go together with basic human values and teachers must set an example for their students through action and deeds, not merely by words. He further elaborated on this point by saying there is too much stress on developing the mind and too little on developing a ‘warm heart’.”
I want to develop that warm heart in every student who I encounter. I want to be an educator who helps students feel that they belong in a community where we respect them and they respect each other. I want students who bring skills into the world, to make a living and make a difference. My hope is that we inspire our youth to love learning throughout their lives. What is the purpose of education? I believe it is to assist students on a journey that will help them become better people, giving them the tools they will need to contribute to society and help our world become a better place for all.
Educating the mind, heart and soul.
“ To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.”
I am so grateful for all the gifts that ETMOOC has given me. As I reflect upon the year I think about all the wonderful people I have met and the things we have shared.
The invite :
My first ETMOOC POST a year ago
I am a life long learner and willing to take risks and here I am signing up for #etmooc. The tweet by @courosa from @fryed on, “What is #ETMOOC and why should you join us? ” is what finally convinced me to … just do it!!!
In one of my @haikudecks I said I would DO MORE in 2013 and here I am. Stepping out of my box and doing more.
A little nervous yes, (to be honest I was a lot nervous), but at least I am NOT going to be graded, I can just learn!! Yahoo!!! I love learning without being graded. I have had enough of that.
So in the next few months, I look forward to learning just for the sake of learning.
It is Alec Couros who inspired me to become interested in technology as much as I have and I am grateful. So thanks Alec. Here Alec is motivating me again … So my journey begins…
It is hard to believe it has been a year since I started thinking about should I or shouldn’t I take ETMOOC? Wow, am I glad I did. I think … no I know, I am more grateful now than I was then because I did not realize just how much I would learn as a result of being in ETMOOC. More importantly it would be about the connections I would make. No, even more important it would be about the friendships I would make and continue to develop.
An excerpt from my second post is very telling “ Today, January 20th a week into ETMOOC I needed to remind myself to find the positive as I was frustrated with learning how to use new information for importing media. Trust The Process. I will say that over and over to remain calm.”
I am a school counsellor and at that time I knew very little about tech tools and how to do a lot with the technology. At that time …
I had NEVER …
- Made YouTube videos. (I did not even have an account and now I can help students upload their videos.)
- Given proper attribution, but now I do .
- Curate information, but now I have over 100 livebinders and a zillion pinterest pins. Here is one live binder .
- Attended an Edcamp and EdCamphome, but now I have .
- Collaborated with a student on a post, but here it is .
- Created a google doc, and now I can even add to one .
- I hardly ever tweeted . I now have over 6,000 tweets (I knew very little about twitter then) Now; I can give workshops on how to understand twitter better. I even co-moderate twitter chats. Makes me laugh even writing this .
- I did not know how to Google Hangout, but now I do regularly with educators from across the world.
There are so many skills that I have now, that it is even hard for me to believe I know how to do certain things technologically. My biggest smile comes when someone actually thinks I am a techy.
In another early post I finally recognize what my true purpose for being in #ETMOOC is…
“ In my attempt to assist students along their journey in life, I reach out attempting to make a difference. This jumping out of my box into the ED tech world is my way of touching the hearts of many students so that they can get the supports they need. Counselling is more than assisting a student in my office. It is reaching out to students on a more global scale. It is being able to use technology to reach and teach them. I will promise to use this process to educate from the heart using technology and all the tools ETMOOC gives me.”
This is still one of my favorite videos of the year:
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” Joseph Campbell
ETMOOC allowed me to be OPEN to new experiences, people and ideas. Well, I have certainly attempted to educate from the heart this year. I have:
- Created several haiku decks for students and school counsellors.
- Given a workshop on Digital Citizenship for all grade 10’s with the help of my colleagues. A special thanks to Peter Damen and Marc Osenton.
- Helped to moderate our school twitter and facebook accounts.
- Connected with countless educators and school counsellors.
- Became a co-moderator for #SCCrowd .
- Become a @HaikuDeck lover. Even got to visit Haiku Deck headquarters .
- Created many vlogs in Openspokes and collaborated with fantastic educators.
So, how do you really thank someone especially you @Alec Couros who has taken you to places you were afraid to go? It isn’t easy, but I will try.
I think my way will be by paying it forward . My goal is to help as many school counsellors and others that I can to not be afraid. I have made many mistakes along this journey and I know I will continue to make them. Thanks to all the #ETMOOC’ers who helped me, showed me the way and continue to do so.
I am so grateful for my PLN. It is hard to put into words just how grateful I really am, but know that my heart is so full of gratitude it is overflowing and if we by chance get to meet F2F one day you will know because I will thank you in person.
Although my goal last year was to Do More . This year it will be to Do less with more ( this is easier said than done) , but I plan on staying focused on the things and the people that matter to me most. It is not that I will not be open to new experiences, people and ideas , I will. It is just that I need to say NO to some things and put my focus on those things that I remain passionate about.
So to end this post I want to create a vlog to thank you. I need to be ready which I am not right now. As I write this I cry happy tears thinking about all that all of you have done for me. No, even in my authenticity I will not create a vlog of me crying, so when I am ready I will make one just for you … that will come later, not sure when , but later.
I’d like to share some of the great posts you share in the next while so I will curate them in this live binder . Thanks for sharing and may 2014 fill you with great happiness and bring you all of life’s blessings and gifts that you are searching for. May ETMOOC keep giving to you, so please stay connected with the hashtag #etmooc.
My last thought to share with you is tthat I hope one day that we will create a conference F2F called Everyone Together Massive Open Onsite Conference. Are you with me ETMOOC ‘ers? ? I’ll be retired in a few years and would be happy to help organize such a conference, but will need lots of help. Let’s start thinking and planning so that we can meet as many ETMOOC ‘ers face to face as possible.
It’s been quite a year and I have received so many gifts from you , so again thanks to all of you for so much fun and inspiration especially:
@AlecCouros (without whom the giving of his time, energy, kindness and support while on sabbatical #ETMOOC would not have happened)
@fryed ( if I hadn’t seen your post maybe I would never have signed up)
@AlisonSeaman (got to meet F2F and she is as positive as she is online)
@JeffMerrell (for always being so encouraging and engaging)
@ehordyskiluong (for being by my side through all the ups and downs of learning and being so excited with me when we caught onto something new oh … you know the rest …)
@dendari (for always commenting, helping, sharing and being an #ooe13 leader and #openspokes team mate)
@grammasheri (for being such an amazing woman. I always love what you share. I can’t wait to meet you some day)
@verenanz (for being so inspirational , you are such a go getter and helper)
@valerielopes (for all her encouragement )
@clhendricksbc (for posting her first video and giving me the courage to do the same. Look how far we have come. You amaze me)
@rljessen (so happy we got to meet F2F after so many google hangouts We are creating a great friendship online and off. Thanks to the Post ETMOOC Group for hanging out and reading and sharing blogs. We have learned so much together Christina Hendricks @clhendricksbc , Karen Young @karenatsharon, Kirsten @KirstenTP and Erin Luong @ehordyskiluong )
@SISQITMAN (for all your thoughtful and kind comments … you kept me writing . Always love what you have to say . Thank you!)
@bhwikkoff (for creating OPENSPOKES and being such a great leader. We have helped each other learn and grow)
and all the openspokers Jeremy Inscho, Brendan Murphy, JoeDillon , Jas Kooner, Gallit Zvi, Sheri Edwards, Denise Krebs and Erin Luong
@tina_p ( for always connecting , being so positive and always making me smile. Love the Australian Connections @ActivateLearn)
@JudyArzt ( for letting me try out one of my first GH with her even though she did not know me)
@amyburvall (for all your creativity and positive energy and letting me join you in a crowdsourced video )
@debbiefuco @jacbalen @folynick @whitneykilgore (for sharing and commenting and always being so positive in your interactions with me)
and to @djsamson for always posting great things in #ETMOOC maybe we will connect in Halifax some day.
To end thanks to all the presenters . YOU WERE FANTASTIC!
Alan Levine @Cogdog thanks for gathering all our blog posts to share and read.
Quoting Dave Cormier: “If we make community the curriculum, membership becomes how we scale. It’s all about belonging.”
Lessons 1-10 can be found here.
Engaging the students and staff is critical when it comes to school counselling. There are many ways to engage the students whether it is one to one or in groups. At the end of every session I check in with the student to see how the session went. I will often ask something like how are you feeling about what we talked about and did in session today? What is the one thing you will use as a result of our time together? This allows me to gage if I have been helpful and if there is something I said that the student connected with.
It is also very important to develop relationships with your staff. If they feel you are helpful they will most likely refer a student to you. We are all working together to enhance the success of all students so if students see us collaborating in their best interest while always maintaining confidentiality we will best be able to help them.
Engaging Staff. Get to know your staff. Take time to have lunch with them. It is good for you to take a break and get out of your office. Assisting students can be very draining at times especially if you are addressing more serious issues, so get out of your office and make time to recharge. Self- Care is important.
What are your ideas for student and staff engagement ? Please share below.