ESCAPE THE SCHOOL MINDSET

escape-the-school-mindset

Do you find yourself (or your teen) saying things like,

“I’m not a math person”

“I’m just a C student”

“I can’t wait to get into the real world”

If you answered yes, You’re in the “school mindset” of fixed thinking . You’ve been SCHOOLED into understanding yourself according to the system of school, and YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! This “school mindset” actually blocks you from seeing your own strengths, and developing your courage and confidence. That’s why I’ve created the three part video series ESCAPE THE SCHOOL MINDSET where you can identify where you hold this school mindset, and how you can escape this pattern of thought and develop a growth mindset that positions you to WIN, in life and at school. If you’re a teen, or if you support teens, or even if you feel like you’re holding onto beliefs about yourself that developed while you were in school, Join me for my FREE online video series, ESCAPE THE SCHOOL MINDSET by clicking this link

Get ready to step into an online experience that will show you:

How to enjoy simple moments throughout the day to calm anxiety and overwhelm

How to develop more control over your thoughts and emotions

How to identify your values, to give a sense of perspective to your school experiences

ESCAPE THE SCHOOL MINDSET is completely FREE, all you need to do is register by clicking this link, and on November 8th the first of three videos will come to your e-mail inbox. Please share this  with anyone you know who would benefit from this training.

With Gratitude,

Deanne Barrett

P.S. I know that the daily grind is tough, and that we’ve got to grab small moments of pleasure along the way! When you register for the video series, you’ll get a downloadable version of my 6 minute Chocolate Rapture Guided Meditation. Eating Halloween candy will never be the same!

ConnecTeen 24 hour support for TEENS in Calgary, Alberta

My mission is tomainconnecteencallout connect teens and those who care about them with the resources they need to THRIVE! I recently connected with an amazing, FREE resource here in my home town of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. ConnecTeen offers FREE, confidential 24 hour support through online chat, phone, text, and e-mail to Calgary and the surrounding area. Teens offer peer support between 5pm – 10pm on weekdays and from 12 – 10pm on Saturday and Sunday. Outside of those hours, adult volunteers respond to calls so there is always someone to talk to, 24 hours every day. CLICK HERE to access ConnecTeen

I asked some of the teen volunteers at ConnecTeen to answer some of my questions about this AMAZING resource. Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:

  • Why it’s ok to call ConnecTeen even when we think “It’s not that bad”
  • Why teen-to-teen support is so important
  • What to expect when you call ConnecTeen
  • What is AWESOME about being a teen today

Deanne : What would you like to tell a teen who hesitates calling ConnecTeen because they think “it’s not that bad”

When we talk to teens about our service, we like to emphasize that it’s better to talk about something that’s “not that bad” than to wait or hold it in until it becomes “that bad”. Stress, anger or worry can become a huge burden if we don’t try to cope with it right away. We also encourage youth to open up about their problems no matter how big or small it may be. We will never minimize how someone is feeling because all problems are worth talking about. Our volunteers are eager to help and support everyone that contacts us, no matter the size of their problem. At ConnecTeen, it’s about supporting someone who may feel alone in their problem or if they need to just vent.

Volunteer: Venting whatever you might at feel, whether it is “not that bad” or not, does help! Having someone else to listen to you, anonymously through a chat or not, lets you to sort out how you really feel about what you are going through, and helps you to not only feel better, but organize your thoughts as well.

Volunteer: No problem is ever too small to call. We are here to listen, no matter what the problem is. Sometimes, it’s good to have a 3rd person assess the situation since one cannot see the forest when he/she is inside it. Even if you are feeling down, don’t hesitate to call us.

Deanne : Why do you have teens answering the ConnecTeen line?

CT: ConnecTeen, originally named “Teen Line” was initiated as a peer support line; the first of its kind in Canada in 1983. We believe that no one understands teens better than their peers. As adults, we tend to forget what it’s like to have such little control over your life when you’re a teenager. We also tend to forget how many important milestones and “firsts” occur during this time too. Our youth volunteers have either lived through similar experiences or can truly empathize with our service users because of their age. We also find that teens are more likely to open to someone who is closer to their age. At ConnecTeen, our volunteers don’t have any authority or judgement over our users and I think that creates a safe space to open up and be vulnerable.

Volunteer: I think its because as teenagers ourselves, we can relate better with the feelings that other teenagers might feel at certain times. It is because we are all at such a close range in terms of our age group, we are capable of talking through what we’ve been through in relating with other teenagers.

Volunteer: Teens now face different problems than the teens of the past generations. Although many issues that have existed in the past such as drugs for example still exist today, the rise of social media and the internet has changed the lives of teens completely. Teens are now exposed to different ideas such as ones regarding their sexuality, body images, etc. Other teens, who were actually born and raised with such social media tend to have a better understanding and can relate better to teens going through such issues and struggles.

 

Deanne : What does ConnecTeen offer when teens do make the call?

When teens decide to contact us, we offer non-judgmental support. Our volunteers will never lecture you or make you feel bad for the decisions you’ve made or for what you’ve experienced. We want to connect you to the people in your life that could help or to free resources in the city. Our support is confidential and anonymous so you can share whatever you feel comfortable sharing which gives you a lot of the freedom to decide what you want to talk to about. Our volunteers are highly trained in crisis intervention, so whatever issue you are dealing with, they are prepared to support you and help you through it. Sometimes, you just need someone to listen to you without offering advice or trying to solve your problems. A lot of what we do is listening and giving you some of the tools you may need to work through it.

Volunteer: We mainly offer emotional support, and a place where they can tell us what they feel without pressure. We let the conversation flow according to the pace in which the callers want to pace themselves at, and we validate and normalize with how they are feeling. We also offer resources like counseling, a place to stay, or financial support if it is desired by the callers.

Volunteer: We offer emotional support, validation and empathy for those in crisis. We also offer resources for  those who need professional help / information / advice.

Deanne : What have you learned about teens since working/volunteering at ConnecTeen

I’ve learned that youth face a variety of different issues- many of which I never thought about as an adult. For example, we get a lot of contacts regarding financial issues, abuse in the home or in relationships, wanting to move out on their own and dealing with the fundamental “firsts” (i.e. first break up, first fight with your best friend, first time failing a class etc). I really enjoy working at ConnecTeen because I get to learn many different perspectives from both the volunteers and the users who contact our lines. I’m constantly reminded of how strong and resilient the youth of Calgary are because they are so courageous to reach out for help.

Volunteer: I’ve learned a great deal about communicating with other people, in general. Learning about diverse social issues that our society and our youth have opened my eyes and provided me with a perspective that broke me away from the stigma. I became more unbiased, informed, social and approachable to others, and I also think I became a better person, overall.

Volunteer: A lot of teens at my age are going through really tough times. Teens tend to be shy reaching out at first, but I feel like this service is really helpful for teens in terms of finding them the right resources and providing the emotional support they need. The internet is like a double-edged sword: teens have access to unlimited amounts of information, but they don’t know what services are right and appropriate for them. Also, I feel like a lot of teens are unable to talk about their feelings and situation to other people, especially to those around them because they feel embarrassed or scared. Thus, ConnecTeen provides the anonymous help they need so that they can feel safe while still receiving the support and help they need.

Deanne : What is the best part of being a teen today?

I think the best part of being a teen today is the availability of information and resources teens can access. When I was growing up, I had no idea what was out there for support. Now, everything is available with the click of a button or a short phone call. I love that ConnecTeen offers text and online chat too, I think it really helps youth connect to us in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

Volunteer: We have vast amount of resources that we can access whenever we want to, wherever we want to (like connecteen). Also, the best part of being a teenager is that we have a great deal of potential in how we can still shape ourselves. We are still learning and growing, faster than ever before. To have that opportunity, I believe is the best part of being a teenager in our world.

Volunteer: We have so many opportunities to build our future. From academics, sports, volunteering, jobs.. there are limitless opportunities that given the effort, we can achieve our dreams.

Deep appreciation goes to Vanessa DeSouza and her team for taking the time to respond to my questions. ConnecTeen also offers FREE resources for schools, so please connect with ConnecTeen!

Online calgaryconnecteen.com

Twitter at twitter.com/YYCConnecTeen

Facebook at www.facebook.com/calgaryconnecteen

Instagram at www.instagram.com/yycconnecteen/

YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/DistressCentreYYC?feature=watch

What makes a great teacher…and more, on this podcast interview

music-680561_1920I had the great pleasure of interviewing Kevin Mincher of Unstoppableteen.com on LIT FROM WITHIN, and in turn, he interviewed me for his  podcast series. Kevin has the most amazing gift of being able to ask excellent questions which elicit revealing responses. He also has a great British accent, which is a great contrast to my Western Canadian accent. If you have the interest and the time, check out the podcast interview by clicking this link.

Here’s what you’ll discover about me in the podcast:

  • How Deanne become a teacher(3:01)
  • What makes a great teacher (4:11))
  • What Deanne was like as a child and teenager (5:07)
  • What you can do to improve your reading skills and English grade (6:28)
  • Deanne’s top 5 favourite books for teenagers (9:41)
  • How to accept the unique personal traits and not conform to the crowd during your teen years (11:23)
  • Top tips if you’re considering a career as a teacher (14:10)
  • What’s brilliant about our education system (17:10)
  • What Deanne would do to improve education (19:07)
  • Why it’s important for young people to know what their strengths are (21:15)
  • What students can do to take control of their own learning and improvement (22:48)
  • The common mistake that students need to avoid when learning (25:07)
  • What parents can do to help and support their teen’s learning (26:39)
  • What the “Lit From Within” online summit is all about and how you can get involved for FREE! (28:02)
  • What Deanne believes it takes to be unstoppable (33:00)

LIT FROM WITHIN 2016

mincher-quoteI’ve just wrapped up an amazing online summit called LIT FROM WITHIN: Connecting teens to their own inner resources for success in school AND life. I interviewed teen life coaches, motivational speakers who speak to youth in schools, doctors, yogis, a worldschooler, a nutritionist, a parent coach, all to get at the insight and strategies that can help teens connect in with their own ability to make decisions for themselves.

At the end of the day, the quality of our life comes down to the thoughts we think about our selves. If we have a compelling story about the direction of our life, we are more open to possibility. If we are grateful for what we have, we are more able to see all the opportunities around us. If we can find moments of non-judgemental awareness in the present moment, then our mind, body, and spirit can work together to move us forward toward our goals.  In short, there are ways to cultivate our habitual thought patterns to elevate our ability to find solutions to whatever challenges we face. I’d like to show you how.  CLICK HERE for weekly strategies and inspiration to help you THRIVE in high school!