As a counsellor it is easy to share what might work . Practicing it and living it is the real test to functioning well.
Here are a few strategies and tips that I not only have recommended to others, but have used myself:
- Wake up each day and try a little self talk Just for today I will make this the best day for me. No matter what the situation is we can all cope with things a little better if we break things down in chunks.
- Just for this minute I can
- For the next hour I will
- Just for today I can
If we just think about today , not yesterday or the future life gets a little easier . I use this as much as humanly possible. I can do most anything just for today. At the end of the day I remind myself to be grateful. I was able to do a lot of things much better just for today over the years.
- Journaling Writing down your thoughts is a good thing. It’s a great way to release how you are thinking and feeling. There are so many things to write about . It’s also a great way to understand your thoughts so you can challenge them when necessary. I have learned a lot about myself through journaling it’s a great way to self reflect.
- Step away and step it up We all need to step away from situations. Taking a little breather by going for a walk is something we all can do and yes you can fit it into your day. 15 minutes in morning and fifteen minutes in the evening . I walked every single day last year and was very proud of myself for reaching this goal. This year I am still walking a lot , but don’t feel the need to do it every single day. I play pickleball singing and dancing and moving as much as possible. Do whatever works for you , but exercise. It is the best wellness tip and walking is free.
- Social connections They are vital to my wellbeing. I have cultivated and still do my friendships with people. They matter to me. Find ways to be a good friend daily and recognize you are never too old to have new friends in your life. Stay open and let others be there for you as well as being there for them. Surround yourself with positive people and let go of the negative people who do not help or support you.
- Spend time taking care of yourself When you help others sometimes you let go of taking care of yourself, I know I do. So take back you and nurture yourself like you would others. Treat yourself with tender loving care.
- Take time to talk to a counsellor We all need a little support now and then. I know I have. It is OK to reach out to a counsellor or therapist. It takes strength to talk about what’s really bothering you. Having an impartial listener to help eases some of the burdens we all carry around so reach out.
It’s not always easy applying what you know works in life , but the benefits are there for the taking so just for today try one thing that you already know works for you and apply it. Your day might just get a little brighter and you’ll see the world just a little differently. I know just for today I will.
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.
Making A Difference Online
Susan TOPIC Digital citizenship 15 minutes
- Haiku Deck ]http://www.haikudeck.com/p/seBRTsh6wd/digital-citizenship-bchs
- Be a Digital Citizen (2mins. 13 seconds)
- Digital Dossier Video:4 minutes 23 seconds
Marc Global Citizenship
- Global Digital Citizenship
Tremendous Growth of Easily Accessible Information
- 1993 vs 2013
So much information, but…
- Benefits vs problems
Tremendous Growth of Ability to Connect and Communicate
- 1993 vs 2013
Ease of communication, but…
- Benefits vs problems
- In 2013, we have tremendous ability to access information and communicate with others…
- In 2013 we have tremendous power to engage, connect, and advocate.
- So what?
What is this ability for?
- Mindless entertainment?
- Negative influences?
- Business? Marketing?
…or can we aspire to something greater?
Can we do better?
- Syria – Civil War
- Toronto – Street Car Shooting
- KONY 2012
Peter Making Positive Connections
- Remind 101
You can use social media to Make the World A Better Place
THINK before you post how are you going to do this?
What we want students to know:
- Being online can make a positive difference in your life. Students throughout the world are doing great things online.
- Act on and off line as if the world is watching because they are.
- Learn all you can about being a good digital citizen. Google digital citizenship
- Act with integrity on and off line
- Be aware of your digital identity google yourself
- Research creative commons and be able to explain it to a younger student.
- You can build a positive reputation on line
- You can be a positive creator
- Your reputation is created by YOU
Digital Citizenship has a place in every school and we need to focus on the positive aspects of the internet as well as the things that concern us.
We want students to ask themselves:
- What are the creative opportunities on the web?
- What are the ethical dilemmas?
- What are the rewards and the risks of being on line?
It is important to find great examples on the internet of students doing things to not only improve their own opportunities, but to improve the lives of those in their school, communities, and around the world. We would like to encourage students to look for these great examples as well.
I’d like to see schools focus on those students who Make A Difference Online by providing them with a scholarship that recognizes all the good they do online. Anyone interested in providing one?
Here is a great example of students doing amazing things:
As educators we need to create our own digital footprint and model good Digital Citizenship for our students. Taking Care Of Your Digital Self highlights the importance of a positive digital presence.
When teaching Digital Citizenship we need students to recognize that they need to be the same person ON and OFF line.
We need to ask students:
- If I were to look you up online what would I find?
- What would you want others to find?
- If your grandmother googled you would she be proud of what she found?
- What is your digital tattoo? Find out more information at http://digitaltattoo.ubc.ca/
We want students at Bishop Carroll to show great citizenship skills:
- Positive attitude
- Engaged Thinkers
- Ethical Citizens
- Entrepreneurial Spirited
- Sharing, and creation of new knowledge and learning to help others.
Here is an activity students can do.: Choose what happens next … a you tube video that is interactive
Digital citizenship is so important and what we do with students matters.
This summer as in every summer for the past thirty-four years I have come home to Nova Scotia. As usual when I slow down I have time to reflect. This summer though I have a purpose to reflect because I am in an open educators vlogging group called openspokes.
In openspokes we pick topics to discuss and through vlogging we reflect on the topic of the week with each other. This summers topic is a big and tough one. What do I want my students and / or my own children to know before I die? Even saying that can be scary to me. There are so, so many things I want them to know before I die and I hope I will I have the time in life to tell them. I know they will learn so many lessons from others, but I want my legacy to be a positive one … so this question feels extremely important to me. It is different from what do I want to do before I die as that is easier. At least for me it is.
I have thought a lot about what I think my own purpose in life is. Being in Nova Scotia makes me understand how I became who I am as this is where I was born. So many things and people have shaped me into the person I am today. I grew up on a forces base and as a result I have great lifelong friends. We are still connected to this day. I want my children to know that it is important to nurture lifelong friendships. These friendships are amazing and bring so many gifts to your life. It is so fun to reminisce and remember things we did as kids and make new memories as adults. Our friendships have stood the test of time.”You become the average of the five people you hang out with says ” Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox. and I have hung around the best of the best people throughout my life. I have wonderful friendships from coast to coast and beyond. I have made friendships in my adulthood that bring me great happiness and are life sustaining. They are a gift in my life that I am unbelievably grateful for.
In regards to my own purpose in life, I believe it is to help young people discover their gifts and talents and to help them navigate through the tough parts of their life ,so that they discover that they too have a purpose. I want young people to trust the process and not be afraid to ask for help if they get lost along the way. I chose to be a school counsellor which has helped me live every day what I believe to be my true calling in life. I also want to be able to help school counsellors and blogging makes it much easier to do so. I can help them with ideas and resources. If anything I write in my blog or say in a vlog that I do helps school counsellors, it will make me very happy.
I want my own children to choose a career they will love as I have . If they follow their passions I know they will be happy in life and meet fantatstic people who will enhance and enrich their lives. I am so grateful to go to work and absolutely love what I do each and every day since 1980.
What are some of the TOP things I want my own children to know:
- You are and were wanted and loved
- You make life better by being in it
- You have a purpose
- I am very grateful for all you have taught me
- You keep me real
- Find yourself … then find your own true love and be committed to enhancing your and their life
- Enjoy every stage of your life
- Life will have extremely difficult parts, but you can find the strength to get through all the tough times …a sk for help
- Have faith
- Make a difference
- Help yourself … help others
- Take care of yourself … take care of others
- Hugs heal
- Face your fears and take healthy risks
- Live every day to the fullest
- Never take anything for granted
- You are never too old to learn
- Celebrate the small stuff
- Travel and get a better world view
- Read, read, read
- Learn. learn, learn
- Connect, connect, connect
- Connect with positive people. Make great memories together
- Laugh often
- Be active throughout your life
- There is no place like home
- Please forgive me for the crazy mistakes I made along the way… parenting is not easy
I want my own children to know that I have had an amazing life. Not a life without struggles, but a life I am grateful for . I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am able to do. I want my children to know that their dad has always treated me with respect and love. He has been a fantastic role model for them and a loving husband to me. He is an extremely good human being and that is what makes a great partner. They need to always remember that who they choose in life can be one of the biggest predictors of lifetime happiness. For me that has held true . I hope that it is true for them too.
I want my own children to always have HOPE. It will get them through the really tough times in life. I also want my children to understand that life is what you make it. Take responsibility for everything you do in life and if you really want to do something in life. … make it happen … it is up to you!
There is no way to put in words all the things I want my children to know, but I hope when they are old and grey they can look back at my vlogs with a little joy , laugh a little and recognize that part of the reason I did vlogs and blogs was to be a model for them , so that they could learn to take positive risks and become good citizens themselves.
I want so many things for my own children. I want them to know it is OK to make mistakes and fail.There is no shame in that. This blogging and vlogging experience has been full of mistakes and learning. I have mde several mistakes in life, but I feel I have always learned from them and as a result I have become a better person.
I want them to know that I have loved and lost and found a lifetime of love. I want them to know I treasure all our memories together and feel so blessed to enjoy each and every day that I live on this planet. I so look forward to the many memories that we we will create in the years to come. I love my children so very, very much. They mean everything to me. There are no words to describe how much I love them … I wish there were.
I want my children to have the best life possible one that they and their children can look back on and say they are proud of the life they had. I hope they will feel they were blessed because they were a part of a family that they could respect and most importantly know they that were fully loved beyond measure and treasured their whole life long.
There are just so many things I want my children to know…