As School Counsellors and educators one of the biggest responsibilities we have is to keep our students safe .
How do we do that? Very carefully and with much thought and effort as well as an understanding of the research around what works best. Bruce Perry founder of child trauma academy states that active shooter training is not always done properly , the training that occurs in schools should focus on adults. He says, “if the educators and people who are responsible for children remain calm then the students will reflect that emotional state”. Read more about what he says here.
What can be done? The answers are complex and require teams of people to assist. That is where a Comprehensive School Counselling Plan comes in. School Counsellors are always looking at ways to make school better for students, putting the psychological health and safety of students as a priority. We need to get students the help they need long before a serious threat occurs. The answers are not easy , but those who have learned before us can teach us some things we may need to know. Take a look at these recommendations from the Sandy Hook advisory committee.
As stated in that report , “There is at least one place, other than a home, in which every person, whether a child or adult, should feel absolutely safe and secure from the threat of physical harm: school. ” I could not agree more. School Counsellors can take the lead along with staffs to make schools a safe place to be. Mental health literacy is essential for all students and staff members. Building relationships is one small step towards creating a community that focuses on what is important.
Working to ensure that we have a safe and caring school community is always on the mind of a professional school counsellor. Best practices should be reviewed and reflected upon each year based on individual school needs. School Counsellors are in a unique position to assist in preventative measures helping students to deal with stressors and social isolation. We also know it takes a team and we don’t have all the answers, but there are many things we can do and are doing already. We are but one of a community of people that make a difference. We as School Counsellors can help make our schools a safe place to be.
Life is a process of healing and I love to create more than ever before. Using art with students is a wonderful way to connect with them and let them express themselves. We often use art as a way to talk and share. They inspire me and I have found another way to help them. I am not an art therapist , but that does not mean I or you cannot use art in your counselling sessions to help students. Referring students as always when needed to a certified Art Therapist is ethical.
Here are some ideas to get you to start on your own creative journey. Let go of the fear and create art anyway. You may become a better teacher or counsellor. I know I have. A new chapter … a new journey. An ever ending journey of learning for me and I hope for you.
What do you think school is for and how will you make it better for students?
Ken Robinson always makes us think and I hope he does you too. Both Seth and Ken challenge us to move away from compliance and conforming to celebrating students learning. No learning … no education going on says Ken Robinson. So how do educators best go about helping students learn?
Ken reminds us
that human beings are naturally different and diverse
I love #IMMOOC and all the learning and connections in it, but keeping up isn’t easy in a MOOC and it is not supposed to be. The reality of everyday life kicks in. School gets busy, family responsibilities and life gets busy especially in the fall. We are all back to reality.
The nice thing about a MOOC is you can take what you like , do what you like , connect with people that you like ,when you like, how you like.
There are no failures!!!! Learning for the sake of learning is your option … without guilt.
I am grateful that I can particpate on voxer because it suits me to check in anytime from anywhere.
I also like that I can choose when to respond and where to respond and that I don’t have to do it all ( although I am tempted to want to ). So step into the reality and enjoy the learning along the way. If you learn 1 new thing or 100 new things it does not matter. Enjoy the process.
Connect and share on voxer .
Read at least two blog posts and make comments.
Join in the live sessions as much as possible.
Blog once a week.
Put into practice somethings I have learned at work.
Follow the twitter and facebook feeds and learn from the posts.
Thanks to all for sharing . I especially love the live posting on twitter. Voxer peeps you rock , love all the learning. Amazing job Emily Clare @EClare_AHS for organizing and keeping the learning going.
Reality : No matter how much or how little you do in #IMMOOC … YOU MATTER … YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE . You are taking the time out of your life as an educator and person to learn and help others knowing in the end that you will help students … How great is that?
For any of you who are School Counsellors , I know that this week you may have saved a students life that is your reality … so thanks just in case no one has noticed .
Sometimes tools can help us. Thanks to @dogtrax Kevin Hodgson in #IMMOOC , I discovered a new tool called Legend. It is possible that you may like it too. I hope you can use it to assist you as you learn or share ideas or thoughts in this MOOC. You may wish to use it in one of your blog posts. However you use it whether with students , staff, friends, or colleagues, enjoy … it’s easy and fun to use. You can check out how I used it today below.
People have been asking me if I am really serious about retirement and yes I am , but that doesn’t mean I don’t really love my job anymore . I absolutely do. I plan on making this year great! Why? Because each and every day I work with students and what I say and do matters.
I am far from perfect, but I really try my best to help students and create a positive environment in the school I work in. I love collaborating with educators and others that I know truly care.
I am often reminded that what I say and do matters and that is a scary and awesome responsibility. I never want to hurt a child or anyone for that matter, but I am human and I make mistakes . When I do I need to say sorry , make amends and do my best each and every day to be the best person I can be. I also recognize that I can be that one person who changes the trajectory of a students life , making a positive difference that they remember for a lifetime.
Does what you say and do matter? … you bet. Students are watching us daily … so as I enter my retirement year I want my students to know that I love what I do and will continue to do so until the day I retire. I love being with them and helping them as much as I possibly can. I look forward to this year and will treasure the memories I make with each and every person that crosses my path.
What I Say and Do Matters … and so does what you say and do.
It’s summer time and I know I should be resting and believe me I do ! I have so much inside of me that I want to share that it is sometimes hard to know where to begin, but for today I’ll share what has been on my mind. I have been following ASCA’s twitter #ASCA16 feed over the past few days as I was unable to go this year. A couple of reflections come to mind.
Gratitude … Collaborating with others has brought the passion of what I love to do to the forefront. I am so grateful that I connected to @ecmmmason and #scchat only a few short years ago . Yes, #scchat was the first School Counsellor hashtag I followed and it has changed everything . Thank you Danielle Schultz and Erin Mason. I got and still get so much inspiration from seeing and getting help from all those who posted to the hashtag. I know that is why I am so passionate about others joining in with us as we collaborate this fall on a joint venture. See more here School Counsellors Collaborating as Leaders Worldwide. I care about the future of School Counsellors and School Counselling. I want to give back and so I continue to engage with others who are as passionate as I am.
Refirement not retirement.Yes, I am retiring next year, but I want to go out making it my best year ever. I still really love what I do. I am retiring because it is time to. Time to refocus and engage my energies in other directions, but for now I will stay focused on the present and possibilities. I am very excited about all the new ventures I will be taking on next school year.
Really there are so many possibilities. This is an amazing time in education and these are but a few things I plan on doing in my retirement 2016-2017 school year. Over the summer you may want to consider giving to the Mario Couros Bursary . It is because of the gratitude we in #etmooc feel and it will help a future educator!
To all of you who take the time to read my blog may your summer be filled with gratitude, ideas and opportunities as well as time to enjoy your family and friends. Rest,relax and rejuvenate! I plan to . Hitting the beach very soon!
This week I was extremely fortunate to be Certified as a Trainer for the Mental Health Literacy Program facilitated by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Stan Kutcher
I was excited to be able to participate, as I have known about Dr. Kutcher’s work for a while. I am happy to say all four days were absolutely worth it. I left feeling I had learned many things that will assist me in my professional work and as a result impact the lives of the students we serve in our school community. I also loved his dry wit which absolutely kept me engaged during the process.
The training has fabulous resources for school counsellors, educators and mental health workers to utilize. This program is one of the best I have seen in a long time. It is rich in content, research, and resources.
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
One of important things that Dr. Stan Kutcher discussed during the four days is 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)
Too often we do not normalize what young people are feeling. It is normal to feel sad after a break up, but that does not mean the student is in a 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.
If you want to learn more you can take a quiz here to get you started…
Below I will share a few of the fantastic resources available. You may want to book a training in your area if you do contact @TMentalHealth
It is important as educators that we remember that each student comes to us with a story and even if we think we know what that story is we may not, but we should always treat that student with dignity and respect.