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…

Kindness is Never Forgotten

Hope made for me thanks to @mirshahi

Hope made for me thanks to @mirshahi

Today I decided to go with a new theme on my blog. I wanted a new fresh look to start off the summer. After a lot of exploration I decided to go with the theme you see here on my blog. I am using the picture of HOPE that was given to me by Ray Mirshahi @mirshahi. I love this picture for so many reasons. I hope you do too.

Here is how it all came about: A story by Cogdog.

By the way , I think I need to get back on the treadmill. Good things happen:).

So Ray, again I thank you.

Kindness really is never forgotten.

I used the photo you made me in my blog as a reminder to all to have hope. I hope you have a fabulous life!

Privacy an Illusion

Too many people think that what they post on line is private. I was one of those people before #ETMOOC almost three years ago. I thought if I put on my privacy settings that I would be protected. Don’t be fooled. Act as if all is public always. I know that it isn’t easy for young people today because the world is watching. It makes me wonder if I would have acted any diffferent in my youth if I knew that. Teachers, School Counsellors and Administrators are increasingly posting on line and they most certainly need to be good citizens online and off. We are role models for all. Take a look at what Russ Sabella had to say during his session on Ethics at #ASCA15

If you scan Dr. Sabella’s QR code you can download the presentation into your dropbox files. if you are not sure how to scan go to the website on the tweet above.

I like the statement JUST BECAUSE YOU CANDOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD

One of the many great things I learned in ETMOOC was that you need to create your own digital footprint before anyone else does it for you. So flood the internet with the positives that you do and are.

School Counsellors you can and must be a leader. Google yourself often to make sure your presence is what you want it to be. Set up google alerts to make sure your footprint is positive. You can start today to create your digital identity. By you learning all the ins and outs of posting online you will better understand your students and how you can help them. Will you make some mistakes? I am sure you will, I certainly have, but I feel I am much better prepared today to prepare our students for tomorrow.

You can spread your positive ideas and make a difference in the world and as a result be a role model for students and encourage others to do the same.  So if you don’t know already complete privacy is an ilusion.  I ask you to please make your mark in the world a positive one. Think before you post.

Here are a couple of my haiku decks on Digital Citizenship and privacy:

The Illusion of Privacy

Digital Citizenship lessons

For our High School Students

Now it’s your turn. What will you post today?

Lessons from Leo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

from another Leo more wisdom comes …

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

Leo Rosten

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Graduation Message From A BCHS Alumni

It's better to fail at what you love than to fail at what you don't . Jim Carrey

It’s better to fail at what you love than to fail at what you don’t . Jim Carrey

This is an email I recieved this week from a student who wishes to remain anonymous. The message is great so I share it with you. I am grateful that BCHS is such a great place to work. Graduates … you amaze me! I am in awe of you.

Hello graduate:
This is a message from a former Bishop Carroll High School student and it is addressed to each graduate in the class of 2015. Before anything else, congratulations! You have endured, grown, been challenged by, and are forever changed by your BCHS journey. You have earned the green slips, made the cutoffs, and can now call yourself a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School; a great Calgary institution that has developed a legacy for turning out exceptional people – people who forge incredible impacts in the world and help make it a better place.

My purpose for writing this is to imbue you with a few friendly words of wisdom, some advice, and to call you to service in your community. What is said in this message is opinion not doctrine and it is meant simply to convey some words of encouragement as you close a proverbial chapter in your life and turn to the next.

Bishop Carroll High School is not a school for a neighborhood or a quadrant – it is a school for the community of Calgary. As a result, it is a place of great diversity and great opportunity. The experiences you have had and the environment you have been in is something that is unique and one that has set you up differently than other people your age. You have been given the Carroll Advantage – the opportunity to learn in a system that hones your strengths, remedies weaknesses, and lets you discover who you are. The result: an ability to think critically, to manage yourself, to take ownership of your destiny, and the ability to make a profound impact on those around you. Self directed learning is a fantastic way to learn and appreciate personal responsibility, develop self management skills, and ultimately learn who you are and grow as a human being. The opportunities, skills, and experiences found in and taken from Bishop Carroll High School create potential for great things in every graduate. All of you have potential that knows only the boundaries you set for yourselves. There is no limit to what you can do; so believe in yourself, set your standards high, dream as big as you can, and never ever quit on something worthwhile.

My time since graduating has afforded me the ability to experience many great things and meet many great people, but every time I encounter something new – a challenge or an opportunity, I often find myself reflecting back on the experiences I had as a student at Carroll. Truthfully, everything I do now is somehow connected back to my time at Carroll. No matter what I face I always tell myself I am a Carroll grad and that gives me the confidence to do just about anything because who I have become was largely started in my three years at Carroll. If nothing else, please take some time to reflect on your BCHS journey: the highs the lows and understand how those experiences will always stick with you. In the bright times use those memories to reflect fondly and appreciate yourself, who you have become, and who you will grow into. In the challenging times use those memories to remind yourself of all you have accomplished and tell yourself you can do anything you set my mind to – you will be better for it. No matter what you face, who you face it with, or what you end up doing know this – if you understand and appreciate what your time at Carroll did for you and that it has helped make you then you really will be able to do anything. There is nothing quite like the confidence or the last minute quick thinking of a BCHS graduate.

Bishop Carroll High School is different than anywhere else, from what I have seen and experienced since graduation it truly does prepare you better and make you more ready for the world. The world you graduate into is one that seems to change exponentially each year. New challenges and new opportunities will demand more of everyone and will likely challenge us as a global community in a way we have not been challenged before. It will take people from diverse backgrounds and skill sets to confront them. Regardless of your path after high school YOU have the power to help change the world. Change does not have to come from grand actions or mega projects – the world can be changed at the grassroots level by the sum of individual actions. So find something you are passionate about – something you love, do it, do it well, and use it to help make the world around you better. Although not everything will be recognized no good action is too small. The opportunities and skills you have now give you the BCHS grad a responsibility to help make a positive impact on the world around you and doing what you love is a great way to make the world better. .

Enjoy each moment, learn from your successes and your failures, never ever give up, appreciate those around you, and live your life to the fullest. Congratulations on your achievement and welcome to the BCHS alumni community. Mane Nobisum Domaine

7 Ways the SAT Is Changing

sspellmancann:

Great information about changes in the SAT. Many of our students go to US schools so this will be helpful for them.

Originally posted on TIME:

High school students who take the SAT in 2016 will face a very different test than those who came before them. From an increase in curriculum-based questions to a revamped essay section, here are the seven ways the SAT is changing next year:

1) Free test prep: Thanks to a new partnership with Khan Academy, students will be able to access high-quality online test prep without signing up for programs like Princeton Review or Kaplan, which are often difficult for students from low-income families to afford. The Khan Academy test prep has an exclusive relationship with the College Board, which designs the SAT, meaning the free prep might also be the best prep.

2) No penalty for wrong answers: Students won’t be penalized for wrong answers anymore, which means an end to the days of staring at the bubble sheet and guessing whether it’s worth it to guess.

3)…

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