There Is An Artist In All Of Us

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Five years ago I did not paint and now thanks to great friends and my experiences in ETMOOC  , I have more confidence and find it one of the most rewarding , therapeutic experiences that I can imagine. I take mini courses and I watch lots of youtube videos to get tips. It is so much fun.

I have keratoconus a progressive eye disease, ( I was diagnosed later in life ) so I think partly that diagnosis has driven me to create visually in case my vision ever gets really poor. Painting is therapeutic and healing for me. I have played sports all my life and I absolutely love to read,  both which can bring me flow , but nothing brings me the kind of flow that painting does.

Painting brings me flow the kind of flow that was discovered by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  Fifteen hours can feel like five minutes for me. I love that it brings me joy and that I am completely absorbed in the process. It is fun and easy and yes I think anyone  can benefit from art and painting.  If I can you can too.

 

I plan on using the painting that I did above,  thanks to the online instructions from theArtSherpa ( see below) with our students. Art and Counselling definitely go together . Paintings tell stories often times with hidden messages.

Process for students:

Today we are going to embark on a journey of letting go of any negativity and go with the flow. For the next two hours you are not allowed to say to yourself I can’t . If you hear yourself speaking those words take your note pad and write I can … I will.

So let’s begin this process by being mindful and breathing. Lead students through a short mindfulness process to begin. Let them know that they are going to create a special painting today and that there are no mistakes. They can create their trees and painting anyway they like even if it is different from the paining they see. Like mine birch trees do not produce multi coloured leaves , but I did just because I wanted to visually and I  love the effect.  This seminar is about being yourself and letting go.

If they would like to follow the step by step instructions here they are:

  1. Write messages of hope and their dreams for their future in pencil on their canvas.
  2. Ask students if anyone would like to share their hopes and dreams with others.
  3. The size of canvas it up to the student. Have students bring the size of canvas they want to work on.
  4. Divide your canvas into six equal sections. They don’t have to be exact and you don’t have to measure them. Tell students they can estimate.  So begin by saying Today we are going to create . We are going to start by painting a rainbow with trees, you can use any method you like to paint your colors on your canvas. I used upwards stokes, but really any would work. Start with red, orange , yellow, greens,  blue and purple.
  5. Guide students through the process being as creative as you like in explaining what they can do next. Constantly remind them it is ok to make mistakes ( really there are no mistakes, but they may perceive them as such). Remind them that their perceived mistakes lead to more creativity and it is ok to be as creative as they wish going with the flow and what their heart wants to paint.
  6. Trees can be very symbolic and you can discuss this with students.Trees are strong and unique just like each of them. Birch trees can mean new beginnings. You can discuss with students what they believe their trees mean for them. I chose nine trees, but they can choose any number that means something to them. I also chose to add flowers and really birch trees have no colorful flowers, but I like the effect. The lovely thing when you create art just for the sake of it is that there is no right or wrong . There are no mistakes. It just is … creative , how wonderful and freeing.
  7. The rest of the directions are below in the video. You can watch and create your own instructions.
  8. Most importantly have fun and trust the process.

Check out the video below for detailed instructions:

If you decide to do this process with your students , please share your creative ideas with me @sspellmancann.

Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life

Pablo Paccasso

How do you thank someone? … You can too …

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Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. It is hard to believe three years has passed since ETMOOC. I personally have learned so much in the last three years thanks to my ETMOOC PLN and especially Alec Couros. How do you thank someone who has made such a difference ? For us in ETMOOC it was by helping to create something that will hopefully make a difference for Alec, his family as well as future educators.

According to Harvard Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy people judge you on two criteria when they first meet you .

  1. Can I trust this person?
  2. Can I respect this person?

Alec Couros  @courosa has earned the  trust and respect of so many , but especially those of us in ETMOOC and as a result we wanted to do something special for him. Thus the Mario Couros Memorial Bursary .

Please take time to read the criteria below and if you feel like you too want to thank Alec by contributing to an award that honours him and his dad who meant the world to him, then please do so. Several of us plan to work hard this year to promote and get others to contribute to this award and we hope YOU will join us.

About the award :

The Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will help newcomers to Canada in reaching their dream of being one of tomorrow’s educators by providing financial assistance to pursue their Education Degree at the University of Regina. Mario came to Canada from Greece on December 14th 1957. He lived, worked and raised his family in Saskatchewan. He wanted to make a life and a difference for his family. Mario was a volunteer, a caring supportive father, grandfather, a loving husband and an extremely hard working man. He was a great role model for his children and others as he continued to be a lifelong learner with a fabulous work ethic until his passing. This award is dedicated in his memory.

It is also a tribute to his son Dr. Alec Couros who continues his father’ s legacy by inspiring and encouraging others to pursue their educational aspirations and follow a path to life-long learning.

The bursary will make a meaningful impact by breaking down the financial barriers to higher education and encouraging outstanding academic achievement. By contributing to this bursary you will enable Education students to focus on what matters most : their education.

The goal is to raise $ 25.000 to create an endowment that will allow for a permanent bursary at the University of Regina ‘s Faculty of Education. Your contribution to the Mario Couros Memorial Bursary will live on in perpetuity in memory and honour of Mario’s legacy. 

To donate online:

  1.                    Go to http://www.uregina.ca/giving
  2.                    Click the Donate Now button on the right side
  3.                    Click the In Honour/In Memory button

Enter your donation information and click add to gift basket.

Please ensure you enter Mario Couros under the second tab and continue to payment

If you would like any assistance with contributing please contact Erin Werner at 1-306-585-5432 or erin.werner@uregina.ca .  Those from other countries may wish to do so if they have difficulty contributing.  If you need a paper copy just email her.

You too can help !  Consider letting other educators know they can contribute to this important fund. Each contribution can and will make a difference. Alec has 99.5k followers . If each person following @courosa donated $ 1.00 we would have more than we need to keep this fund alive and help young people who want to be educators.

A very special thank you to all those in ETMOOC that have volunteered to promote this fund and all those who have already committed to contributing. I am so grateful for you . Kindness flows in ETMOOC ‘ers

I look forward to many more years of connecting , growing and learning with all of you. I think my heart is bigger today because of all of you.

Have you or someone you know been impacted by @courosa or @gcouros ?  You may want to really consider contributing. This post yesterday by @gcouros on “Has twitter changed our view?”  is very thoughtful and thought provoking. Twitter has most certainly changed mine for the positive. #lifechanging #friendshipsIneverwouldhaveimagined #grateful

REMINDER:
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE ! Truly think about donating, even if only a small amount and pass this on to someone who you think would contribute. TOGETHER we are better!

Please consider blogging about this award and sharing on twitter , facebook and google plus . YOU too can help to make a difference. Thanking you in advance. There truly are so many good people in the world and if you have taken time to read this blog post to the end and contribute. I know you are one of them.

Please let us know you have contributed by either DM ing me at @sspellmancann or by posting in the comments section so we can acknowledge YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TED Talks and videos for School Counsellors

The following TED Talks and videos are excellent for School Counsellors:

  1. Martin Seligman The New Era of Positive Psychology

Some highlights from Seligman. Psychology should be as concerned with strength as it is with weakness and in building the best things in life as it is in repairing the worst. It should also be as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling and with nurturing high talent as healing pathology .

2. Shawn Anchor: The Secret To Better Work

Some highlights from Anchor. It takes 21 days 3 minutes every day to train your brain to be more positive. What are 3 things you are grateful for ? Write them down everyday. Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. Meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once and allows our brains to focus on the task at hand. Random acts of kindness are conscious acts of kindness

3. The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude

Some highlights.  Take time to tell someone how grateful you are that they are in your life. Do it today!

4. My Philosophy for A Happy Life Sam Berns

Some highlights from Sam. Sam had progeria. Sam lived life fully while he was living. Always have something to look forward to. Accept life when you are feeling badly. You can change the world and he did. Never miss a party.

Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.

– Leo Tolstoy

5. My Last Days Meet Zach Sobiech

 

 

You don’t have to find out you are dying to start living. Most people live in the middle , but you don’t have to. What’s awesome about living in this world is that you can help . People we don’t really know can change our lives. Love makes life better.

6.  Educate The Heart 

Highlights : A child’s heart and mind are fragile. We have an enormous responsibility … we need to educate students from the heart. It can start today in our schools.

7. I renamed this to From the heart : What Real Winners Look Like.

 

Highlights: Watch and you’ll see.

If you have any great video’s you know School Counsellors should see please send them my way @sspellmancann.

 

 

ASCA15 Conference and Connections in Phoenix

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                                      Picture taken by ASCA photographer

This was my second ASCA conference and it did not disappoint. Going to a conference when you have a PLN on twitter is a whole new experience and I’d have to say a imagemuch better one because you already know people before you get there. This makes the conference so much richer. Lasimaget year I went by by myself, but I was certainly not alone. It was a very special conference because I was going to surprise my friend Erin Mason. That memory will resonate with me for many years to come. It was a magical moment when I finally suprised her. You can check out my blog post from last year here.

Here are some of the highlights from this years conference:

  • Connecting with other School Counsellors and friends especially my roomie Bridget @bridgethelms.

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  • Celebrating the book launching and signing of my friend Carol’s @tmscounselor new book Star Bound.
  • imageThe tweetup . Seeing people F2F is fabulous!
  • Seeing my friend Ed.Jacobs . I never get tired of listening to him and @doc_schimmel present. They are amazing! If you have never checked out one of their sessions on Impact Therapy and groups you need to!image
  • Tim Schriver’s keynote was so inspirational and of course made me cry.
  • Russ Sabella’s session on Ethics and School Counselling which inspired this post Privacy An Illusion.

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  • The collaboration and fun things to come… Ideas flow at conferences.

Here are a couple of videos from the conference:

Here are two storifies: One for those at ASCA15 and one for those #notatasca thanks to Danielle Schultz.

If you haven’t been to an ASCA Conference go.Next year it is in New Orleans. Before you do connect with other School Counsellors in #SCCrowd , #scchat , #hscchat , #SCin30 and #escchat. Looking forward to seeing and connecting with you! Until then see you on twitter @sspellmancann on video in #SCin30 or in one of our monthly chats.

Want to donate to help someone be able to go to ASCA16 please donate here: Click on Jeremy’s twitter post.

A work in progress pressed publish, but will finish later …  I think maybe it is time for a real vacation…

Teen Mental Health and Wellness Matters

It is always time to talk about mental health and wellness when it comes to students. This year we held our second Mental Health Symposium with Dr. Alec Couros, but throughout the year we hold small events that inform students about the importance of their own wellness.

Last year our theme was Living Aware, Living Informed , Living Empowered. We want our students at Bishop Carroll High School to feel fully empowered and we want them to be good digital citizens by posting to the hashtag #empowerBCHS

Take a look at some of the great things our students have to say:

Click here to find out more information about our symposium last year.

Our theme this year was Living Fully Alive. We really wanted students to think about all the reasons they could and should want to live. Click here to learn more.

We wanted students to leave with resources which you can find by clicking here.

We also want to continue the dialogue and have students learn more about mental health literacy. Thanks to Dr. Stan Kutcher we can .

When it comes to mental health we need to :

1) Know how to obtain and maintain good mental health

2) Understanding mental disorders and their treatments based on the best scientific evidence

3) Decrease Stigma

4) Know when and where to get help , know what to expect when you get help and having the tools to empower us to get the best care possible

Take a look at his fabulous website to find out more Teenmentalhealth.org. We hope you will join us in our work . You can collaborate anytime with us on the topic of mental health and wellness by contacting @sspellmancann . Go ahead make a difference for teens , because mental health and wellness matters.

Mental Health Symposium with Dr. Alec Couros @courosa

Living Fully Alive

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” – Howard Thurman

At Bishop Carroll High School we take mental health and wellness seriously. Our district and province have made a committment to focus on the well being of our students . Take a look at the video below to see what Alberta teachers are saying.

Our mental health wellness committee put together our second symposium featuring Dr. Alec Couros.

Need a background start here and really think about the words you use when it comes to mental health .

Take a peek at our 2005 Mental Health Living Fully Alive Symposium:

Mental health is important and if you need to find out why take a look at these facts about mental illness. It is one of the reasons we decided to put together a symposium. It will be a great day when mental health is understood and de- stigmatized.

If you want to see what we did last year you can can take a look at the pins below:

Below we hope you could make use of some of our resources. Feel free to use any and or all ideas. We need to work together to make this a better world for our youth.

  • Our Living Fully Alive advertisement can be found here.
  • Our challenge for ten reasons to live is posted here: 10 Reasons To Live
  • One of the most important things we wanted our students to gain from this symposium was coping skills.
  • Haiku Deck Reasons To Live
  • Haiku decks for  School Counsellors and students click below:

We need to teach students how to find their flow state and use it to keep themselves healthy. How do you get yourself into this state? For me one way is painting.

Our mental health wellness is a collaborative project that we began last year . The following document has a wealth of resources that we hope high schools, educators and school counsellors will use. It is an ongoing work in progress, so if you’d like to collaborate with us please feel free to tweet me @sspellmancann and join us on our journey as we pay attention to our own mental health as well as the mental health and wellness of others.

101 ways to  Live Your Life to the Fullest

101 things to do Before You Die

Thanks Dr.Couros for your passion and assisting students to think about their identities on and off line. As our students would say . YOU rock!

Now go have yourself a great day and remember you have a purpose … YOU MATTER

Thanks to @haikudeck for this video! Love you guys!

Putting Passion Into Practice

This week I am presenting to the Alberta Guidance Council. Their closing keynote was unable to come so I get a chance to share with other Alberta School Counsellors what I am most passionate about School Counselling and technology. I get to put my passion into practice. One of the things that matters to me most after I have heard a presenter is if I am able to put into practice what I have heard by using something I learned or receiving a resource that I can use later. So I really hope this blog post provides you with several resources you are able to use long after my talk.

Here are some resources from my presentation:

Technology doesn’t always work the way you want it to as was evident today, so here is the start of my presentation Putting Passion Into Practice a Powtoon presentation.

We need to understand the students we work with. They are an Instagram generation and we can help them most by understanding their world and learning to use technology in a positive way to assist them.

Here is the Haiku Deck Putting Passion Into Practice that I shared.

The Putting Passion Into Practice  smore has resources that I discussed.

I know how important it is to have a back up plan and luckily I did, but such a great lesson today to remind us when presenting to download your presentation directly onto your computer /and or blog. Hopefully this blog will give you what you missed during my presentation.

I want you to know as a School Counsellor you are extremely vital to the well-being of students in your schools and play an important part in helping students #reachhigher. You are a leader and can demonstrate that daily in your schools.

I was extremely fortunate to attend this years American School Counselling Association conference where I met and collaborated with lots of amazing school counsellors who are connected and want to make a difference for the future of school counselling. I especially love that I got to surprise my twitter and now F2F friend Erin Mason ( she did not think I was coming to the conference ). Meeting F2F was fabulous and has made our connection even closer.  I had so much fun throughout the whole conference and the fact that we first met on twitter made the conference even more special. I felt like I was at home when I arrived. Another of my favourite parts of the conference was being present for Michelle Obama’s speech. I felt so happy to be present at such a historic moment for School Counsellors and the profession. I really wish we had someone as special speaking and advocating on behalf of School Counsellors in Canada.

Here is a clip from Michelle Obama’s Speech recognizing the importance of School Counsellors at this years American School Counselling Conference ( if you look very, very close you’ll see @sspellmancann at 1 min 22 sec. with @tmscounsellor I am the excited one with the Canadian iPhone camera taking a pic.) The whole speech can be found on YouTube, but below you can see a transcript of her talk.

“Your work lives on in their hearts and minds, and in the hearts and minds of everyone they touch.” Michelle Obama

For a transcript of the First Lady’s remarks, click here. You might get the inspiration you need to reach higher to make a difference in your school.

I love how Michelle Obama ended her speech. In the words of Michelle Obama here is what School Counsellors need to know:

So here’s the thing, ASCA members ( SCHOOL COUNSELLORS my insert) — whenever you get tired — and I know that you do — whenever you get frustrated or overwhelmed — and I know that you do — I want you to think about the extraordinary ripple effect of your work, because it’s real. I want you to think about the impact you have not just on every child whose life you transform, but on the family that child will raise, on the business where that child will work, on the community that child will one day serve. I want you to think about how long after those kids graduate your work lives on in their hearts and minds, and in the hearts and minds of everyone they touch.

So today, I want to end as I started –- by once again saying thank you. Really, thank you. Thank you for your compassion and determination. Thank you for the boundless love you show our children.

And I for one, as your First Lady, I am grateful for all that you do. And I look forward to working closely with you in the years ahead to give all our young people the bright futures they so richly deserve.

Thank you all. God bless.”

I believe through technology you too can make a difference.

TOP REASONS FOR SCHOOL COUNSELLORS TO USE TECHNOLOGY:

1. To Connect by

  • Using Apps

Thanks to Suzanne Tiemstra for sharing some favorite apps she uses : Kids Help Phone App,  Heart Math App, Reach Out Apps,  and  Panic Attack talk down App . You can see some of my recommendations in the smore and my livebinders.

  • Blogging  … Make your learning visible

School Counselling blog roll. So many great resources here you’ll be like a kid in a candy shop.

  • Developing and sharing ideas like Ten Reasons To Live
  • Using Flipboard Click here for and example for new School Counsellors
  • Utilizing Google Docs ( you can collaborate below )

( you can add your name to this google doc . for School Counsellors if it is not already here )

( you can collaborate  and get many resources in this google doc . on Mental Health in High School )

  • Using Google hangouts
  • Posting to School Counsellor Hashtags

#SCCrowd

#cscchat Canadian School Counsellor Chat 

#scchat  

My Pinterest board:

Erin @ehordyskiluong’s board:

  • Listening to Presentations by other School Counsellors

Carol Miller’s Tech Savvy Counselling presentation

Ross Wolfson’s presentation:

  • Connect on Twitter

Here is Alec Couros  @courosa video to get you thinking how twitter can help you.

  • Use Tellagami to connect with students and families

Here is one I made on “A JOY SEARCH instead of a JOB SEARCH”

  • Use Videos like Animoto to introduce yourself to students because “Video trumps text ” a quote that I like to use from Dean Shareski.
  • Try Vlogging
  • Connect and share on You tube

You tube videos we use to help students:

2. Collaboration

See how you can collaborate … check out the docs in Google docs

3. Collating resources 

Here is a great School Counselling Kit from the fabulous Danielle Schultz

4. Continue to professionally develop

Twitter is the best tool to do this or you can join a Google plus community

5. To Engage Students

hopefully all the resources here you can adapt to engage your students

6. To Ensure that School Counselling is Never Boring

An introduction to Ed Jacobs and Impact Therapy

Elementary School Counsellors : Here are some great videos you can use in your School Counselling Program.

Middle School / Junior High Counsellors:

A great Pinterest board for you to start following

High School Counsellors:

A must follow board:

School Counsellors need to know:

  • You are capable
  • You can curate
  • You save lives
  • You can commit to learning one new tool in the next week
  • You can be on the cutting edge in a very short time
  • You are a School Counsellor and you matter

Gratitude

I am grateful everyday that I chose this fabulous profession of School Counselling.

The Science of Happiness

Who are you grateful for? Tell them …

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

End of the year thank you to students from your School Counsellor. Click on this smore . You can edit and make one of your own.

Thanks for the opportunity to present today at the Alberta Guidance Council and the wonderful introduction from my dear friend @HelenMacKinnon2 . She led us down memory lane when we used to lead conferences for the AGC. Now we get to watch such great leaders take on the very important job of connecting Alberta School Counsellors. I appreciate  the warm wishes this morning from my PLN.

I feel so grateful to have presented today and love that School Counsellors in Alberta may be willing to take the challenge to learn about one new tech tool this week.

I know that you all will continue to make a difference for our Alberta youth and use many of the resources available to you . If you ever need my help I am just a click away!

Enjoy!!!