Many of our students will have experienced some form of trauma, such as being in a car accident, witnessing an abuse, or experiencing an intensive medical procedure. Some estimates put the proportion of school-age youth that will have experienced a traumatic event by the age of 17 at two in three. Others may be in… Continue reading The Importance of Trauma-Informed Environments and Approaches at School
The research is starting to catch up to our use, and the picture it paints is worrisome. As a teacher, I am fascinated with smart phone use for learning in schools. The ubiquitous devices hold so much potential for creative, inquisitive, and engaging learning. However, the overwhelming mass of information at our fingertips and the… Continue reading Smart phones and learning: What we know and how to help students manage
Inclusion is a foundational principle of school and board of education policies around the world. The British Columbia Ministry of Education, for example, cements inclusion as a guiding principle of education in BC with the statement below: British Columbia promotes an inclusive education system in which students with special needs are fully participating members of… Continue reading A School Counsellor’s Role in Inclusive Education
One of the books that has most shaped my approach to school counselling and behaviour support has been Ross Greene’s Lost at School. I was introduced to Greene’s work early in my teaching career, but recently found cause to revisit this book. I was overjoyed to find the takeaways just as relevant as they were eight years… Continue reading Collaborative and Proactive Solutions: Reflections on “Lost at School”
I’d wager that many school counsellors chose that career path in part because they saw the school setting–a central context in most youths’ lives–as an ideal venue for intervention and positive influence. This perception holds up in some cases; students struggling with anxiety disorders, social skills deficits, and self-esteem challenges can often be supported effectively at school. However, in… Continue reading How school counsellors can help students cope with addiction
In his article “Bringing Mental Health to Schools” penned for the CAP [Canadian Association of Principals] Journal, Dr. Stan Kutcher raised some concerns that challenged my confidence in the work we do in schools. He asked the question “does the school environment inadvertently ‘de-skill’ students by ‘medicalizing’ normal life, by teaching that usual daily stress is bad… Continue reading Problem solvers or stress avoiders? How schools shape student approaches to mental adversity.
I’m currently re-reading Reclaiming Youth at Risk, and am reminded how such a small book had such a large impact on me in the early stages of my career. I first read Reclaiming Youth at Risk while preparing for my first teaching contract in a remote aboriginal community in British Columbia. The school’s principal had indicated that many of the students were disengaged from school… Continue reading Reclaiming Youth at Risk in Today’s Schools