Author Archives: Barbara Schneebeli

Challenges Dealing with International Students

Posted by: Barbara Schneebeli on mars 13, 2012 10:05

The idea of becoming an international student is an attractive concept for both the school board and students. It enriches the school district financially and culturally. For students coming from overseas, it allows them to learn first hand about other cultures and customs, to create life long friendship across culture, and to gain new perspective on Canada and the world.

It gives students an understanding on how tightly connected the people and countries of the world are to each other. It opens young minds to the importance of understanding other languages and other cultures particularly with respect to career and personal opportunities.

But the main reason, international students are coming to us, is to benefit from a Canadian education. 

I have not kept up with the statistics lately but it seems to me the number of international students has increased. In our school alone, the international population has increased by 25% over the last year.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

How Did You Know?

Posted by: Barbara Schneebeli on février 21, 2012 4:13

I still remember that day when a mental health worker burst into my office, clearly upset, because I knew the “historical background” of one of his client attending our school. “This is confidential information” I can still hear him say….”How did the school know? How did you get to know about this?” Well, let me tell you…but first, let’s put a context to the story.

When we hear about criminals on the news we need to remind ourselves that these offenders were once youth. Some of them even started their criminal career as teens within their school while others focused on the larger community. And then we have the young offenders placed in a school, sometimes even another school district, due to the severity of other extenuating circumstances.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

“Please Don’t Tell My Mum!” Confidentiality and School Counselling

Posted by: Barbara Schneebeli on février 14, 2012 4:28

“Please, don’t tell my parents!” I have heard this phrase many times and, often I just need to reassure the student that my lips are sealed. Other times, a conflict arises. In the heat of the moment, I am face with “I trusted you!” because ethically and legally I need to disclose the information to a third party. 

As counsellors, trust becomes our ally in the therapeutic process. It is an important indicator of a strong relationship and helps to foster, among other things, the healing process.  The promise of confidentiality, I am convinced, helps me in gaining students’ trust. I have learned over the years to insure that students understand the realm of confidentiality. I try to hold ongoing discussions as to how, when, and with whom information is to be shared. 

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

What to Expect From A High School Counsellor? What Is The Difference Between A School Counsellor and A Guidance Counsellor?

Posted by: Barbara Schneebeli on janvier 26, 2012 10:38

It is the end of January and the time to meet with our new entering grade 8 students. Next week, my colleagues and I will go to elementary schools to start program planning. Program planning is the process where we explain to elementary school children what to expect when entering high school, we talk about various classes, extra curricular activities, life in high school in general etc.… 

When I ask students what a high school teacher does the typical answer is, “they teach their subject of choice”. It’s guaranteed I’ll hear a few “ duh ” and “ OMG, that was a weird question!” here and there in the process. But when I ask what a high school counsellor does there is usually a pause, followed by a timid uncertain answer, “a high school counsellor helps us out in choosing our courses?” Yes, I’ll guide you in choosing your courses, although in BC grade 8 options are not very complicated. Your only choice is to make sure you register in an elective that you like and not just because your friend is going into it. Anything else you think I might do besides guiding you in choosing your courses? Anyone…??? 

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA