Powerful School Counselling Voices Across the World

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I have been an educator since 1980 and a School Counsellor since 1999, but never have I been so passionate about School Counsellors across the world having a collective voice for the students we serve as well as being a support for each other. As I get ready for retirement I am no less passionate about what I do and what we do in this profession.

Advocate

I am so hoping during Canadian School Counselling Week and National School Counselling Week #NSCW17 that others across the world will step up and let us hear their voice. Be an advocate for this profession. A special thank you to my American colleagues who often step up to be heard and have made transformative changes in attitudes and practice for School Counselors.

There are so many ways to do this .

  • Speak up in your district
  • Take on leadership roles at the district, local , provincial, state, and national levels
  • Get someone like Michelle Obama to be an advocate for you “School Counselors You Are Heroes”
  • Post ideas on twitter, facebook, instagram
  • Blog, vlog, and/ or podcasts
  • Share your BIG ideas on advocacy
  • Share, share, share (we are better together)

Believe 

  • You can make a difference
  • You do make a difference
  • You can make change
  • You can stand up for students and your profession

Collaborate

I am a better person because I collaborate  with other School Counsellors. Collaborate with others in your own school, others on-line and others who are and are not educators who all want the same thing a better life for our students.

Let your voice be heard. There are so many counsellors who are focused, determined and willing to give hope to School Counsellors and their students. I would love to see more School Counsellors from across the world STAND UP,  SPEAK OUT, and  SHARE your wonderful knowledge to others across the world who care as much as you do.

You can if we collaborate with others and one of the best ways to do that is to join us each month as we chat on-line using the hashtag #SCCHAT

Celebrate:

Celebrate what you do  with students. Celebrate other School Counsellors and educators every chance you can.

Most importantly be grateful for all those who work together to make this a better profession. The unheard heroes who work tirelessly everyday to be the best School Counsellors they can be.

Those who:

  • help the most vulnerable of our populations
  • that go the extra mile in the caring department
  • assist students across the finish line of graduation
  • do small things that matter , but they never find out until years later
  • save lives, but are silent
  • spread HOPE daily

Remember you are that leader. Don’t wait to be asked , take action TODAY! Yes you,  no matter where you are a School Counsellor in the world ,YOU have a vimg_5570oice. Don’t just listen … be that voice so that together we can make not only the positive changes in our own communities that we want , but maybe we can make a change and a difference for some child somewhere in another part of the world that we never imagined we would.

TOP SCHOOL COUNSELLORS TO FOLLOW : here

Celebrate:

Worth saying again:

Celebrate what you do with students. Celebrate other School Counsellors and educators every chance you can.

School Counsellor With An Innovator’s Mindset #IMMOOC

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Why do I keep learning? I think this sums it up.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” “When the mind is allowed to relax, inspiration often follows… If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.” Phil Jackson
The Innovator’s Mindset :  Empowering Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros is an excellent book for School Counsellors to begin the dialogue of Innovation. Do you have an innovator’s mindset?

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“When you are networked great ideas find you not the other way around”

George Couros

This quote is so true . I have been so fortunate to have great ideas and great people find me. Thanks to all of you.

So many amazing School Counsellors that I have met on twitter definitely have an Innovator’s mindset. I believe an innovator’s mindset continues to thrive, learn, reflect and seek out ways to make a difference.

As a School Counsellor with an Innovator’s Mindset Do you?

  • Start from The Heart
  • Keep Students At The Centre
  • Make Sure You are Helpful
  • Model What You Hope For
  • Utilize the 5 C’s
  • Build Relationships

START FROM THE HEART

In order for a School Counsellor to have an innovator’s mindset we must always begin to speak and listen from our heart to the heart of a child.img_2791

We want the young people that we serve to have the skills to cope effectively with life. They will know pretty quickly if we are genuine and start from our heart.

Starting from the heart involves active listening, compassion, trusting , caring and so much more. Sometimes our students need help, other times they just need the encouragement or support to find new ways to look at the world. Starting from the heart will make a difference.

When you start from the heart you will ask yourself :

  • What are my students strengths?
  • What are my students passionate about?
  • What can I do to help my students ?
  • Do my students have any projects or ideas they might need help executing?
  • What can I do as a School Counsellor that will help students be more successful?
  • How can I assist students in graduating?
  • What can I do differently today, this week, this month, this year to help the students in our school ?
  • How can I collaborate with others so that it benefits students and assist me to learn and grow?

KEEP STUDENTS AT THE CENTER

Passionate School Counsellors who keep students at the center of all they do can have a huge impact in their school communities.  As School Counsellors you know the reason you work with students is to be their advocate.img_2792 Everything you say or do should always keep this in mind. Whatever you do on-line or off innovative School Counsellors should make sure they remain focused on what is best for their students.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I keep my students needs a priority?
  • What is it I need to do that will make a difference for this students at this moment?
  • How is what I am doing by being innovative going to help students or other School Counsellors ( helping other School Counsellors or educators is helping students)

BE HELPFUL

No matter what school counsellors do with and for students on-line and off they should always remember to be helpful.   Being innovative means school counsellors will be able to not only help the students in their offices , but will find ways to assist all students in their buildings. img_2793

School Counsellors could also impact those beyond the walls of their own schools and potentially see the world as their community.  Helping other school counsellors and educators from across the globe helps students worldwide! How exciting and innovative is that?

Ask yourself?

  • How can I be most helpful for this student today and in the future?
  • How can being innovative help the students and staff in my school?
  • How can I help other school counsellors and educators worldwide?

MODEL WHAT YOU HOPE FOR  digital citizenship

If you want students to be good digital citizens then you too must become excellent role models.img_2794 This is vital if school counselors are to really help students into the future. Being innovative means acting on this today. Everything you post should be helpful, ethical and model what it is you hope students will do.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I become a digital citizen?
  • What skills do I need to assist me on this journey?
  • How do I connect with other school counsellors and leaders who are already great digital citizens?
  • How can I pass on to students what I learn?

The 5 C’s Connect Confidentiality Collaborate Create Celebrate

Connect

As school counsellors you know how important a working alliance is to making a difference. Connecting with students is essential to being and modelling an innovator’s mindset. Connecting with other school counsellors online and off can affect everything you do to develop your Comprehensive School Counselling Program Plan. Connecting allows you to reflect on the work of others as well as reflect on your own practices. There are so many ways to connect.  One of the most innovative people I have connected online with is Erin Mason @ecmmason . Thank you for all you do and if you haven’t connected with her and SCOPE please do. Here are a few examples of other ways to connect :

  • staff meetingsimg_2795
  • district meetings
  • Twitter (#scchat #sccrowd)
  • google hangouts
  • blogs
  • vlogs
  • facebook
  • Blab
  • Voxer
  • local leadership councils
  • writing articles
  • mentorship
  • supervising student counsellors ( a great way to give back )

Ask yourself? What are some innovative ways I can connect with other educators?

Confidentiality is essential for anyone with a school counsellor innovator’s mindset . If you are sharing on-line and want to learn with and from others you must remember to keep this at the forefront of everything you post.

Innovators know that with new technologies developing all the time it is vital to always get permission when sharing all the great things students do. It’s great to share what your prevention teams are doing , but always make sure students have signed their media consent forms. Always keep in mind when posting online that you should never breach confidentiality. When discussing cases (if you do so when connecting with other school counsellors on any social media space) never give out any identifying information in any way.

Collaborate To come up with some of the best ideas of what works for students collaboration is key.  Together school counsellors are better. Students benefit when we put our minds together to help them. Often when schools work together to assist students they come up with better ways to help them. Thank you Erin Luong  @ehordyskiluong for collaborating with me on this post! You are an amazing school counsellor with an innovator’s mindset.

Create School Counsellors now more than ever are finding ways to create to meet the needs of all the students in their schools. Collaboration assists school counsellors in the creative process. Whether you are creating a YouTube video to introduce yourself to share with your school community or creating something  you can use in classroom lessons. You know school counsellors with an innovative mindset create something that matters.

Celebrate  not only should school counsellors celebrate what is happening within their schools , but should recognize that sharing and celebrating what they do through social media can lead to new ways of practicing . There are many positive , helpful ways to share and celebrate what you do as a school counsellor that will assist others.

Ask yourself: How do I celebrate the work of my students, my colleagues and other school counsellors from across the world?

Build Relationships

  • Are you truly a relationship builder?

RELATIONSHIP Builders who unleash talent= School Counsellors With An Innovator’s Mindset

  • How do you unleash the talent of those around you?
  • How do you create and environment where risks are encouraged ?
  • How do you share the great work and strengths of others?

Twitter allows School Counsellors to share the great things that students and staff in your schools are doing. Twitter is truly an amazing tool to celebrate and highlight the wonderful works and lives of others. Participating in a MOOC can also have that impact.

Innovation … there is so much more to learn. Wish I had the eloquent words to thank you George Couros for  your leadership and your amazing voice. I so appreciate you for writing and sharing The Innovator’s Mindset . It is truly a gift to so many educators from around the world including me. I don’t read many books twice, but yours was worth it to reflect and go deeper.

Thank you George and Katie for creating such a powerful MOOC for not only school counsellors to enjoy , but for so many other inspirational people from across the world to learn from.

Thank you to all those in #IMMOOC you are amazing and so open to sharing and learning along with me.  A special thanks to Emily Clare @eclare_ahs for connecting with me and leading the voxer group. For the fabulous Sheri Edwards who is always inspirational so many thank you’s . To all those who shared their vlogs or blogs or tweets. I am very grateful!

I could not say it any better than Sheila Vick . You should follow her on twitter @sheila_vick. read what she had to say below:

When I reflect on why it has been so great, or what has made it so great, I realize the following:

We have been given a voice in the group.
We have had a lot of choice throughout the mooc.
We have been given autonomy throughout the mooc.
We have networked far and wide and through a variety of platforms.
We have built trust within the group which has provided a sense of psychological safety and has encouraged us to share stories and our beliefs.
We have been encouraged and empowered.
We have taken risks and stepped outside of our comfort zones.
There has been dialogue and competitive collaboration.
There has been so much reflection.
The enthusiasm and energy of the group has been contagious.
We have been encouraged to start where we are at.
We have shared the experience with many learning leaders.
We have been able to feel successful and therefore build confidence and competence.
The group has been full of fountains (no drains).
There has been a sense of empathy within the group.
We have been problem-finders and problem-solvers together.
We have created, created, created!
… and last but not least, like George, we are a group of Educators AND learners by passion.

If we can provide the above for our school counsellors, teachers and students, they can people with an innovative mindset too!

Won’t you join me in becoming a School Counsellor, educator , leader with an Innovator’s Mindset? I look forward to us collaborating. I love having a beginners mind don’t you? Find out more about IMMOOC here.

*Although not ready for this week throughout this MOOC I have been inspired to create a podcast . I will create one …any #IMMOOC ers want to help me?

To end with I’d like to CELEBRATE  a couple of people:

#1 the amazing Erin Mason a true School Counsellor Educator with an Innovator ‘s Mindset … Video #1 below.

#2 My Principal Neil O’Flaherty @neilof12 a true Innovator and the lead learner in the second Video below Bishop Carroll a Self Directed High School In Calgary Alberta. A leader who encourages and supports any and all innovation . I am so fortunate to work alongside you.

#3 Canadian School Counsellors with an Innovator’s Mindset  ( too many to mention ). Although many of you are at the beginning stages of twitter I look forward to reading and celebrating all the amazing work you do every day!

#4 YOU thanks for reading along ( if you have read this far) I appreciate you joining me on this #IMMOOC journey.

A Simple Thank You … is enough #IMMOOC

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My biggest lesson this week is what a simple thank you can do to turn your day and your mindset around. I rarely have one of those days and this week I did. I did let my administrator know (at least some of what was going on) and he did one of the best things a true leader can do . He simply thanked me for all the work I do with students . He let me know he was there for me and glad I was there for students and yes it made a difference.

I felt heard and valued. It turned my mindset around.  It freed me from the negativity I was feeling and was such a great role model for me. As a leader I forget that my staff needs a simple thank you too. I really try to remember to do that often through a note or a comment, but sometimes I forget to make the time to do what is so important. So I sent each person I work with closely with a little personal note this weekend and next week I will try to finish by sending all those who help me by giving them a note.

I was extremely honored to recieve an award last week from the University of Calgary Counselling Psychology Program.  Ph. D students I had previously supervised took the time and effort in their busy schedules to recommend me for an excellence in practicum supervision award . It was their BIG thank you and I am truly, truly grateful. They took the time to write such beautiful words and say thank you in a big way. Taking the time to thank people is truly a gift that you can give others. You have asked me to display it proudly and so I will.

However, this week that simple thank you helped to change my mindset and I believe will impact what I do next week and in the future with others.

Be on the look out for my thank you to IMMOOC.

Who will you send a simple thank you to … this week?

Relationships Relationships Relationships … Great Leaders Matter

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Having worked in schools for 36 years I absolutely recognize the importance of a great leader. I am grateful to have worked with so many.

Fortunately for me I get to work with an outstanding leader everyday. He is forward thinking, innovative, positive , intelligent , has great sense of humour , cares deeply about students and staff , is extremely supportive of School Counsellors and most importantly kind. He makes a difference. Thanks @neilof12.

On this Canadian thanksgiving day , I think it is very important to tell the people who you care about and are grateful for that you do. Too often people think it , but don’t say it. I try to say it as often as I can because I recognize life is precious.

I make a point of telling those that have impacted me that they have including my students.

As a leader myself , I make every effort to be the kind of leader I want others to be. I gave my principal  The Innovator’s Mindset when it came out knowing that he was already an innovator, but also knowing like me he too is a lifelong learner.

Today most importantly I am grateful for my husband and children who have had the biggest and most positive impact on my life. Because of them I can be the kind of educator,   leader and person I want to be.

I am so… so…  so grateful for the wonderful friendships that I have in my life. They have and still do enrich and transform my life.

I am grateful for #immooc and @gcouros for having the insights and passion to make a difference in students and educators lives including mine. Thanks to all those in #immooc who have connected and shared with me. I am grateful. I believe very strongly when we are excited about learning we pass that on to all those around us and can make a real difference in the life of a child. Isn’t that why we chose this profession?  Yes, George relationships do matter … they are absolutely everything.

 

Reality #IMMOOC

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.

My goals:

  • 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 .

Enjoy your reality …

Letting Go

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Letting go while still feeling extraordinarily passionate isn’t easy, it is a process. I need to take my own advice and trust the process. This year will be a year of reflection and change. I am retiring in June , but still absolutely love what I do.

I am embarking on another powerful , innovative journey in #immooc with people from all around the world. I know already I will be changed because of it. ETMOOC and the people in it profoundly changed me. I believe I am a much better educator and person because of the people who influenced my thinking and my skill level. It is hard to put into words all the amazing things I learned , but trust me I am transformed.

Today I changed the name of my blog, not as easy as some people might think, but in doing so I have let go of some things to be ready and open to new challenges and experiences.

IMMOOC I look forward to all the possibilities ahead and learning new things that will affect the way I assist students in their journey this school year. What are you prepared to let go of in order to create , make or do something even better?

What We Say and Do Matters

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.