What role does the school counselor have regarding social media? Everything should be the answer. As students become involved with all kinds of social media, their lifestyles change. Perhaps it is true for adults as well. If any of us are on social media, or doing business online, there is virtually no privacy. In today’s world, there is no privacy. What we post leaves a huge clue to our personal, educational, and business identity. School counselors can have a huge impact on the student, impressing upon each one that what is posted can have a long lasting effect on their college and career future. Scholarship committees and employers are checking out online posts before an interview. Resumes may not even be reviewed if the reviewer finds anything negative on a social media site, profile statement, or a comment.

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Processing the Connecticut School / Community Crisis

Posted: December 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Last Friday’s shooting at a Connecticut elementary school has left every parent, student, and teacher in shock and disbelief. The following are some ideas to help process this issue:
• We should talk about what is upsetting. We need to reassure each other that it is normal to emotionally be upset and angry that evil exists to this magnitude. Each person needs to express grief in the context of family and friends, but grief is often expressed differently for each person. For other discussion ideas, check out http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2012/12/talking-with-children.html or http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/explaining-news-our-kids
• No one knows the complete answer to why these things happen, despite the media’s attempt to analyze each step of decision making.
• If your friend, sibling, or younger child will not talk, perhaps ask an open ended question to get the conversation started. Reassure that person that you care.
• We may all question our safety or personal security. We need to reassure each other that it is extreme behavior for anyone to take lives because of a mental illness or anger issue. We need to remind ourselves that our school and local law enforcement are doing everything we can to keep our school and community safe.
• None of us has all the answers. But it is wise to work together making our community even safer.
• We need to limit our media intake. Listening to or watching the rehearsal of a crisis or tragedy is mentally unhealthy.
• If we are worried about an individual suffering from a crisis aftermath, we need to voice that concern to others who can help.
• Keep a normal routine. A regular schedule gives a sense of security. This may seem odd when all of us are reacting to a crisis differently, but a routine helps us to think more sanely.
• Rituals before bedtime or early in the morning can be helpful for all ages. Reading a great book, listening to music, singing a song, or telling a family story can help each of us stay focused.
• If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your teacher, the administration, or Mr. Bednar. Each of us want our school and community to be safe.

Other sites with appropriate conversation topics are
1. http://techsavvymama.com/2012/12/sandy-hook-school-tragedy-helpful-tips-for-talking-to-your-kids.html
2. http://www.pbs.org/parents/talkingwithkids/news/#
3. http://www.nctsn.org/resources/audiences/school-personnel/trauma-toolkit#

Portions of this information has been adapted from the Crisis Management Institute in Salem, Oregon, Westside Public Schools, National School Public Relations Association. Pleasanton Public Schools has had a ‘Crisis Team’ for a number of years with the purpose of responding to any type of tragedy or event that might be upsetting to students, staff, and parents. If you have questions about our School Crisis Team, please contact Mr. Bednar.

Paying Attention In Class

Posted: November 20, 2011 in Current Events

The following is a reflection on a blog by Kenny Silva. You can read his entire blog entry here.

“I never used to pay attention in school. I would get good grades, but my head would always be way out in left field. I’d either be doing the homework for my next class or playing a video game on my TI-83 graphing calculator. This was a bad way to learn. A lot of us are living our lives this way.

People, places, and experiences are flashing by with each waking moment. Thanks to the rise of the smart phone, we’ve stopped paying attention. We are surrounded by and immersed in a world that begs to teach us so much, but our heads are down and we’re simply not listening.

Here are 4 ways in which we can get better at this:
Look Up. Pull your head out of your favorite electronic device and take in the details of your surroundings.

Where are you?
What’s going on?
Who is near you?
What are they doing?”

Thanks, Kenny. I’m wondering if I’m paying attention to the things that make a difference in life. I get caught up in details, trivia, unimportant details of the day. When I wake up, it’s like I’ve just come out of an amnesia type stupor. If I’m not paying attention to the priorities of life, my students aren’t either.

You Have No Online Privacy…

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you do anything online, you have no privacy. We had all better get over it. Our privacy is over. It will not return. As we search online, text, post, comment, purchase, receive, email, facebook, tweet, ‘friend’, etc., we’re leaving a footprint that cannot be erased.

How To Find Scholarships

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Check out the search links on my scholarship site (http://collegedollars.wordpress.com). These search links will identify specific scholarships that match your college / career interests. A good news site that discusses searching for scholarships is DistanceEducation.org. Also check out the scholarship information and downloads. You can subscribe to this site with your email address, alerting you each time a scholarship has been posted. You can also view a youtube video clip, “How To Find Scholarships” (http://youtu.be/jqhlz9ufDto) or at <a href="”>.

Long To Love Well

Posted: October 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

Our culture has the word ‘love’ all mixed up. Bob Kellerman’s blog entry from his counseling site has some great thoughts about one’s desire to intentionally live on purpose. You can read the full article here.

Evaluating Business Ethics

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Seth Godin’s blog, entitled “No Such Thing As Business Ethics” has huge implications for the classroom, if we apply his thoughts:

The happy theory of business ethics is this: do the right thing and you will also maximize your long-term profit.

After all, the thinking goes, doing the right thing builds your brand, burnishes your reputation, helps you attract better staff and gives back to the community, the very community that will in turn buy from you. Do all of that and of course you’ll make more money. Problem solved.

The unhappy theory of business ethics is this: you have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profit. Period. To do anything other than that is to cheat your investors. And in a competitive world, you don’t have much wiggle room here.

If you would like to believe in business ethics, the unhappy theory is a huge problem.

As the world gets more complex, as it’s harder to see the long-term given the huge short-term bets that are made, as business gets less transparent (“which company made that, exactly?”) and as the web of interactions makes it harder for any one person to stand up and take responsibility, the happy theory begins to fall apart. After all, if the long-term effects of a decision today can’t possibly have any impact on the profit of this project (which will end in six weeks), then it’s difficult to argue that maximizing profit and doing the right thing are aligned. The local store gets very little long-term profit for its good behavior if it goes out of business before the long-term arrives.

It comes down to this: only people can have ethics. Ethics, as in, doing the right thing for the community even though it might not benefit you or your company financially. Pointing to the numbers (or to the boss) is an easy refuge for someone who would like to duck the issue, but the fork in the road is really clear. You either do work you are proud of, or you work to make the maximum amount of money. (It would be nice if those overlapped every time, but they rarely do).

“I just work here” is the worst sort of ethical excuse. I’d rather work with a company filled with ethical people than try to find a company that’s ethical. In fact, companies we think of as ethical got that way because ethical people made it so.

I worry that we absolve ourselves of responsibility when we talk about business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Corporations are collections of people, and we ought to insist that those people (that would be us) do the right thing. Business is too powerful for us to leave our humanity at the door of the office. It’s not business, it’s personal.

[I learned this lesson from my Dad. Every single day he leads by example, building a career and a company based on taking personal responsibility, not on blaming the heartless, profit-focused system.]