How important is your child’s education? How happy are you at work? How is your school performing? What impact do your local schools have on your community? Whether you are a parent, child, teacher, local resident or politician you will be affected by the quality of our education system and more than likely have devoted much time and thought to the subject. Did your child get into the school they/you wanted? Are you getting the quality of education that is going to equip you for the future? How happy are your children at school? Do you have consistency in your teaching staff oris there a high sickness or staff turnover level? These are all topical and newsworthy concerns in education.
Going are the days when your local school is adding a sports coach to their staff team; the education sector is now seeking the support of life coaches. Some would say the world’s gone mad, it’s all very ‘American’, ‘nambypamby’ or ‘fluffy’, but how can a life coach in school benefit our children and ultimately the country?
The well-being of our children is a priority and their school life is made up of impacting lessons and experiences; from forming relationships, achieving qualifications and results, life skills, morality and quality of life. We hear of bullying, pupil anxiety and depression, underage drinking, smoking, sex, drug use, not getting into a chosen school or college, abuse, poor quality education, religious and cultural conflict. Coaching in schools for students provides a safe, secure and inspiring environment to support them in making positive, significant and long lasting change to enhance their success, through one-to-one, group or parental engagement coaching.
School coaches such as myself coach students from early years, primary, secondary and further education along with those with special educational needs. We work together in personal growth and professional advancement to facilitate new thinking, learning and behaviours that will move our children forward to where they want to be. High level school coaching is tailored to each individual, whether that involves art, music, writing, talking, and thinking out of the box or in it. We use a combination of questioning, listening, feedback and observation techniques to create an experience of focus and attention that enables students to develop a greater awareness and appreciation of their own circumstances; creating new ways to resolve issues, produce better results and achieve goals more quickly and efficiently.
Community and parental engagement is becoming increasingly popular in schools due to the benefits it proves to have on pupils. ‘Parental involvement in the form of ‘at-home good parenting’ has a significant positive effect on children’s achievement and adjustment even after all other factors shaping attainment have been taken out of the equation. In the primary age range the impact caused by different levels of parental involvement is much bigger than differences associated with variations in the quality of schools. The scale of the impact is evident across all social classes and all ethnic groups.’ (Desforges 2003). This can take place in workshops, family fun days or events and includes subject tasters, demonstrations and community focussed events. Again this is bespoke to the community, school and individuals; aligning with the schools aims, objectives and values.
Our teaching and support staff obviously have a major influence on our children’s education. It is well documented that teachers can be unhappy at work; striking over pay and working conditions, absent from work due to illness, suffering with stress, anxiety, depression and feeling undervalued; all affecting the quality of education that our children receive. Schools are now employing life coaches to prevent staff going off sick, getting staff back to work who are off sick, to improvestaff performance and achieve their desired business development plan results.
Again this is achieved through one to one and group coaching. Areas that coaches work on with staff vary considerably: stress management, depression and anxiety, absence management, work/life balance, leadership, confidence, bereavement, addiction, relationships, health and personal development, career management, redundancy, retirement, achieving business results, conflict resolution, time management, improving team performance, reducing interference, managing conflict, dealing with resistance and managing change.
School coaching is an exciting and refreshing addition to our schools and more and more schools are investing both time and money into coaching staff and pupils. How can you benefit from life coaching? If you would like more information or to book a session please visit www.infinitecoaching.co.uk.
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