A School Counsellors Mindset

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We are School Counsellors

  1. We chose this profession. It is the best profession ever. All professions have struggles. Focus on the positive. Work towards making things better by being an advocate for other School Counsellors. Join your professional organization, have a voice on twitter and /or write a blog celebrating all the amazing things that happen in our profession.
  2. Self care is so important to what we do. We can’t help others if we don’t help ourselves.
  3. Embrace your professionalism. You were trained well. Be ethical. Consult, consult consult.
  4. Model a positive attitude towards work each and everyday.Your students will notice and feel it when you set the tone in your school and in your offices.
  5. Be a good digital citizen. Be authentic , but if you need to vent do so privately and  with colleagues in counselling who understand. Never vent online.
  6. Connecting and collaborating makes us better at what we do.  Collaboration has made me better at what I do. It actually makes the work I do easier. Share , connect and collaborate. It will make you a better professional.
  7. Passion and purpose help our students. If we wake up with the mindset that we have an awesome responsibility to help others today knowing that each and everyday we have an opportunity to make a difference. We don’t always see the fruits of our labour , but that’s ok because we know that the small things we do can have a huge impact.
  8. You are you. Be the best version of yourself. Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to any other School Counsellor. Continually focus on professionally developing yourself so that you impact students in a positive way.
  9. Live every day One Day At a Time. Easy to say , not easy to do. Focus all of your energies on making this the best day ever. Just for today I will … laugh.
  10. Maintain gratitude for the work that we do. Being grateful for what we do rather than focusing on the things that we are not happy about is always a great state of mind. We chose this profession. I am grateful everyday that I did.

 

School Counsellor Voice

The first week of School Counsellor in 30 #SCin30 is almost over , but School Counsellors feel free to post anytime. I loved being able to see you in the videos and so look forward to hearing more from you in the weeks and months to come. If you haven’t added a question or a video please do so and I will add here at a later date.

Thanks George Couros for your support and kickstarting the idea!

Take a look at some of the great posts and consider adding your own:

So happy to have input from Australia. Thanks Kadri.

I sure hope School Counsellors from across the world will be inspired to join us on this journey. We look forward to keeping this going for a long time so that we can truly connect and learn from and with each other. Thanks so much for joining in to this vlogging experience. I know you are all so busy, but appreciate all your efforts to share your voice in #SCin30  #SCin30 Q1

Q2: Submitted by George Couros is How do you see the role of School Counsellor changing?

Add your questions to our google doc here. Thanks so much for collaborating! See you in #SCin30.

2014 A Year To Remember

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There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.

– Mark Twain

Thanks to a post by my fellow #etmooc ‘er Helen Blunden @activatelearn. I was inspired to write this post.

My most viewed posts of 2014

1. Career Speed Dating

2. Ten Reasons to Live

3. Hope In My Idea School

4. Putting Passion Into Practice

5. School Counsellors Connecting

6. Children of Alcoholics School Counsellors Can Help

7. OCLMOOC: SChool Counsellors Joining In And You Can Too

8. Connections Have Transformed Me

9. Conference With A Difference

10. Lessons For A New School Counsellor

Wishing my PLN a fantastic 2015 and hoping you and your families enjoy all the blessings of life.

          LOVE THIS TWEET : Something we all should practice in 2015

I am so fortunate to work with @NeilOF12 a great leader, and @ehordyskiluong ( my co-inspirer) I know that’s not a word, but she always works with me to inspire students and helps me with so many other projects and ideas. To Peter Damen who always has great ideas  and is a fabulous School Counsellor ( who I am grateful is on our team ) thank you for who you are and all you do. To my fabulous colleagues who continue to inspire me by what they do and their comittment to education . I am grateful to work alongside you.

In 2015, I hope to see more Canadian School Counsellors on twitter. I look forward to celebrating and connecting with you. Thanks to those who have already taken a leadership role. See you in #SCCrowd #scchat and #cscchat.                                        

GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE in 2015

ETMOOC … The GIFT That Keeps On Giving

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I am so grateful for all the gifts that ETMOOC has given me.  As I reflect upon the year I think about all the wonderful people I have met and the things we have shared.

The invite :

My first ETMOOC POST a year ago

I am a life long learner and willing to take risks and here I am signing up for #etmooc. The tweet by @courosa from @fryed on,  “What is #ETMOOC and why should you join us? ” is what finally convinced me to … just do it!!!

In one of my @haikudecks I said I would DO MORE in 2013 and here I am. Stepping out of my box and doing more.

A little nervous yes, (to be honest I was a lot nervous), but at least I am NOT going to be graded, I can just learn!! Yahoo!!! I love learning without being graded. I have had enough of that.

So in the next few months, I look forward to learning just for the sake of learning.

It is Alec Couros who inspired me to become interested in technology as much as I have and I am grateful. So thanks Alec. Here Alec is motivating me again … So my journey begins…

It is hard to believe it has been a year since I started thinking about should I or shouldn’t I take ETMOOC?  Wow, am I glad I did. I think … no I know, I am more grateful now than I was then because I did not realize just how much I would learn as a result of being in ETMOOC. More importantly it would be about the connections I would make. No, even more important it would be about the friendships I would make and continue to develop.

An excerpt from my second post is very telling “ Today, January 20th a week into ETMOOC I needed to remind myself to find the positive as I was frustrated with learning how to use new information for importing media. Trust The Process. I will say that over and over to remain calm.”

I am a school counsellor and at that time I knew very little about tech tools and how to do a lot with the technology. At that time …

I had NEVER …

  • Blogged
  • Vlogged
  • Made YouTube videos. (I did not even have an account and now I can help students upload their videos.)
  • Given proper attribution, but now I do .
  • Curate information, but now I have over 100 livebinders and a zillion pinterest pins. Here is one live binder .
  • Attended an Edcamp and EdCamphome, but now I have .
  • Collaborated with a student on a post, but here it is .
  • Created a google doc, and now I can even add to one .
  • I hardly ever tweeted . I now have over 6,000 tweets (I knew very little about twitter then) Now; I can give workshops on how to understand twitter better. I even co-moderate twitter chats.  Makes me laugh even writing this .
  • I did not know how to Google Hangout, but now I do regularly with educators from across the world.

There are so many skills that I have now, that it is even hard for me to believe I know how to do certain things technologically. My biggest smile comes when someone actually thinks I am a techy.

In another early post I finally recognize what my true purpose for being in #ETMOOC  is…

“ In my attempt to assist students along their journey in life, I reach out attempting to make a difference. This jumping out of my box into the ED tech world is my way of touching the hearts of many students so that they can get the supports they need. Counselling is more than assisting a student in my office. It is reaching out to students on a more global scale. It is being able to use technology to reach and teach them.  I will promise to use this process to educate from the heart using technology and all the tools ETMOOC gives me.”

This is still one of my favorite videos of the year:

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” Joseph Campbell

ETMOOC allowed me to be OPEN to new experiences, people and ideas. Well, I have certainly attempted to educate from the heart this year. I have:

  • Created several  haiku decks for students and school counsellors.
  • Given a workshop on Digital Citizenship for all grade 10’s with the help of my colleagues. A special thanks to Peter Damen and Marc Osenton.
  • Helped to moderate our school twitter and facebook accounts.
  • Connected with countless educators and school counsellors.
  • Became a co-moderator for #SCCrowd .
  • Become a @HaikuDeck lover. Even got to visit Haiku Deck headquarters .
  • Created many vlogs in Openspokes and collaborated with fantastic educators.

So, how do you really thank someone especially you @Alec Couros who has taken you to places you were afraid to go? It isn’t easy, but I will try.

I think my way will be by paying it forward . My goal is to help as many school counsellors and others that I can to not be afraid. I have made many mistakes along this journey and I know I will continue to make them. Thanks to all the #ETMOOC’ers who helped me, showed me the way and continue to do so.

I am so grateful for my PLN. It is hard to put into words just how grateful I really am, but know that my heart is so full of gratitude it is overflowing and if we by chance get to meet F2F one day you will know because I will thank you in person.

Although my goal last year was to Do More . This year it will be to Do less with more ( this is easier said than done) , but I plan on staying focused on the things and the people that matter to me most. It is not that I will not be open to new experiences, people and ideas , I will. It is just that I need to say NO to some things and put my focus on those things that I remain passionate about.

So to end this post I want to create a vlog to thank you. I need to be ready which I am not right now. As I write this I cry happy tears thinking about all that all of you have done for me. No, even in my authenticity I will not create a vlog of me crying, so when I am ready I will make one just for you … that will come later, not sure when , but later.

I’d like to share some of the great posts you share in the next while so I will curate them in this live binder .  Thanks for sharing and may 2014 fill you with great happiness and bring you all of life’s blessings and gifts that you are searching for. May ETMOOC keep giving to you, so please stay connected with the hashtag #etmooc.

My last thought to share with you is tthat I hope one day that we will create a conference F2F called  Everyone Together Massive Open Onsite Conference. Are you with me ETMOOC ‘ers? ? I’ll be retired in a few years and would be happy to help organize such a conference, but will need lots of help. Let’s start thinking and planning so that we can meet as many ETMOOC ‘ers face to face as possible.

It’s been quite a year and I have received so many gifts from you , so again thanks to all of you for so much fun and inspiration especially:

@AlecCouros (without whom the giving of his time, energy, kindness and support while on sabbatical #ETMOOC would not have happened)

@fryed ( if I hadn’t seen your post maybe I would never have signed up)

@AlisonSeaman (got to meet F2F and she is as positive as she is online)

@JeffMerrell (for always being so encouraging and engaging)

@ehordyskiluong (for being by my side through all the ups and downs of learning and being so excited with me when we caught onto something new oh … you know the rest …)

@dendari (for always commenting, helping, sharing and being an #ooe13 leader and #openspokes team mate)

@grammasheri (for being such an amazing woman. I always love what you share. I can’t wait to meet you some day)

@verenanz (for being so inspirational , you are such a go getter and helper)

@valerielopes (for all her encouragement )

@clhendricksbc (for posting her first video and giving me the courage to do the same. Look how far we have come. You amaze me)

@rljessen (so happy we got to meet F2F after so many google hangouts We are creating a great friendship online and off. Thanks to the Post ETMOOC Group for hanging out and reading and sharing blogs. We have learned so much together Christina Hendricks @clhendricksbc , Karen Young @karenatsharon, Kirsten @KirstenTP and Erin Luong @ehordyskiluong )

@SISQITMAN (for all your thoughtful and kind comments …  you kept me writing . Always love what you have to say . Thank you!)

@bhwikkoff  (for creating OPENSPOKES  and being such a great leader. We have helped each other learn and grow)

and all the openspokers  Jeremy Inscho, Brendan Murphy,  JoeDillon , Jas Kooner, Gallit Zvi, Sheri Edwards, Denise Krebs and Erin Luong

@tina_p  ( for always connecting , being so positive and always making me smile. Love the Australian Connections @ActivateLearn)

@JudyArzt ( for letting me try out one of my first GH with her even though she did not know me)

@amyburvall (for all your creativity and positive energy and letting me join you in a crowdsourced video )

@debbiefuco @jacbalen @folynick @whitneykilgore  (for sharing and commenting and always being so positive in your interactions with me)

and to @djsamson for always posting great things in #ETMOOC maybe we will connect in Halifax some day.

To end thanks to all the presenters . YOU WERE FANTASTIC!

Alan Levine @Cogdog thanks for gathering all our blog posts to share and read.

Quoting Dave Cormier: “If we make community the curriculum, membership becomes how we scale. It’s all about belonging.”

Mental Health Literacy Training

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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:

CONNECT

  • With someone they trust like their teacher advisor , teacher, coach or other significant adult in the school who can then assist them in connecting …

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

Digital storytelling:

Panic Disorder:

Coping with suicidal thoughts:

http://teenmentalhealth.org/resources/entries/coping-with-suicidal-thoughts/

Depression:

I really hope educators from around the globe will consider this fantastic program as part of any initiative that will benefit every student and family in their school and community.

Lessons For A New School Counsellor Post #2

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Every September I forget just how unbelievably busy a school can be and most school counsellors are not just counselling they have several other responsibilities. That is an important lesson for all school counsellors. Be aware of all that you may be asked to do.

Here are some new lessons. Lessons 1-6  are here.

Lesson #7

Be patient with yourself. It takes time to learn all the things you have to know as a school counsellor and often times you have several roles to play. You may be in a classroom part time teaching and attempting to do a full time job at counselling even though you are half time counselling /half time teaching. You can’t do and be everything for everybody.

Lesson #8

Lists help. Having lists will help you do and follow up on all the activities you are responsible for.

Lesson #9

Technology helps. This year we have a master calendar for all our counselling activities on Outlook. Each calendar is synched with our counselling Admin. Assistant and she makes sure it is coordinated. We discuss our monthly activities in our weekly Counselling team meetings. This keeps us all on track and aware of what is happening. We utilize technology in numerous ways in which I will discuss over the course of the school year.

This year in September we held three different seminars . One on Digital Citizenship, four on Counselling and one on scholarship information for students in grade 12 . Throughout the year we will offer several more.

The first was held at our grade 10 retreat with four hundred new grade 10’s and I will post more on that later.

The second was held in our computer room where we discussed :

  • What school counsellors do
  • What services we offer
  • Confidentiality and the limits
  • Resources we have available like our school counselling website, our counselling course that we offer on D2L, our school twitter site and our school facebook page

The third will be held in the computer lab with access to a fantastic livebinder.

Here are some links you may get some ideas from:

http://www.haikudeck.com/p/seBRTsh6wd/digital-citizenship-bchs

https://sspellmancann.jux.com

http://www.haikudeck.com/p/L1wGnD3MT0/what-high-school-students-need-to-know

Scholarships, Student Loans, Occupational Information livebinders.com/play/play/830830

 

Lesson #10

All school counsellors should be trained in suicide prevention and if they are not they should be trained in their Masters programs. School Counsellors often have to assess for the risk of suicide. Yes, even in the first few days of school when students are back in September. School Counsellors need to be prepared to ask for assistance if they are not trained. This is not something you should handle alone. It can be very scary when a student says they are thinking about suicide and you are not trained to know what to do. Even when you are trained well it can feel overwhelming and so it is important to debrief with another counsellor. In our district all school counselors have to train every two years as well as do a refresher course. This is so important for our students at risk. School counsellors can and do save lives.

As I reflect on the work we do, I think about what we do and how important our role as school counsellors are. Exhausting at times, but so worthwhile. To all new counsellors hang in there. It is and has been the most rewarding career for me. I still love what I do in year 33.

Marc’s reflection on his first weeks as a high school counsellor:

Starting a practicum placement is intimidating.  I am fighting the  presence of ‘imposter syndrome’, feeling somewhat ill-prepared and anxious, hoping that my lack of experience is not apparent to the students or staff in my words or behaviour.  I am fortunate to be in a familiar environment with a supportive supervisor and colleagues, but it will take time to feel comfortable and confident.

It’s been a steep learning curve at my practicum placement.  At first, I was frustrated because the established counsellors were busy with a full schedule of student clients, while I had a slow trickle.

While I recognized that some students may prefer a veteran counsellor, I soon realised this disparity in appointments was primarily due to the students’ unfamiliarity with me, rather than an indication of their perception of my competence or a sneak preview of my upcoming caseload.  The number of students coming for appointments has picked up, but I have come to appreciate any opportunity I have to reflect, consult, complete documentation, or catch up on additional work.  Further, after having an experience assessing an at-risk student, I’ve learned that a gradual immersion into client contact allows me to build competence and confidence at a comfortable pace.  I was not ready to assess this particular client, and missed several key aspects of the necessary process.  It was a good learning experience, helping me to remember the importance of policy and training, but also to pace myself and appreciate any lighter schedules.

 

There Are So Many Amazing School Counsellors Doing So Many Fabulous Things

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CC photo by Yanngarphoto.wordpress.com

School Counselling is so important in every school. It is an essential service that is often not paid enough attention to sadly. What I absolutely know is that school counsellors save lives every day in the world. Some might not think that to be true, but I know that when school counsellors are working with students who are at risk they make a difference. What they do in their offices is preventative work and may go unnoticed because school counsellors can’t tell you what happened because of confidentiality.They might have just saved the life of a child who otherwise would not be around to tell their story.

Social media is also assisting students and school counsellors in a positive way. The work of Dr. Erin Mason @ecmmason, who created SCOPE is helping school counsellors every day in every way .  Dr. Erin Mason from SCOPE is fantastic. School Counsellors in Canada and the especially the US are on board with new developments in school counselling and are connecting to even make things better for students everywhere.

Danielle Schultz @sch_counselor ,the founder of School Counselor Blog is also a leader in the field. You can often find her leading #scchat or sharing great information on her blog.

Speaking of #scchat, it always amazes me that when educational chats are listed usually school counsellor chats are not posted. I know that will change as school counsellors become even more active in many spaces on social media.

Below I am going to list some of the great leaders in school counselling and if I miss anyone I appologize as I KNOW you are doing amazing work with students.

  • Erin Luong @eHordyskiLuong (Alberta,Canada)
  • Julia V. Taylor @juliavtayor (Richmond, VA,US)
  • Kaudri Auvaart @Kadriblaster (Australia)
  • Michelle Brown @Michelle0102197 (Canada)
  • Tamica Collard @TamicaCollard (Texas,US)
  • Chris Polley @Teaching_Intl (Shanghai, China)
  • Trent Langdon @TrentLangdonNL (Newfoundland, Canada)
  • Darrell Sampson @CnslrDarrell (Arlington Virginia,US)
  • Brian Zink @Brian_Zink  (Guadalajara, Mexico)
  • Rebecca Lallier SchCounselingByHeart (Vermont, US)
  • Jeremy Goldman @MRJGoldman (Lutherville Maryland,US)
  • ABurston @jyjcounselor  (US)
  • Rick Scheibner @rick_scheibner (Hermiston Oregon, US)
  • Marci Newman ARHSCounselor (UT,US)
  • Amy Sather @AmySatherBlair (Blair Nebraska, US)
  • Jeannine Jervis @CounselorELEM (Indiana,US)
  • Susan Langan @csfml (Cedar Falls Iowa, US)
  • Carol Miller @tmscounselor (US)
  • Randi Rosenberg  @RandiCounsels (Northern Virginia,US)
  • SchCnslrsRock @SchCnslrsRock (US)
  • Fanciene Sabens @FSabens (US)
  • Marty Stevens@martylstevens (Shiremanstown, PA) who writes the Gratitude Journal
  • Jeff Ream @CounselingGeek (US)

This list would not be complete without the work of a fantastic  school counsellor advocate Russell Sabella @rsabella who is a Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University ,  or Carli Segal @carlicounsels and Dr. Kevin Kelly @EmmausKevinK who are leading #sbmhchat School Based Mental Health Chat another excellent chat related to school counselling.

If you are a school counsellor from another part of the world please connect with us on twitter as we have so much to share and we can help each other grow professionally. It is an amazing opportunity for us to learn together. Please put that you are a school counsellor in your descriptor and if you feel comfortable please put where you are from.

TOP SCHOOL COUNSELLOR CHATS 

For more information about #SCCHAT (School Counselor Twitter Chats, montly school counsellor chats on Twitter, visit http://bit.ly/scchat-info.  #SCCHAT Tweet Up!

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#sbmhchat

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I would so love to see more Canadian School Counsellors #cscchat to be active on twitter and I will do my best to encourage other educators to encourage their school counsellors to join. We are entering into a new way of connecting with each other that will only benefit our students and the educational systems even more.

Please click below to view the Haiku Deck on School Counselling:

http://www.haikudeck.com/p/wlK5Q1ceFG/why-school-counselling . Please feel free to edit and share.