OSCA Conference 2020
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
October 9, 2020 - Sunriver Resort

OSCA Conference 2020 - October 9, 2020
Date:        October 9, 2020
Location:  Sunriver Resort:  Sunriver, OR 
Keynote speaker:  Dr. Johnny Lake

More info for the 2020 OSCA Annual Conference coming soon.


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MAY 2020

President’s Letter: Counselor Self-Care in a Time of COVID-19

By Laureen Held
On March 13 we joked, “Sending students home on Friday the 13th and they return on April Fool’s Day!” Then Governor Kate Brown closed all schools for the year. Teachers and counselors scramble to learn Google Classrooms, Zoom, REMIND and a host of forums to provide remote education. Our jobs are radically changing, our systems up in the air, and anxiety swirls around us. We ache for our students who have less than ideal home lives, wondering, “Are they okay?” We’ve scrambled to provide food, online service and devices for all students. We miss their smiles, their laughter, their hugs and we grieve the loss of promotions and end of the year celebrations. This COVID-19 has literally rocked our lives in ways we never contemplated. Who would have imagined our grocery store shelves would be void of toilet paper, Clorox wipes and flour; that we’d be pumping our own gasoline and shopping with masks over our faces while practicing social distancing?

Yet as we press on toward the end of this school year, one thing is very clear. We must put on our oxygen masks before we help those who rely upon us. I asked a few OSCA board members to share their recommendations to school counselors for acts of self-care.

“Recently, someone used a phrase that made me laugh and, at the same time, it was a fabulous expression for an absolutely delightful, and invigorating way to connect with nature: car hiking! This does not require contact with anyone. It adheres with social distancing while at the same time giving a huge dose of much-needed connection to nature. I hope you car-hike somewhere spectacular!” – Luz

“A third grader asked me once, ‘Mrs. Gatewood, who is your school counselor?’ I could repeat all the clichés on social media, but what it ultimately comes down to is this: don’t forget about yourself. Make sure that you are taking your own advice and caring for your own mental and physical health.” – Ronda

“I like to go for brisk walks and talk to a friend on the phone that I want to catch up with.” -- Amanda

“I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of self-care. Maintaining a regular routine while working from home is helpful during this time of sheltering in place. I am practicing yoga and meditation and walking outside every day. I also recommend eating well, getting enough sleep, taking news breaks and practicing self-compassion. Chocolate helps too!” -- Laura

“Get physical activity at least 30 minutes a day.” -- Anna

“I make sure I have time during each day that I don’t have to cater to anyone’s needs but mine. For me, that’s early in the morning.” -- Ashley

“Be real and talk about things, even the personal ones, with your trusted people.” -- Liz

My own advice? Set office hours. There is always more work to be done than time allows. But like Fred Flintstone, when the alarm sounds, holler, “Yabba dabba doo!” and leave work immediately.

Contact Laureen Held, OSCA president, at OSCAPresident@oscainc.org.

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