Love Leadership and School Counselling

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YOU are a leader ! What you say and do does matter .Technology can assist you in being an amazing leader who reaches the whole school population.

Technology is also a very important part of students lives today and will be even more prevalent in the future. School Counsellors can find a way to incorporate exciting new practices into their School Counselling programs. These changes can inspire not only your students , but they can help and inspire YOU the School Counsellor as well.

I hope you enjoyed my presentation on LOVE LEADERSHIP and SCHOOL COUNSELLING for the ATA Council for School Counsellors Conference. This blog is written just for you so you can look back and enjoy the resources , but I know if you were an attendee this all makes much more sense to you and you got a few freebies besides. Thanks for being there. I appreciate you giving of your valuable time.

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If I can learn to use technology as a seasoned School Counsellor, you can too.  I love technology and think it is essential to present and future School Counsellors. Why? Because it allows us to connect with students in their space as well as allows us an opportunity to connect to the whole school population. Of course there will always be a place and a space for meeting and connecting with students individually, but it is also extremely important to reach as many students as possible and that can be done through the use of technology.

Technology also allows us to develop a PLN with people from all around the world. In my opinion this is one of the best ways to connect with not only School Counsellors who are passionate, but also with other educators who use technology to assist them in improving and reflecting on what it is they do for students. Dr. Erin Mason @ecmmason my friend is an amazing leader when it comes to School Counsellors utilizing and creating ideas with technology and you were lucky enough to connect with her at this conference. Check out her SCOPE page if you haven’t already.I am so happy she is at this conference.

So, conference participants enjoy.  Meeting , connecting , sharing and helping you is what I hope to do to pay it forward for all that has been given to me. The rest of this blog will be about the resources I think you as School Counsellors can use to make a difference.

#1 is Twitter so I encourage you to get an account today. It will transform your life and the life of your future students if used properly. Twitter is where it all began for me and then ETMOOC changed the way I offered parts of my School Counselling program. A special thanks to Alec Couros @courosa Ed tech professor extraordinaire and social media expert at the University of Regina. You will want to follow him and his brother George @gcouros a leader and fabulous administrator on twitter.

Advantages of twitter:

  • It allows for opportunities to connect, collaborate, share and learn from and with people from all over the world.
  • I have used Twitter and Google docs to collaborate with other School Counsellors and educators who have wanted to contribute to Mental Health in High School as well as many other projects.
  • Using the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat as well as some other great chats allows us to connect with School Counselling professionals who are more than willing to help us as we continue to work with and make a difference for students.
    School Counsellor chat schedule
  • The instant anytime access allows me to get information or resources that I can utilize in an open manner which not only helps me , but may help others.
  • It also allows us a voice for reaching out to others to let them know that what we do matters.

Check out this post by University of Regina President Vianne Timmons saying School Counsellors Change and Save Lives click here.

This post has had thousands of  people who have seen it. Social media can reach people quickly.

  • Twitter allows you as a School Counsellor to share and help other School Counsellors, School Counselling students and educators.
  • If you want to learn more about School Counsellors observe their twitter accounts. Please follow them using the hashtags you saw above #scchat #sccrowd and #escchat . You’ll get a good sense of how you too can be a positive digital citizen and model this for your future students.

Ask for help. Other School Counsellors and educators are always willing to help you. If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to ask.

One of the best ways you can find the best tech tools to use as a School Counsellor is to check out SCOPE School Counselor Online Professional Exchange. Spend some time there. It will be worth your time and effort.

#2 Haiku Deck As a School Counsellor you will have to give presentations or you may wish to share ideas or messages with students that you think are important. Haiku Deck @haikudeck is my number one go to app. It has a creative commons license built within the app that allows a visual experience that is like none other.
The power of social media to touch others is absolutely amazing. This simple @haikudeck on Who Matters? has had over 80,000 views . One never knows the impact a simple gesture can have online and off.

#3 Livebinders I love to use livebinders to organize and share useful School Counselling information. At Bishop Carroll High School we use livebinders to share large amounts of important information with students in a single space.

Here are two of our livebinders co-created by our School Counselling team Erin Luong @ehordyskiluong , Peter Damen and I :

Post Secondary Planning here
This Personal Wellness livebinder here

#4 Smore

There are so many benefits for using smores. Check out my smore with resources on LEADERSHIP here.

#5 iMovie / YouTube I use iMovie more and more to present to students information that I think will be helpful to them. Dean Shareski , a Canadian educator said once and it has stayed with me video trumps text, so I try to use video as much as possible to create information students can relate to and then upload the iMovie to YouTube. I do this all on my iPhone which makes things very easy for me.

 

 

#6 Blogs

Blogs are a great tool to create, connect and learn from others. For me creating blogs still requires a great deal of effort as I am still learning, but today’s example is a great way of sharing information with others from far away. I started my blog in May of 2013. It has had over 15,000 views from over 105 countries.

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Check out the blog roll of School Counselors.
#7 Google docs are an amazing way to collaborate. I collaborate with our students on our Wellness committee and our Who’s Frank? team.

#8 Pinterest is a fabulous way to collate information and gather information for future use. I love the visual aspect of pinterest.Pinterest does indeed inspire creativity . I have used it for many things including creating School Counselling bulletin boards as well as for ideas for presentations.

#9 Google hangouts

Again, yet another great way to connect with School Counsellors and educators from across the world.

The Future of School Counselling Google Hangout

The Future of School Counselling

You can see that I use multiple tools in multiple ways to help me do a variety of things that help not only School Counsellors , but students as well. Three years ago I did not know how to do any of this so … if I can you can too.

Be the leader you HOPE others will BE.

Reflections … Back to School

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I have been going to school almost every September for the past 53 years. When I reflect on that I can hardly believe it myself. This year as I focus on all the joy each day brings me, I am also going to reflect on my retirement year. The lasts …

The last time I will enter a building as a full-time educator . This awesome responsibility never eludes me. I know I can be the person who makes a difference in a child’s life. I will meet so many new students this year, many who will teach me great lessons. I look forward to that.

I also recognize that teaching and counselling takes great courage and energy.  Often after a full week I feel like the pic above and need to rejuvenate for the week ahead. Weekends are a time for self-care and reflection so that the week ahead is exciting not only for the students , but for me as well.

I also recognize that each day requires me to challenge myself to focus on the positive while acknowledging that challenges will always occur along the way. It is up to me to not sweat the small stuff. Although I will never feel the anxiety I felt my first days of teaching “don’t sweat the small stuff “, still applies as much today as it did then.

I need to take each day as it comes and enjoy the moments. I must say easier to do as I have grown as a person and as an educator over the past years. Do I still fall short ? You bet. This is a life skill that is easy to say , but not always easy to master.

This will be my last first week of school … How did you feel your first week back to school?

Jumping for Joy… as I walk into my retirement year

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Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain  … To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.

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Every day no matter the situation I try very hard to embrace life. No matter what is happening in my world and yes there are always things, sometimes big things , sometimes little things as most of us experience the challenges that life can bring our way.  I work hard at focusing on the things that matter, but like all humans sometimes I fall short. I love to celebrate the moments.

Being around a lot of others this summer that are less mobile than I , I focus on remembering to be grateful. I have two feet that are mobile, I am able to walk ! Sometimes we take these things for granted. I am able to jump for joy. Even though I cannot jump very high these days I still can jump. So every chance I get I jump for joy.

As I get ready to walk into a new school year , my retirement year. I look forward to the joy of new students and those that are returning. I jump for joy as I celebrate with students the new moments and for me the new chapter to come. I plan on walking through my retirement year with joy , gratitude and revelling in the moments that bring me and others true pleasure!

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Life can take a turn in a minute for each of us, so celebrate each day … jump for joy , take a walk . If you are unable to walk, let someone take you for a walk.  Notice and celebrate all the reasons to experience joy even if it is only in the moment . Do it now!

I’d love to hear all the reasons you will jump for joy this year !

What Should A Networked School Counsellor Post on Twitter ?

 

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School Counsellors Education Leaders Follow us on Twitter  #SCCrowd and #scchat 

As School Counsellors who are educational leaders on twitter, we should first and foremost be professional. Everything on-line is public. Act as if it always is even if your privacy settings give you the illusion that it is private.

Click here to see my haiku deck The Illusion of Privacy

Twitter:

  1. This is a place and a space to connect with other educators and School Counsellors from across the world. It is a place that you can learn from others by growing your Personal Learning Network (PLN).
  2. It is also a place where you can eventually collaborate with others making a difference in your school and in your community.
  3. Share your resources!!! This is a place to share some of the great resources that you or others create, but also a place to get amazing resources that can impact the way you help your students.
  4. Follow and share blog posts of those people you respect.
  5. Twitter is an amazing space to share the wisdom of others. You can post or create your own quotes.
  6. Celebrate others. I think we should consider celebrating colleagues on a regular basis. There are so many people who surround us that are doing amazing things and all too often are not recognized for the fabulous things they do and the positive impact they have on others. So celebrate others today … celebrate them often.
  7. Thank those that help you.
  8. Retweet inspiring ideas.
  9. Live and let live. You aren’t going to agree with everything and everyone, but you can be the kind of leader you want to be. Find great leaders, and follow them.
  10. Help others get started on twitter. You recognize how much it has helped you . So pay it forward.

TO DO ON TWITTER:

  • Always be appropriate and professional and use common sense in what you share.
  • Surround yourself with positive people just like you do in real life.
  • Relationships are key on twitter , use the reply( @____ the name of the person)  to have discussions , ask questions and share ideas and resources with others.
  • Be a positive leader. In order to teach students to be good citizens ( digitalcitizens we need to model that every day) .
  • Listen and learn from the great educators and people around the world.
  • Act as if everything you say is heard by every student and family you have ever taught or worked with.
  • Be real , be yourself.
  • You can develop great friendships on twitter. Like in real life, use all the skills you have to meet people who enrich and enhance your life.
  • Think about the kind of legacy you want to leave.

NOT TO DO ON TWITTER

  • Never ever share confidential information , even if it looks disguised.
  • Never ever talk about others in a negative way.
  • Never say or do anything that goes against who you truly are.

If you are new to twitter check out this check list .

Thanks to @gcouros yet again for the inspiration. As George says don’t use profanity. You would not use it in the classroom, so don’t use it online. A lot of what I have said can be applied to Facebook as well. So think before you post applies to all of us who use social media. Social media should be used to learn, share and grow as well as a way to have a positive impact on the world. I look forward to reading your tweets.

Canadian School Counselling Week

It is the second year for Canadian School Counselling Week and I am very hopeful we will see more Canadian School Counsellors on twitter connecting and learning from each other. It is also National School Counselling Week started by my fellow Americans so I want to wish them and all the School Counsellors around the world an amazing week  and an amazing career because it is . I still love this profession the same as when I started. Really,  I love the students they make me love what I do.

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If you are new to twitter and a School Counsellor anywhere in the world please follow the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat.

I’ve adapted the public announcements to suit our school and you can too. We plan on sharing these all week long.

Monday: This is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge each student and staff member to express your gratitude to someone at school by telling them thank you for… You could even write a card to them. The cards will be available all week in Student Services. Being grateful improves your overall happiness. Do it today! You make a difference.

Tuesday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge students and staff to do one small good deed and when you do please post it to the hashtag #carrollculture or come and share with us what you did and we will share it on our school Facebook site. Have a fabulous day. You make a difference.

Wednesday: This week is Canadian School Counselling Week. We challenge you today we challenge you to take 10 mins. out of your day to exercise or practice mindfulness. Set up a fitbit challenge with friends. Need more information or tips please pick up todays tips in Student Services. Have a great day! You can make a difference.

Thursday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge students and staff to let one of your family members know how important they are. Pick up a card in Student Services and tell people what a difference they make in your life and give it to them. Remember you can make a difference today.

Friday: It is the last day of School Counselling Week. Your School Counsellors want you to know we are here for you anytime. Come see us in Students Services. Today we challenge you to think about your favourite wellness quote and post it to the hashtag #carrollculture or share it with us in Student Services and we will feature it in the upcoming weeks. Have a wonderful weekend and remember, you make a difference.

This week is a time to be grateful and reflect. I am so grateful I have a principal who fully supports a comprehensive school Counselling Program and if you do too , make sure you take time to thank them.

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You can easily make one of these in Haiku Deck like I did.  Check out this haiku deck One Million Reasons To Love School Counselling

Check out tomorrow’s blog where I will share a video I made for the fabulous Dr. Erin Mason.

Let’s join together to share all the things we love about our profession.

Eliminating Exercise Stereotypes

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Another guest post from Ryan Fahey @wellnessrf and a great one to start the year.

The other day I was talking to a young lady who informed me that she ‘worked out like a girl’ and somehow did not workout ‘like a guy’. After disagreeing with her, I realized some inner motivation to write a blog post on this dichotomy of exercise myths. I began trying to understand and wrap my head around, what entails working out ‘like a girl’, however nothing came to mind. I mean, when I buy groceries do I buy guy groceries? Or do I buy girl groceries? Because clearly that makes sense, ….but is there really such thing as ‘working out like a girl’? If so, maybe it is just the way we use that statement. It seems that whenever I hear that statement used it is in comparison to ‘working out like a guy’ as if ‘working out like a guy’ is the gold standard….Hmmmmmm……

Given my two days of reflection on this topic I have some conclusions to make…

1) Ladies, take pride in all exercise you wish to participate in whether at the gym, in a Zumba class or in your small apartment. If you are to use the statement above, use it in a positive light. Be proud to workout and to be a girl . Moving is moving and movement deserves respect. Do not simply say, “I can only do girl pushups”. That is nonsense. From a training perspective, you have regular pushups and modified pushups, that is all.

2) Gents, if you agree that there is such a thing as ‘working out like a guy’ again use this language in a positive light. Be careful with your words. Do not use them in a way that degrades how someone else should be working out according to your standards.

3) Gents, start going to fitness classes with the ladies! I have been a bootcamp and aerobics instructor in Canada for over four years and can almost count on two hands the amount of guys that came through the door to participate in my classes….. maybe we could further understand how each one of us workout if we participated in exercises WITH each other, regardless of whether we are XX or XY.

4) To both ladies and gentlemen, take the time to critically think about the type of language you are using at the gym, around your friends and around your workplace. Sometimes positive reinforcement can go very far in breaking down stereotypes. Also, be comfortable enough with your own fitness routine so that you do not feel the need to compare yourself with someone else and their routine.

The bottom line here is that movement is movement. Whether you are a girl or a guy, movement is very important to us all. Be encouraging to those people trying to live healthier lifestyles. That is the standard we need to build healthier communities at large. It is up to each one of us to break down the gender barriers in the fields of exercise, health & wellness

Lastly, I have seen many strong women that I both respect and admire as fitness models and fitness instructors. Their mentorship and guidance are some of the foundational pieces of my health and wellness knowledge and philosophies. Conversely, I have worked alongside 80+ males and elite level coaches whom I learned so much about conditioning, coaching and overall health & wellness in athletics. Tweet me anytime @wellnessrf.

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Ryan , of course I’d like to add my two cents. I know sometimes people look at me and think oh she doesn’t work out because  of the way I look. That is far from the truth … you can’t judge a book by it’s cover . I am 57 years old and I still play lacrosse which I absolutely love. I also walk 5 days a week as well as move during musical theatre once a week. I so agree with Ryan. Movement is movement. Let’s work together to eliminate those exercise stereotypes and maybe even stereotypes in general. I take pride in all the movement I do, and though I certainly don’t run anywhere like I used to.  I like that I do run and can still shoot and score. I have to admit I loved it when the past captain of the Calgary Roughnecks, Tracey Kelusky told me I had “golden hands.”  It was a boost, especially for someone my age. I can’t run for beans, but I have golden hands (that was few years ago he said that, but it still brings me great joy.) When Andrew McBride, another past captain of the Calgary Roughnecks would ask me to show the much younger ladies how to shoot or pass, yes inside, I beamed with pride. I am happy I can still play a game that I played and loved in my youth.

In 2016 I plan on moving even more … you may want to join me. Here are a few youtube free workouts  here and here that you may enjoy. I plan on tryng out a few of them myself.

Coping Skills Just 4 You for Teens Ideas from A-Z

When it comes to coping it really does matter what you have to cope with: Check out my haiku deck on coping skills here: How You Cope depends On What You Have To Cope With. Understanding how stress impacts you can help you cope. Below you will find some strategies that may help you . Use the strategies that work best for you.

ABC’s Coping Skills for Teens:

A: Attitude: Your attitude matters.

Allow yourself extra time to get up in the morning and get to places. Being 15 to 20 minutes early can reduce your stress level.

Allow 10-15 minutes a day for YOU time. Time to wind down, time to reflect, time to let go of your worries,

B: Books : A book on the topic you are trying to cope with can help. Beliefs- what you think matters. Challenge your thoughts about the topic that stresses you.: Be positive! Books can be healing!

Be a person who can say NO and not feel guilty. It is OK to say no to things that are not healthy and things you really don’t want to do. It’s also ok to give yourself a break and say no to something.

Be a person who knows how to wait, read a book online or have a book with you that you can devour while you have to wait somewhere. It not only makes the time go faster, but it is a wonderful way to pass the time.

Breathe just Breathe

Brain: Your brain is amazing. Click here to find out what you should know about your brain.

C: Caring and compassion make a difference: Helping others helps you to focus on others, not on your own problems. Volunteer with other students with special needs. You will not only feel better , you will make a difference.

Care about yourself. Write a positive message to yourself on a mirror with an erasable marker. Write a positive note to yourself on a card and carry it around in your wallet.

D: Decide to reach out and ask for help if you need it. Reaching out is a strength not a weekness.Your School Counsellors are there to help.

E: Express your feelings . Feelings are neither write or wrong. It’s what you do with them that matters. If you hurt yourself or someone else then that needs to be changed. So write down your feelings.Tell someone how you feel. Draw your feelings in an Art journal. Find some great ideas for Art Journalling on pinterest.

Exercise is always helpful. You might only need to exercise 7 mins. each day. You can do it! Find an app that helps you exercise.

F: Focus on your strengths

Find great strategies. There are so many coping strategies. You need to find one that works. Brainstorm a list of 20 that work for YOU.

Failing Does Not Mean You Are A Failure

If YOU Have Never Failed You Have Never Lived

G: Give yourself a break. Try these brain breaks:

H: Hope . It is so important to maintain a hopeful perspective.

I : Invite others to help you : Kids Help Phone, another adult, find someone who can really help you.

J: Just be yourself.

K: Kindness is always a good thing . Do a Random Acts of Kindness for someone else today.

L: Listen to music . It soothes the soul.

M: Mindfulness matters. Focus on your breath. Here are some tips for teens.

N: Naming game : 54321 .   54321 Coping Technique and I would add an extra 1 One thing you are grateful for. 543211.

O: Open your mind to new ideas strategies.

Overcome Obstacles

Check out these tips for overcoming obstacles here

P: Positive self talk matters. make sure you are speakig to yourself the way you would speak to your best friend.

Q: Quite your mind. Be still!

R: Relax:

Remember there is more to you than…

S: Strategies : Sleep matters so take care of yours. Some tips here.

T: Toxic stress is not good for you. Get rid of it. Train your brain to go to a safe place. Your safe place might be a beach, a room that you like to go to. Your space is unique. Find one that works for you.

Trust: that your negative feelings will not last forever. Develop positive connections with people that heal and help not hurt and harm.

U: Understanding your coping skills matters.

V: Visualize what you want.

Virtual bubble wrap enjoy click here.

W: Watch a funny show to get your mind off all the serious stuff.

X: eXtra special. That’s the way you need to treat yourself. So start today.

Y: YOU MATTER . Remember this always.

Z: A-Z another list. Please share your coping skills and strategies Thanks for adding your ideas below.

Remember:

The Smallest Good Deed is Better Than The Grandest Good Intention