“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Shawn is a School Counselor in London Ohio and went to Wright State University. He absolutely loves learning . Did you know he is an avid Browns and Reds fan? You can find more about Shawn in #scchat and follow him on twitter @sadkinsump. Thanks Shawn for all you do!
“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.
You have them , I have had them. You know that student that you had no idea you had such an impact on, but they let you know years later. Sometimes 36 years later as I did two years ago. A young man came into the office at the High School I was working in at the time. He wanted to see me to tell me how I had influenced his life. He had googled me and tracked me down because he wanted to tell me his story . I am grateful he did as I would have never known that I had affected his life in the way he let me know I had.
I have been blessed with letters and notes from students who have told me they believed I had saved their life. It is an honour and privilege that they believe something I said or did had impacted them in such a positive way. More often than not we don’t get these notes, calls or letters and we may not know the impact we have had on students. Not because we did not , but because the person may not have put their thoughts to words for whatever reason.
A couple of days ago one of my best friends who is also a retired School Counsellor , got one of those notes from a student whom she had known 18 years ago. The note was from a young woman reporting she was now happily married with two children , She told my friend that she was the reason she was alive, happy and successful today. She let her know it was World Suicide Prevention Day and that maybe my friend would like to know the impact she had on her life when she was in High School.
The woman had tracked my friend down on Facebook and felt compelled to write her the beautiful moving, heartfelt note (I’m purposefully leaving out the details, but trust me we both cried a lot reading it) . Of course she had no idea that particular student felt that way. So what a gift it was to receive a note like this. It is truly why we do what we do choosing to be in education.
If one young person is impacted in this way by what we have said or done, then our years of dedication to a career we have loved is all worth while. We both agreed that we were so fortunate to work in schools with amazing young people and feel truly blessed to have had a career we both were passionate about.
So many still do not fully understand what a School Counsellor does behind closed doors, but know and trust that you need to keep doing what you are doing as a School Counselor wherever you are in the world. You can never know the impact you can have. Small gestures and words can matter.
The effect you have as a School Counsellor is not always measurable , but that does not matter. What you say and do everyday does.
As professionals in schools we certainly need down time more than most people know or can truly understand. This summer has been outstanding for me and I hope it has for you as well. I hope you have had the rest you deserve as it will impact your students for this upcoming year in a positive way.
This is my second year not going back to school in September and it does feel strange. I love school and always have. I guess that is why I have been in school, teaching school, volunteering and counselling in schools for 55 years. How fortunate am I to have had so much time surrounded by young people and the energy that they and being in schools bring.
As you head into your buildings as an educator or counsellor remind yourself of why you chose this profession. September can be a very stressful time not only for students, but for educators. So take time to think …
- Just for Today I will be the one to help
- Just for Today I will make a difference in a student’s life
- Just for Today I will look for the good in everyone in my building
- Just for today I will know that I am meant to be in the school this year helping these students
- Just for Today I will treat myself and those around me with kindness and compassion
- Just for Today I have a purpose
The summer may have ended , but a new exciting school year is about to begin one that can change the trajectory of a student’s life. For one child it may mean saving their life. For another you may be the first adult who has ever heard their story and been able to help. For you it may mean that your life has a renewed purpose one you can most certainly be grateful for. Yes, the summer may be ending, but for you it is the beginning of a new school year. Enjoy!
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!
||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
“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!
I have a couple of important goals this year and I plan on making my learning visible. This is not the typical Counsellor Talk post I write , but it is an important one … taking care of me and I’m inviting you along on this journey. Today is Canada Day and what better day to start walking my way to a healthier me while sharing and learning along the way.
I am making a commitment to myself to walk every day for 30 minutes for the next 365 days. Walking has always allowed me to think more clearly and I know I always feel better when I do. It may sound easy to many of you , but I don’t always commit to exercising every single day. without a break. If I break it down into chunks 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at some other time in the day I know I can meet my goal. It isn’t easy to do this alone ( I miss my walking partners) so that is why I am inviting you on my journey.
If you wish to send an encouraging word or a video or a message to me along the way feel free to do so. I turn 60 this September so I know I need to take better care of myself. Taking care of our physical health is always important , but even more so as we age. I have always been very good at taking care of my brain , but at times have not taken as much care of my body as I know I need to. This is my open way of sharing my commitment to myself. No excuses! It’s too cold , I’m too busy … on and on ! 365 days starting today … I can do it!
Won’t you walk along with me #walkalongwithme and tell me what you have learned along the way?