Lessons from Leo

One of my all time favourite educators and authors is Leo F Buscaglia. I started Hug Days in my school district because of Leo in the days when it was ok to hug students. I still believe it is ok to hug students , recognizing boundaries and always being respectful of students and their boundaries.

What did I learn from Leo that I still think applies to students and myself today? Here are some of the lessons i learned from the amazing Leo Buscaglia:

  • Be passionate
  • Love learning , love life, love yourself, love …

“Perhaps love is the process of leading you gently back to yourself” Saint -Exupery

  • Make yourself into the best person you can be, because you are all you have
  • Schools should be the most joyful places in the world
  • Be spontaneous
  • Live fully alive

“Oh God , to have reached the point of death,only to have found that you have never lived at all ” Don Quixote

  • Leo wanted us to live fully to enjoy every single moment of life

from another Leo more wisdom comes …

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful,
to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate.
It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something,
to have made some difference that you lived at all.”

Leo Rosten

  • Accentuate what is right instead of focusing on what is wrong
  • Feel free to make mistakes and learn from them
  • Believe in change
  • Every time we learn something new we become something new
  • You control your destiny
  • Stop looking for or striving for perfection
  • Life isn’t always easy, but rise to the challenge to face life head on

“Everyone needs at least one person  to love them no matter what ” Leo Buscgalia

  • Be that someone for someone
  • You need a path with a heart
  • Be real , be you
  • There is so much more to know, to be, to do

A favorite question Leo liked to ask was … If you only had five days to live, how would you spend them? With whom? 

We need to always reflect on this and live … fully live.

  • Death teaches us what love is
  • Ask yourself “What are YOU giving to life?’

If you have never read Leo Buscaglia’s books do it now.The lessons are timeless. These lessons are from Living, Loving and Learning by Leo Buscaglia. Stay tuned for more lessons from Leo.

Words Can Change The Way We Perceive Others and Ourselves

Words really do matter. I am in the process of developing an online presentation for adults on mental health and wellness so that they may assist students in their post – secondary programs. As I think about what I will say I recognize that my words matter. What I say could potentially influence educators. What they say to their students could potentially transform what happens for the students and their families. Mental health literacy matters,  stigma matters , words matter.

Sometimes I hear people use words way too loosely when describing someone with a mental illness or someone who has special needs or challenges. They may say so and so is an ADHD kid or so and so is bipolar, an alcoholic etc.  It matters to me when I hear words used inappropriately as I believe strongly that we are people first ( the labels used like ADHD are only a very small way of telling us something about someone). We are so much more. Who we truly are cannot or should not be described in a few words.

So the next time you find yourself using the label first STOP and THINK about the power of your words. Jack or Jill may have a million attributes that are positive and when you use one word to define them you are missing such huge pieces of who they truly are. So eliminate so and so is a developmentally delayed child etc. and say their name and the many wonderful things about them. When you do this you start to perceive them differently. You also begin to treat each human being , each child in your care with so much more dignity and respect.

Words really do matter

Words can bring about acceptance

Words can change our brains

Words can hurt or heal

Words can hold back or help

Words can break hearts or touch hearts

Words can build others up or tear them down

Words allow people to tell their stories

Words give people their voices

Words can challenge us to be resilient

Words can give us the strength to carry on … to give us HOPE

Words can ruin someone’s day or make someone’s day

Words have the power to change others and change ourselves

What words will you use when speaking about and to your students today?

School Counsellors Do Indeed Have a Hashtag ( this is for George and all my fellow Canadians)

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Attribution for picture and a Haiku Deck on School Counsellors matter here

I am inspired yet again thanks to fellow Canadian and educator extraordinaire  George Couros @gcouros  to write a blog post about the fact that School Counsellors do indeed have hashtags and use them on a regular basis.

American School Counsellors are on the web in droves as you can see if you follow the  #scchat hashtag. I am fortunate to connect with other School Counsellors who are from all over the world especially through #SCCrowd and you can join us . I am proud to call myself a School Counsellor because it is so much more than what a Guidance Counsellor used to be. Read more here. School Counsellor Chat #scchat was the leader of the way and we can join in as caring Canadians who are passionate about School Counselling and want to make a difference.

I am a School Counsellor 

I was a School Counsellor the moment I realized students needed help and I could make a difference

Throughout the day I can be called upon to assist, encourage, intervene, give support, make serious decisions and more

I am privileged to see the potential in each and every student

Honoured that students and their families allow me to help them

Thankful that I have chosen a profession I can be proud of and one that allows me to leave a legacy

You, the parents allow me to enter your world and help the most precious gift you have been given in life your child

Students matter to me and I will counsel your children from my heart, always maintaining a professional response

I am a School Counsellor and I will never take that responsibility lightly

I will have the courage , strength and hope to do what is necessary

I will provide a place and a space where you can trust what I do

Knowing that you have allowed me to spend my precious days with the future

I am a School Counsellor and for that I am filled with gratitude each and every day

Susan Spellman Cann

It isn’t as easy to connect with other School Counsellors from across Canada. There are a few of us that connect on a regular basis often using the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat :

@ehordyskiluong

@CharlieOsenton

@TrentLangdonNL

I know there are so many more of you like @Michelle0102197 @BriseboisJoanne  @brie_jen @JodieHeywood1 @helenMacKinnon2 @JenMTrigger  @mikesmacneil @BoskertheSC @kimtremblay13 @MacISSuey  @MzMoynihan that can and want to connect on a regular basis, but you may just need to be aware of the basics of how twitter and a PLN can change how you practice. For some of you, you may even need to know that there is a hashtag and how to use it.  We are here to help you anytime. Just ask and we will support you in any way we can. Join in by adding your name to this doc. You can find it by clicking School Counsellors Collaborating here.

There are so many more School Counsellors that I have added to my PLN since I wrote this blog post.” There are so many amazing School Counsellors doing so many fabulous things”,  in July of 2013. We really are trying to get more Canadian School Counsellors Connected on twitter so if you do know of any please send them our way and we will definitely start using the #CSCchat  Canadian School Counsellor chat that Erin and I created long ago hoping more would come on board.

I am so grateful to be a School Counsellor in a time when we can connect and learn and grow from and with each other due to the internet. So please join us as we make a difference and learn together. Check out SCOPE one of the best resources for School Counsellors you will find on the net.

Our next International School Counsellor chat is on Tuesday , October 28th at 6:30 MDT . Join @rawolfon and I . It is our one year  #SCCrowd anniversary. We look forward to meeting, connecting and collaborating with you.

I Am A School Counsellor

 

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I am a School Counsellor

I was a School Counsellor the moment I realized students needed help and I could make a difference

Throughout the day I can be called upon to assist, encourage, intervene, give support, make serious decisions and more

I am privileged to see the potential in each and every student

Honoured that students and their families allow me to help them

Thankful that I have chosen a profession I can be proud of and one that allows me to leave a legacy

You, the parents allow me to enter your world and help the most precious gift you have been given in life your child

Students matter to me and I will counsel your children from my heart, always maintaining a professional response

I am a School Counsellor and I will never take that responsibility lightly 

I will have the courage , strength and hope to do what is necessary

I will provide a place and a space where you can trust what I do 

Knowing that you have allowed me to spend my precious days with the future

I am a School Counsellor and for that I am filled with gratitude each and every day

Susan Spellman Cann

 

 

Hope : A Message We All Need to Hear


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The following post was written by Vince Fowler a Business Coach, Speaker and Veteran in Calgary . He allowed me to share it with you. I think it is one of the best posts I have read, thus I am sharing it with you. You can follow Vince on twitter @VinceFowler

It would appear that the lives of most people who actively post on Facebook  are somehow living the perfect life – a life filled with laughter, with joy, money, friends, love, appreciation, amazing holidays, best job ever, best opportunities ever, etc … etc.

At times, it just might seem to you that everyone around you is having more fun than you, that their life is somehow better, more fulfilling and more rewarding than yours.

That’s just not reality.

Everyone has challenges. Everyone has fears. Everyone has pain … and I truly believe that we all have our own demons & skeletons kept secretly in our closets … under the proverbial  lock and key.

“Help” is something that way too many people have a hard time asking for … and when issues go un-addressed, people begin to lose hope. And when all hope appears lost, the only available decision left in the room seems to be the exit-life door … and then they’re gone… just as Robin Williams is gone.

Sad. So very sad.

Please – do not feel that my life or anyone else’s – celebrities included – are better than yours. Everyone is a little messed up in their own way … I know I am.

Just because I post my joys, doesn’t mean I don’t experience sadness. Just because I post my excitement, doesn’t mean I don’t experience boredom. Just because I post my successes and aspirations, doesn’t mean I don’t experience pain and failure.

I wish Robin Williams were still alive. He was funny beyond belief. He shared his talents with so many for no other purpose than to make them laugh. Sure, he was rich and famous … not because he discovered a way to monetize his talents, but because people actually valued his art and his craft.

That said, Robin Williams clearly had issues – which means Robin was a human being … which means he was just like you and me. Sadly, he wasn’t able to deal with those issues. Because he was loved and appreciated by millions, millions are now mourning his loss.

I once heard many, many, years ago … a man can live 40 days without food. He can live 4 days without water, but he cannot live 4 seconds without hope.

I don’t judge Robin Williams … I will miss Robin Williams.

Thanks Vince for saying what so many of us feel. Teens are particularly vulnerable at this time and we want to make sure they are safe. Your message is a message for all!

If a person believes there is no hope in winning a game,you can visibly see their efforts drop

If a person believes there is no hope in a relationship improving, they sometimes immediately break up

I challenge you to look around and observe on your own

As long as there is HOPE , even a glimmer of HOPE, people keep trying

By Vince Fowler 2014

I want a future where we treat all human beings with dignity, respect with understanding and compassion. I want a world where we have better treatments for mental health disorders and a world where there will be no future losses due to these illnesses. I want a world where all people are not ashamed or afraid to reach out for help. It is more than OK to reach out for help there are many places and people where you can. There is hope and I have hope that we can help .

Susan Spellman Cann

Resource for teens in CalgaryHearing Youth Helping Youth 403-264-8336

Adults can also call the Distress Centre : 403-266-4357 403.266-HELP

Resources to assist with hope: 

Click here: Livebinder on depression

Click here: Mental Health resources for teens

Click here: Suicide prevention resources

Click here: Depression Resources : High School Counselling

Click here: Haiku Deck on hope

Lessons For a New School Counsellor: Year end post

Originally, I planned to share this post with Marc. In reflection, I think this post should stand alone.

counselling'

Reflecting on my first year of counselling makes my successes, struggles, observations and learning apparent, showing how I have changed professionally and personally.  In many ways, it appears that my experience in my first year of counselling mirrors my experience in my entire Master’s program.

My studies taught me about models and theories of counselling.  In my first year I have worked to apply my eclectic approach centred upon Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).  I have learned the strengths and limitations of SFBT, how to apply its approaches and techniques effectively, and in what contexts it is appropriate.  I have applied elements of REBT, CBT, Narrative Therapy and other theories as I have built my knowledge and skill base.  I realize that I need to increase my knowledge and skills in a variety of therapeutic models through further professional development.

My studies taught me about the ethics of counselling.  In my first year I have been exposed to a number of ethical issues and questions as I have considered issues of boundaries, self-care, confidentiality, and proper conduct.  I have learned through my own work, the experience of others, and consultation what potential concerns can arise and how to work through the decision making process.  I have had my own conceptions challenged, and have had to learn how to balance the rights of parents, students, my employer and myself.

My studies taught me how to work with a client to create a positive working alliance and how to develop an effective intervention plan.  My first year has been a tremendous learning experience, as I have played ‘guess and test’ with different approaches and techniques.  I have learned how to conduct myself in a way that creates a positive relationship with a client, while still remaining true to my personality and principles.  I have learned the value of a conceptual plan, as I struggled in some sessions to adjust to new information or move forward in a deliberate manner.  Videotaping my sessions has provided me with tremendous opportunity for growth, as I have observed and reflected upon my demeanor, approach, and delivery.  I have surprised myself, as I begin to feel that I could actually ‘do this’.

I came into my first year very aware of my naïveté.  I battled ‘imposter syndrome’, worrying that clients or colleagues would question my abilities as much as I did.  I wondered if I would be able to handle all the potential scenarios placed before me.  Even at the end of my first year, I am aware of my inexperience and the potential struggles of a novice counsellor.  However, I have learned so much and come so far that I believe I am well-equipped to begin my journey as a counsellor.  Personally, I have been surprised by what I have learned from clients, how my experience has impacted me, and how I have been able to manage emotionally.  I have seen the value of self-care, boundaries, and realistic expectations.  I believe that my experience has made me a more reflective person, a better listener, and more aware of the perspectives of others.  Professionally, I believe I have made the right career choice.  I plan to work in schools, helping students with their academic and personal needs.  I have learned how to work with other professionals, how to communicate with parents and clients, and what my role as a counsellor entails.  I am both overwhelmed and excited by the amount of growth I have ahead of me; through experience, reflection and professional development, I plan to keep learning and developing.

If I could give any advice to a new counsellor facing the first year of their new career, it would be this: You have chosen a profession with a steep learning curve, a variety of potential presenting issues, the emotional impacts of others, and tremendous demands of your time, energy and patience.  You will be frustrated and challenged, misunderstood and exhausted.  So relax and enjoy it.  You’re much better at it than you think you are, there are many resources and supports out there for you, and the job is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding.  You’re making a bigger difference than you realize.  Isn’t that what we want?

Marc Osenton

My final thoughts : I have been fortunate to work alongside such a *fabulous new school counsellor. Fly on your own  Marc ( well sort of ) but remember to always consult, consult, consult, collaborate, collaborate, collaborate, continue to tweet and continue to make a difference.

You most certainly did this year.

Please follow Marc on twitter @charlieosenton

I look forward to Marc’s School Counselling blog as school counselors know reflection is always a good practice.

Lesson #20 I Want To Be A Good Digital Citizen

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Week 2 of #DCMOOC and I find myself thinking about digital citizenship in everything I do. Isn’t that what we want students to do? Isn’t that what I want to do … think before I post, learn to be a good digital citizen. I want to become the best citizen I can. I strive to do that daily and as I reflect, I think about the many times I have made mistakes in life and try to remember that I am still learning even today.

I recognize that it took me a lifetime to become the person I am today and I will continue to make mistakes online and off. Trying to merge my two identities online and off , being authentic and true to who I really am isn’t always easy.

Reflecting brings to light what I want students to do which is to focus on their strengths. I attempt to do that online and off, but at times I fall short. Reflecting makes me aware of what I need to do to change and taking this course helps me bring to light what it is that I want to do differently.

Each year I think about new ways to share my learning on line  so that it will benefit students. I want to model and teach citizenship to our students . By reflecting on others posts, sharing in blackboard collaborate , following the hashtag #DCMOOC and reading in the G + community I am often enlightened as to resources that I can use with our students.

I really like what Deborah had to say about #W2Q2 “I find the best analogy to share with my students is that everything they post online should be something they are willing to share on the morning announcements at school.“Thanks Deb, I think I will start sharing that with students. One thing I will do differently is start my day with something I can share with students on digital citizenship twice a week on the school twitter account. I will commit to this next year.

I want to thank Deborah McCallum for this flipboard. It made me think about fixing up one I had already started . I will share it later.

Taking this MOOC has made me revisit some of the resources I use and try to improve them so that I can then use them with students and share with those in #DCMOOC. As a result I have made a few more flipboards to share with School Counsellors and thanks to @suewaters I can now fix my flipboards to make them better. Thanks to @courosa for always sharing such great resources and here are some more resources.