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!
“You are not here to fill space or be a background character to someone else’s movie. Consider this: nothing would be the same if you did not exist. Every place you have ever been and everyone you have ever spoken to would be different without you. We are all connected, and we are all affected by the decisions and even the existence of those around us. ” David Niven
I believe we all have a purpose in life. Each child that comes our way is precious and we were brought to them to make a difference. It is up to us to leave them feeling or thinking or doing something differently than when they walk into our office. It is up to us to help . That is the reason we do what we do. So keep doing it! The world would be a different place without YOU in it!
As a School Counsellor you have many roles to play and from personal experience I know sometimes we get caught up in all the daily things that need to get done . So just for today why not aim for improving the lives of your students and better yet why not look for ways to improve your own life. Amy Fast @fastcrayon says , “we don’t do what we do in schools to get good results/ data. We do what we do to improve the lives of humans. Good academic results are the byproduct. If we only aim for data, we may not succeed in improving lives. But , if we aim for improving lives the data will always follow”
First let me start with a few questions.
- What are ways you feel hopeful that you can improve the lives of your students? How do you instill hope in your students?
- How do you help those that are struggling academically, socially emotionally?
- How do you educate the mind and the heart?
- How do help students love learning , life and living positively as a good citizen in their community and in the world?
- How do you build healthy meaningful relationships with students and help them to do the same?
- How do you help students feel a sense of belonging?
- How do you assist students in finding their purpose and passion?
- How do you help students make better choices?
- How do you create a spark in a child’s eye so that they can become the people they are meant to be?
- How can you make a difference in the lives of the students you serve, academically , socially, emotionally , physically and spiritually?
- How can you collaborate with others to improve the lives of students so that they know how much they matter and can be successful in school and in life?
Reflection makes us all better and in the end it not only helps us improve our own lives, but also the lives of those we work with. Let’s start with you and your worth and then let’s move on to students. How can you improve your own life? :
If you take good care of yourself you will be better able to assist students in improving their lives. Every day you as a School Counsellor reach out to help make students lives better. Keep doing the amazing work you do every day and keep on reflecting. As a Professional School Counsellor you can and do make an impact and a difference every day in oh so many ways.
Who hasn’t felt like giving up at one point or another? I know I have . It isn’t easy sometimes to do the things you want to do, but don’t feel completely ready. It isn’t easy to view failure as an opportunity . To push forward and never give up despite the odds sounds easier than it is. It isn’t easy to embrace the struggle, recognizing that no matter how long it takes you will still strive to move forward.
I love these pics taken today by the University of Regina President @ vianne_timmons . They tell a real story that needs no words. Perseverance … it makes me never want to give up !
You can check out my haiku deck to see the pics more clearly … just click on the link in my tweet.
How do we instill an insatiable desire to learn and live life to the fullest while teaching students to self regulate when it comes to cell phone use?
Self – regulation is the process that the brain goes through that gives us the ability to control our behaviors and emotions in response to a particular situation. It’s having the skill to calm ourselves down when upset or in distress.
In this day and age all of us need to monitor how and why we use our cell phones. According to Dr. Stuart Shanker self -regulation is as much about regulating positive emotions as it is about down regulating negative emotions . Only when we are regulated can we self – regulate.
As adults we need to model self – regulation. There are several ways we attempt to soothe ourselves. some good , some not so good. The coping skills we use can help us or hurt us. If we want to help others then we need to model positive cell phone use and be able to share with others what we do and how we do it.
Self–evaluation is pivotal. Evaluate your thoughts , feelings and actions when it comes to your cell phone use
• Be open … ask yourself is my cell phone use helping or hurting me or others?
Ask yourself …
- Does my cell phone use lift me up or tear me down?
- Is there ways to change my use of my cell phone so that I can feel better about myself?
- Am I on my phone too much ? Do others notice and think I should change?
- Is using my cell phone too much stressing me out? If so how can I restore my energy? What do I need to do differently?
- Am I getting enough sleep , exercise , and nutrition ? Acknowledge what you need to do to change.
- Do I have a positive self –esteem? Am I using my phone because I know it will help me or hurt me?
- Are my relationships in tact? Do I find many opportunities to connect F2F?
- Am I more anxious , happy or sad because of my cell phone use?
- Do I really need to use your phone right now or can it wait till later?
- Am I on track with what I need to do or is my cell phone just a distraction for me right now?
- Am I being mindful of what I really need to do ? Am I prioritizing what is truly important in my life or am I using my cell phone as an escape?
How to self – regulate when it comes to phone use:
• Try asking your friends and family for tips. What works for them?
Try some of these tips.
• Keep phone on vibrate instead of listening to the constant ping of the phone. I have my phone on vibrate 99% of the time.
• Turn phone face down when not using it so you don’t look at it all the time.
• Put your phone somewhere not easily available when eating meals or at times that you know you need a break.
• Set times that you will use your phone and times you won’t ( I make it my rule that I never take my phone out while eating a meal or talking with someone) .
• Get involved … have a number of interests. It’s hard to use your cell phone while playing hockey or dancing or singing or a zillion of the other great things you can get involved in.
• Put your phone away at night and use an alarm clock instead so you can get a good nights sleep away from your phone.
Use Self- talk
• I do not need to be on my cell phone right now, it is not helpful.
• I can wait till later to use my cell phone because I need to be present to what is happening right now in this moment.
• I am proud of myself and the positive ways I use my cell phone
• If cell phone use has become a concern … journal what is happening for you.
• Journal all the positive ways you use your cell phone.
• Do you pause between being triggered and responding by being on your phone? Ask yourself is connecting leading to you feeling happy, sad, validated or invalidated, included or excluded?
• Ask yourself : How can I feel connected and close to others ? Is online the best way to do this at this time?
Positive Coping Strategies
• Make a list of yours and share it with your family and friends.
Stages of Change
• Ask yourself and be honest What stage of change am I in ? Ask yourself what is holding me back or moving me forward when it comes to my cell phone use ?
• Ask yourself … do I need help to get to where I want to go? If so your School Counsellor, Psychologist or a therapist can help you.
• To friends, teachers, your family, a School Counsellor . We all need a little support in order to self – regulate when it comes to our cell phone use. It is a strength to ask for help.
Maybe you need a little digital detox . It is more than ok to take a break from your phone. You decide what works best for you now that you have taken an honest look at yourself.
Once you have learned ways to help yourself , you maybe able to assist others with their technology use as well. Recognize that you are not perfect and will need to self evaluate often … I know I do.
So grow, learn and live the best possible life you can recognizing that technology has the power to help you or hurt you. What you do is up to you. I love my phone and I’m sure you do too. So let’s see if we can self-regulate to make ourselves and the world a better place. Maybe someday we’ll meet face to face and talk about how we did.
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.
According to the Sheldon Kennedy Youth Advocacy Centre, in 2008, there were 14,403 substantiated cases of child abuse in Alberta.*
- 6665 Infants, Youth and Children assessed at the Sheldon Kennedy CAC to date
- 124 New cases assessed per month at the Sheldon Kennedy CAC
- 11690 Visits from children to our Child Space since July 2013
For updated stats go to the SKYouth Advocacy Centre.
I am fortunate to volunteer for the Sheldon Kennedy Youth Advocacy Centre with #youthchampionsyyc. The Youth Champion Initiative in collaboration with Youth Smart empowers junior high and high-school students to develop their leadership capacity by taking responsibility in their school communities to promote a climate of well-being, healthy relationships and resiliency.
We know that adverse childhood experiences ACES have a long-lasting impact and there is much to do when it comes to trauma in youth.
CBC did an amazing three-part series on childhood trauma. Thanks to @HeatherTuba for sharing.
You can listen here:
PART 1 : “Our bodies psychological armour … How do some children remember abuse ? The link between obesity and trauma. Have a listen CBC ALL in The Family Part 1
PART 2: Childhood trauma is increasingly being seen as a major factor in academic under-achievement. Have a listen CBC All in The Family Part 2.
PART 3: Understanding and healing childhood trauma is essential. Have a listen to part 3 in this series CBC All in The Family Part 3.
There is much to learn when it comes to childhood trauma. My hope is that these resources will help you start a dialogue with educators and others re childhood trauma and the effects.
There is help and support in your community and School Counsellors are one of the many people who can help students with childhood trauma. It does take a village , but the relationship with a School Counsellor may be a start to changing a child’s life. What is your ACES score? What is the ACES score of some of the students you serve? You may be the person who will make a difference in their life. Won’t you join in and help?