So almost a year ago Nick and I decided that it was time for me to get out of the public school arena and . . . I didn’t know what, I’d do. I knew I needed to be able to relax and heal after a few very stress filled years in public special education but that is what I had been working on doing for the past 14 years.
The big question came, “what do I want to do when I grow up?” I spent three months in the garden, sunshine, poolside, hanging with friends, kitchen remodel etc and when that was done; I still this question.
Well, we are involved in a larger house/simple church network in Denver and one of the men is a fantastic coach and trains coaches worldwide for simple church growth. He announced that he would be offering an 8 week class on coaching. It sounded interesting, and “at least I’ll acquire better relationship skills. It can’t hurt,” plus included was 3 coaching sessions with Walt. “Awesome, he can help me figure out my next career path.”
When the class started I was also approached by a friend, begging me to work her maternity leave in the spring with a trial week in October. “Sure, why not, I still do not know what I’m doing.” I started the coaching class right before the trial week and as I expected there were great techniques for active listening so I kept seeking God and asking what I needed to be pursuing. As I went in to school each day that next week, there was no peace. It was the sense of, “yea, I could do this and find a ‘better school’ but is this still my passion?” I started to question how I could use some of my background/experience and Master’s Degree in Special Education in different ways. As I met with my coach and each week coached and was coached by others in the class, things seemed to click. It felt natural, conversations flowed and most often ended in a positive manner. I got the encouragement from many fronts to move forward in pursuing coaching.
My core belief in coaching Christians, in particular, is that the Holy Spirit lives inside each of us, and as we learn to listen to His voice He will change us. My role as a coach is to help people find and listen to that voice and then intentionally facilitate their movement forward in what they hear God speaking to them. It may be in all sorts of areas: career, life, family, children, spiritual or personal growth. I am still formulating what this means to me and how to share in a brief sentence. You know for those dreaded holiday parties at Nick’s office where I haven’t seen his coworkers or their spouses in a year yet am expected to make small talk . . . yet the more I explain, the more I see other aspects of myself coming alive in this.
For instance, around the same time this coaching class was ending and I was working on practicum hours I also became involved in a company called Catalyzed Minds, which is by name an Academic Coaching company. How ironic, as I read and researched and practiced I realized the overlaps into teaching that I never had experienced in my 6 years in SSN (Significant Support Needs), but also began to wonder how this might look with parents of students with special needs as well. Coaching them through discovery of their students in a way that facilitates self initiated change, not just me as the expert telling them what to do when they are already overwhelmed.
So now my days are spent with women, primarily, coaching them through life, as well as young women, coaching them through school: grades, academics, social, life skills and executive functioning skills. I coach in person, over the phone or skype. I pray that this will expand and that I will be able to help others. . . for now, I’m still learning and growing and will probably occasionally post thoughts here. . . and of course if you are interested in a session to see what it looks like give me a call.