September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
“Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
Each year, more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.”
* The above is an excerpt from the National Alliance of Mental Illness. It is important as Forest City community members that we are aware of warning signs, risks, and ways to support students dealing with thoughts of suicide. Please know there is support out there.
Warning Signs of Suicide:
National Alliance of Mental Illness
Your Life Iowa
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Mike Smith from "The Harbor" spoke the words "Be the best version of you" when discussing how incoming High School Freshman can get the most out of their high school experience. I recently played that video (see below to watch) to all Freshman and their parents/guardians, in which Mike along with other high school students discuss advice on having success in high school. I think so often so many of us get caught up in comparing our accomplishments, skills and abilities to others, instead of focusing on ourselves. We all have special talents to offer the world, and it is vital to find out what they are and develop them. In high school (as hard as it may be to realize) it is not all about being the star quarterback, getting the lead in the musical, or gaining a 4.0, it is about discovering what YOU can offer others in the world.
I am going to accept Mike's challenge, along with all of the incoming Freshman at Forest City and try every day to be "The Best Version Of Me".
Here is the video I mentioned up above: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohCdDy_DLrk
Please contact me with any questions/concerns about any student here at FCHS. Go Indians!!!
Last week...Scott Jackson (Elementary/Middle School Counselor) and I attended the Iowa School Counseling Association (ISCA) Conference in Altoona, IA. It was inspirational, educational and exciting. There were many great breakout sessions and a couple of dynamic keynote speakers. I wanted to include a few takeaways I obtained from the conference:
Go Indians as Winter Sports is getting underway!!!!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving coming up! Please think of those less fortunate and consider helping families in need as the holiday season is approaching.
We all have something to give. :)
We just finished up our 2nd day of mid-term conferences and it was a nice opportunity to visit with some families about student's progress to this point in the year. I have said it before, but Forest City is truly a special place. Each parent, community member and colleague I have met has provided an opportunity for me to learn something new or grow as an individual and professional counselor. Forest City truly resembles a community that abides by the "Golden Rule- Treat people the way you want to be treated."
This is such a timeless saying, that still resonates today. In working with other professionals, to helping guide students in the way they treat others, the Golden Rule proves true, time and time again. It sounds pretty simple "treat others the way you want to be treated", but it isn't always. There are many times when we feel we have been wronged and we should get revenge or get even- the saying "eye for an eye" (which can easily be mistaken for the Golden Rule) comes to mind. However, the Golden Rule (in my interpretation) means to always treat others the way you want to be treated, regardless of how they treat you. The last part is important to remember and is something that has really been evident in the relationships and people of Forest City.
Hopefully you continue or start (it's never too late) to live you your life by "The Golden Rule- the Right Way".
September 16, 2016
There is school spirit in the air! It is Homecoming week and it has been a fun-filled week! Different costumes, face paint, hair color and fun. We have had He-Man volleyball and Powder Puff football which helps bring our student body together for some fun. As the counselor, it has been a very busy week as the Homecoming dance is approaching and there have been lots to talk about and help with in regards to the student body.
Homecoming time helps me to realize what great students we have here at Forest City! They support each other, have fun, work hard, and are respectful to each other and adults in the community. I have never been around a student body so polite and understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses. I hope that each adult/staff member in the building realizes how Awesome our school is and that we are fortunate to be able to work with such phenomenal students day in and day out. Sure there are challenges and obstacles each day, but homecoming week helps show that we are all in this together and when we all work together and build each other up, we can have fun, progress individually and overcome any obstacle or challenge.
* Here is a clip from the movie "Rudy" which was played for the entire student body for Homecoming. www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY0LUIIwo8k
True example of selfless acts to empower another. Would you give up your jersey for Rudy?
Hopefully it will help inspire you to have a great weekend and fall season!
Updates from the Counseling Office:
September 2, 2016
After getting in the English III classes today, it helped me realize how much passion I have for counseling. I gave each Junior the opportunity to ask me any question they would like to know. I challenged them to ask me anything they wanted, as I explained to them I am expecting them to be open and honest about everything, so I wanted to attempt to do the same (within certain parameters). Anyway, I had all sorts of good questions from; my most embarrassing moment to how many dogs I have ever had, their names and breeds. The best question, however, was asked multiple times: "Why did you want to become a counselor?"
I immediately had the feeling of "duh, because it is the coolest job ever!" However, I could not answer in that manner (considering it was an English class). Anyway, I wanted to share in this blog post why I wanted to become a counselor:
There are probably hundreds, but I will choose 6 important reasons:
Whatever it is, life is short and we all have passion toward something. Strive to find your passion and enhance it!
Updates from the Counseling Office:
August 26, 2016
What an awesome first week of school! The students were full of energy and the building was filled with excitement. Finally, the schedules are locked in and the school year is rolling. Many students are starting the year with optimism and a fresh start (Freshman).
Fresh starts are so vital for many people in life. As educators we get the opportunity for a fresh start daily. We can change our attitudes, what we teach, how we treat students, what we assign, how we think (Growth Mindset- I will get into that in a later post), what we are involved in and how much we smile every day. There is no greater gift (in education) than a new school year where we get the chance to change lives every single day. It doesn't matter if something didn't go well last year or yesterday with students, because we can change that today.
Students are counting on us (even if they don't always act like it) to be there, to lead them, to teach them, and to help them get on the right path to success in life.
As the new school year is underway it is up to us to help each student realize they have a fresh start and an opportunity to do GREAT THINGS daily. We can help them believe they can overcome any hardships of the past minute, hour, day, week or year.
I hope that anyone that reads this will help someone they know to realize today can be a fresh start.
Updates from the Counseling Office:
Aug. 19, 2016
Hello everyone! My first full week as the Forest City High School Counselor is finishing up! Lots of schedule changes, planning, collaboration, meeting of new teachers and excitement in the air as the school year approaches.
I cannot wait until the students get here! I am planning to communicate a weekly blog with updates from the counseling office to keep everyone informed of the goings on in the counseling department. See Below...
I am the School Counselor at Forest City High School and I love that I have the opportunity every day to help all students here achieve and succeed! The students, faculty, and community are wonderful! Go Indians!