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.

How do you thank someone? … You can too …

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

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

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

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

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

About the award :

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

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

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

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

To donate online:

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

Enter your donation information and click add to gift basket.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Important Videos : Therapists and People I Respect

 

Below you will find people’s work I admire and have utilized in my own practice. While not a comprehensive list, it is an important list to me as I believe the wonderful learning that I have had has made a great impact on me and the students I serve. Many of the people in theses videos I have had the great honour to meet in person and dialogue about the amazing work they have done. Some have become friends for which I am truly grateful. I would have loved to have met Victor Frankl and Leo Buscaglia, but am fortunate to have cherished their books and videos. I have and will continue always to pass on the wisdom from their works.

 

 

TED Talks and videos for School Counsellors

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

  1. Martin Seligman The New Era of Positive Psychology

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

2. Shawn Anchor: The Secret To Better Work

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

3. The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude

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

4. My Philosophy for A Happy Life Sam Berns

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

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

– Leo Tolstoy

5. My Last Days Meet Zach Sobiech

 

 

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

6.  Educate The Heart 

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

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

 

Highlights: Watch and you’ll see.

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

 

 

Digital Leaders

Digital leaders are those who build others up. They are those who help other educators/people along their journey.

Digital leaders:

  • Know that when you help someone else you help yourself.
  • Are those who are not afraid to make a mistake and continually learn. You don’t need to be in the front lines to do that, you just need to share your experience and know that others have so much to teach you.
  • Are responsible digital citizens themselves and demonstrate this so that students and other learners can know what this truly means.

Every person has an opportunity to be helpful … every person has an opportunity to collaborate … to make a difference … to celebrate the good works of others (student, teachers, parents, community members) … to be a digital leader means to learn and be a responsible digital citizen yourself. To truly care enough to enter the digital world so that you can as Alec Couros says “think together” and I would add learn together. It is never too late to learn to be a good digital leader yourself.

photoCC image by Catherine Cronin

School Counsellors are in an amazing position to be digital leaders to help students and others know the importance of digital citizenship . At BCHS we start every year with a grade 10 retreat where the School Counsellors present on Digital Citizenship . Throughout the year we discuss digital citizenship through our School twitter feed as well as through our Facebook pages. We ask students if we can use their pictures before we publish making sure they have signed the required consent. There are many great School Counsellors who are digital leaders . Just check out the hashtags #SCCrowd and #scchat.

We want our students to be excellent digital citizens, but we know that takes time , effort , patience and great role modelling by all staff and educators in general.

Fortunately I know many great digital leaders (too many to list here)  which is a great thing , however I will list a few if you are just getting started :

Dr. Alec Couros @courosa

George Couros @gcouros

Dr. Erin Mason @ecmmason

#etmooc ‘ers

Want to be a good digital leader? You can start today. It is never too late.

Physical Wellness … Stability Balls Are Good For You

Every now and then I like to have guest posts on my blog so this week I’d like to introduce you to Ryan Fahey @wellnessrf the School Health Facilitator for Ever Active Schools. Enjoy his post !

Physical Wellness: Stability Ball Usage

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Do you have a stability ball? Stability balls are those bright colored round items against the walls of your local gym or community centre. ( here is mine above says Susan and it may need a little more use. Maybe if it was brighter , I digress back to Ryan’s post )

I was once a stranger to these foreign objects and you may be like I once was. I never saw the practical use of these things. However, as I have gained both experience and knowledge in Personal Training and in the field of Health and Wellness I have learned and seen great use and benefits of the stability ball.Stability balls are flooding the market everywhere. They are trending, but have deep roots in aiding individual health and skeletal structure. Libraries, schools, offices and businesses all over the world are seeing the benefits of sitting on a stability ball compared to a normal desk chair. See, most of us spend a large amount of time in the seated position either in our work day or in our leisure time. We often drag our feet home from work and sit again on the couch for a hockey night in Canada marathon.

The bottom line here is the all of this sitting in rigid, upright or slouched positions can cause chronic back pain, spasms and injuries. The longer we sit the more our lower back tightens up and the more our entire posterior chain becomes less malleable. However, if you switched your desk chair with a stability ball for about 1 hour per day, you would not only burn more calories using the ball but you would be practicing having a better upright posture (which would strengthen your core muscles) and you are less likely to fall asleep. (if you fall asleep on a ball, you will only make that mistake once). Therefore, implementing an exercise ball at your home computer, work place desk or at your library table can actually make your body feel better, stronger and decrease chronic back problems associated with long sitting bouts. If you want to start using a stability ball to sit on instead of your regular chair, start by only sitting on it for 10-15min at a time and slowly build up to it. Sitting on these balls is not easy as over time our bodies get tired and tend to slouch. When you slouch, that is a sign of weak core muscles which is ok. This just means you have some work to do and sitting on these balls can help you start building up your core strength. If you are a member of a gym, get your trainer to give you a tutorial on how they work.

Ultimately, like anything else you buy, think about it first. Where are you going to put it? Will my kids use it? Do I have room for it? Etc. Then, be sure to buy one and keep the receipt. The ball is too big if your lower leg and upper leg are forming a >90 degree angle when you sit comfortably on it. The ball is too small if you are low to the ground and your lower/upper leg angle is <90 degrees. Find a ball size that works for you and start implementing it into your life, job, hobbies, etc as soon as you can. Be educated, enjoy life and stay active! Physical Wellness matters.

 

Ryan Fahey can be found on twitter @wellnessrf

Thanks Ryan I look forward to your next post on my blog and maybe by that time I’ll be using the stability ball in my basement. Self- talk . I will feel better if I use my stability ball while typing on the computer. Physical wellness matters! :)