Career Speed Dating

On Tuesday, BCHS had its first ever Career Speed Dating event. It was a fabulous event for students and guests alike.  Although the idea was conceived last year we did not make it happen until this year. We decided to invite our alumni as well as parents for our first of hopefully many Career Speed Dating events.

Here is an overview of the day:

The day began with student tours at 9:00 a.m., ending at 9:50 a.m. Student tour guides met our guests in the gym.

9:50 -10:00 All guests were asked to sit in the circle that was already set up and given an explanation of the morning as well as a warm welcome by our Principal Mr. O’ Flaherty who was instrumental in making this day happen.

10:00 a.m. CAREER SPEED DATING began in the gym. At the end of each 5 minute interval a bell informed the adults ( originally we thought the students should move , but felt it would be better at the time if the adults moved as they were there to give instructions as to what to do).

An explanation was given to all guests 5 min. prior to event, to move one person to their right. Guests repeated their story with 10 different students, finishing at approximately 11:00 a.m.

(When our guests arrived they were asked to locate their names on the outskirts of the gym for the  11:00 o’clock Q and A period.)

11:00 – 11:05 a.m. Guests went to their designated chair located on the outskirts of the gym.

11:05 – 11:30 a.m. QUESTION PERIOD.Guests sit or stood at their designated place to be available for questions. They were told that this was an opportunity for any student to learn from their diverse experiences allowing students to pose any additional questions or to provide an opportunity for those who did not get to visit with them during the Speed Dating component to do so. This also allowed those students who signed up, but did not get a chance to do the 10:00 o’clock Speed Dating component to come into the gym and ask anyone any questions they might have.
11:30 a.m – 12:15 p.m. Lunch was provided in the gym for GUEST Speakers

How did we make this day happen?

1. A letter went out to all parents inviting them to participate by email. We can send out a mass email to all parents in our community.

2. Our staff was asked if they could invite alumni.

3. A mass phone message went out to all inviting parents to the event.

4. Once we had a list, our fabulous Admin. Head Secretary Pam sent out a letter to all guests telling them what the day would look like and some hints on how to approach their talk.



November 18, 2014

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

You will have 5 minutes to share your story.

  1. Introduce yourself and share what you do in your career/vocation.
  2. Ask students to introduce themselves.
  3. Tell students what you are passionate about in your career.
  4. Tell them the skills they need to be successful at work – now and in the future. What attributes do you seek in our employees and co-workers?
  5. If time allows, tell them about the process you took to get where you are (education, career advancement, training, job changes).
  6. If you are a Bishop Carroll graduate, please explain how the self-directed learning model impacted your work life (i.e. the relationship with your TA, independent study, flexible scheduling, and continuous progress).
  7. Thank you for sharing.

The day will begin with student tours at 9:00 a.m., ending at 9:50 a.m. If you are interested in the tour, please join our student tour guides in the gym.

10:00 a.m.                         CAREER SPEED DATING begins in the gym. At the end of each 5 minute interval a bell will inform YOU to move one person to their right. You will repeat your story with 10 different students, finishing at approximately 11:00 a.m.

11:00 – 11:05 a.m.            Please find your name tag, placed on a chair located on the outskirts of the gym.

11:05 – 11:30 a.m.            QUESTION PERIOD. Sit at your designated place to be available for questions. This is an opportunity for any student to learn from your diverse experiences by posing additional questions or who did not get to visit with you during the speed dating component.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.    Lunch is provided in the gym.

5. Our amazing Head Caretaker Cam and team set up all the chairs ( we had to order chairs from downtown ) in gym the way we thought might work. ( I drew him a bad diagram, but he set things up the way he knew would work and I totally knew he would do it perfectly and of course he did)

6. Pam ordered lunch and helped decorate for all our guests. She also made all the name tags and signs. She is outstanding!

7. Student tour guides had to sign up in Student Services.

8. Students wanting to attend the event had to sign up in Student Services as well.

9.  Erin ( my amazing sidekick counsellor )  figured out how to use the timer so that it rotated automatically , and used an iPad to project it on the screen in the gym. You can see it in the video. Our Principal Neil used the mic. to give our presenters a 20 sec. warning when their time would be up to move on to the next student.

10. Our Caretaker Cam also had coat racks set up for all guests. He is so smart, I would have never thought about that detail.

11. Our Art teacher provided us with some great student Art to decorate our gym.

12. Our Career Practitioner had Career Booklets and websites available for our students.

13. Krystyna, our Admin. Assistant made posters to put up around the school.

14. Our Vice Principal Ralene helped with all the details of putting up signs and clean up etc.

15. Our Lisa from Student Services checked off all the students names and greeted students as they arrived at the gym doors.

16. Erin, Neil and I greeted and talked to all the guests as they arrived.

Many hands really do make for light work. I really am so grateful to all for the help in getting ready for this event. I am also grateful to our Phys. Ed department for giving up their space ( we did need to find a date that would work to book the space to hold this event ).

I loved this day and I know students and participants did as well. Here is a Career Speed Dating Haiku Deck that I made which enabled me make the iMovie that I made from my phone (that you can see above on YouTube) . It is important to share what we did with staff and students who were unable to come , so that next time they too can participate. As well I always like to share any ideas with my fellow School Counsellors so that they too can use the idea if they like it and I hope you do because it had such a positive impact on students and presenters . One of the many benefits of this day is that participants shared their winning approach to work and life. The participants got to meet other parents in our community as well as network and make a difference for students. It was an amazing day one which we will repeat for sure. Will we make changes for next time? Yes, of course there are a few things . We will meet as a team to discuss some minor tweaks that could make the day even better. We will also send out a feedback form for participants and incorporate their thoughts and ideas.

Are you now ready for your own Career Speed Dating event?  I hope so ! Enjoy!


When I do get  feedback I will post it here:

Here is a list of the Careers that were represented:

Lab administrative assistant  Computer Science Department U of C
Professor at the Computer Science Department U of C
Chartered Accountant – Talisman Energy
CHRP, Sr. Human Resources Consultant; MillerNet HR Solutions
Owner/operater Insurance and Financial Services Agency
Speech-language Pathologist
Entrepreneur or a socialpreneur
Police Officer
Director and Talisman Energy Chair of Environmental Sustainability Institute for Environmental Sustainability
PWC | Director, Consulting & Deals
Chemical Engineer
Partner, BD&P Law Firm
Human Resources-Fluor Canada
Communications Specialist
Chemical Engineer
U of C Student
JVR Landscape, Landscape Industry Certified Manager and Technician
Sr. Counsel – Legal Dept. – Husky Energy
Crown Prosecutor – Specialized Prosecutions – Organized Crime Unit
Senior Processing Geophysicist – Shell Canada
Coanda Research Chemical Engineer
Business Owner, Plumbing Company
Material Manager – Oil & Gas
Sr. VP – Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
VP Trading & Asset Optimization – Transalta Corporation
Engineer Marketer
Pres. & CEO REC Media Inc.
Andylan Capital Strategies Ltd.
VP Bus Dev. – Seko Construction
Owner – Pete the Plumber/Electrician
Family Physician
Accountant – Schlumberger
Managing Director – Scenarios to Strategy Inc. (owner)
Career Banker and Financial Advisor
Business Prof – UofC
Family Lawyer
CA-CIRP Sr. VP – Hardie & Kelly
Ensign Energy
Insurance Broker Oil & Gas
McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. – Manager of Landscape Architecture
IT Program Manager
Manager Technical Services, Facilities Waste Processing Division

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.


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


#cscchat Canadian School Counsellor Chat 


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


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!


Connections Have Transformed Me

I continue to learn and connect with great people who share most eloquently what I would like to say. Thanks Paul for such a great post on our connected experience . Rhonda , yes it is all about the people and you all have enriched my life as well as helped me to become a better person. I cannot believe all the digital literacy skills I have developed while gaining new friends. How lucky am I? Thank you to Alec Couros, Mia Zamora and Howard Rheingold for having us participate in #ccourses. It was fun!

Connections have transformed me and allowed me to help School Counsellors do what they do by utilizing technology to impact students in a positive way. Thanks to all of my PLN in ETMOOC #etmooc and OCLMOOC  #oclmooc who continue to inspire and encourage me especially Alec and my co-conspirators . I am grateful !

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)


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 :




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.

OCLMOOC Week 1: School Counsellors joining in and you can too




Check out attribution in Haiku Deck here

If you have been thinking about joining in #oclmooc, but have been a little hesitant then you need to read Paul Signorelli ‘s post on our first session with Dave Cormier, I am positive it will peak your interest. It is fabulous . You can find it here. I love that Massive does not neccessarily mean big. It means “Massive Potential”. I would add that Mooc’s have the massive potential to make a massive difference for you. Here is the archive to last nights session.

The Possibilities Are Endless.

I am so happy to see School Counsellors joining us in this Mooc. @bridgethelms , @c_morton,  @tmscounselor@BriseboisJoanne and @HelenMacKinnon2

The wonderful learning from Moocs transfers into what we do with students. We learn and they get the benefits of what we learn through connecting in this positive way. Even if you are not an educator Moocs can make a difference.

I am so pleased at how quickly @gailmwhite8 ( a lifelong learner extraordinaire) who is joining a cMooc for the first time has jumped into the learning. I look forward to seeing her growth in the month ahead and learning along with her and you.

If you or anyone you know is interested in the Open Connected Learning Mooc you can still join in. Check out this smore here for how to connect and for more information on why I love Moocs click here by Verena Roberts.

I look forward to connecting with you in one of our communities . Check out our calendar and our google plus community here and share your learning. We look forward to it.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 1.42.33 PM

If you want to know ” Who Matters?”  click below:

Who Matters ? 

New To Blogging and Twitter for OCLMOOC

When I thought about starting a blog I must say I was very scared. I was scared of making mistakes. I was scared no one would want to read what I had to say. I was just plain scared. Fortunately all the encouragement and support I got in ETMOOC made a huge difference.

I must admit I did not watch tutorials on youtube when I first started blogging, but I believe they would have been very helpful. Here are a few: Video Tutorials on blogs and twitter .

Here are some basic instructions that might be helpful:

1. Go: Yes go … do it … go to or any other platform you want to use. I went to wordpress and stayed there because it is easy at least for me to navigate.

2. For those of you new to blogging click on the coloured words and that will bring you to a link that usually goes where you can find more info. on that word. I did not know that when I first started blogging.

3. Click on sign up. Yes , I knew you could do it!

4. Enter all the information they require.

5. Go to your email and activate your account. 

This is a great start . Remember your blog address (url) cannot be changed, but the blog’s title can be changed anytime.

  • Start writing , even if it is only a little at first. 
  • Press the publish button. I know it can be scary, but you can edit even after you publish. I still do all the time.
  • Your #OCLMOOC participants will encourage, support and comment on your blog.
  • Encourage others to help you and comment on their blogs.

Enough for today HAPPY blogging !


Digital Citizenship … It Matters … OCLMooc


made with  @HaikuDeck  by Susan Spellman Cann

Why does digital citizenship matter so much? For me it matters because students matter and really when it comes down to it my family matters. I want to be a good role model for them. I want to leave a positive legacy one they can be proud of. Do I make mistakes? Of course I do, but I want to make a difference for my students and my own children and the only way to really understand what being a good digital citizen meant was to dive in and learn online and so it began in #ETMOOC .

A little over two years ago I did not blog, vlog, tweet or know what a google hangout was and now I get the privilege to be a co-conspirator in an Open Connected Learning Mooc #OCLMOOC. It will be an amazing experience for Alberta even though it is open to the world.

In week 2 of #oclmooc you will be exploring digital citizenship we hope you step out of your comfort zone and step into “Awe”

As an educator I want to understand everything I can about digital citizenship. Here are a few places to start thanks to @courosa Click here: Digital Citizenship resources by Alec Couros .

If you’d like to see what others are saying about digital citizenship check out #DCMOOC ‘s blog hub by clicking here: Digital Citizenship Massive Open Online Course blog hub.

To hear a students perspective click here: Paige Woodards blog .

Here are a few curated resources on Digital Citizenship:

I love this video by Shots of Awe, hopefully you got to see one of his videos in Week 1 of #oclmooc

Feel free to post any resources you have on digital citizenship in the comments below.

I look forward to our discussions in #OCLMOOC .