Wow. I wish knew this a whole lot sooner.
I’ve been working with kids for as long as I can remember. It’s in my blood - both my parents are teachers (now retired). My older sister is a teacher. My wife is a teacher.
But growing up I never thought I would be a teacher, because I HATED school. My family instilled strong values of equity and social justice in me. They taught me to trust that people are inherently cooperative and well meaning, but all around me were adults who treated kids like they fundamentally didn’t trust them. And as a kid, that felt pretty bad.
So, being the baby in the family I decided to rebel and become an artist - most of my time in class had been spent doodling anyway! I studied sculpture and made pottery for a number of years. But teaching was calling to me and so I started working with kids part-time teaching art and pottery.
It was so much fun sharing something I loved with eager students and championing them as they struggled with difficult new skills. I knew I wanted to teach full time in a school, but I wasn’t sure how to do it without re-inflicting all the same negative experiences on kids that I had at school.
In 2013 I started teaching middle school at the Brooklyn Free School, an alternative school that turned a lot of the power dynamics that I feared upside down. The school is small, focused on relationships, and run democratically by the students.
Heading back into the classroom as an adult was strange. I knew what kind of teacher I didn’t want to be, but I didn’t have the tools to be the kind of teacher I wanted to be. I quickly learned that middle school kids are not shy to tell you when you’ve got it all wrong. It was a painful beginning, and an awesome learning experience.
Despite my good intentions, I found that I was running into the same ugly power battles that I had hated about school, only now I was the teacher causing them. Ooof.
Through some mentorship and experience I learned successful methods to connect with young people and empower them to take on challenges and grow, without forcing, bribing or threatening them. In short, I learned the basics of coaching. And I quickly saw a transformation with my students.
Soon, parents started asking me why their kids were behaving so differently at school than at home.
Parents were wondering:
“Why do my kids lie to me?”
“How do I get them to listen?”
“How do I stop all the arguments?”
“How can we all return to peace?”
Are you asking these same questions or questions like them?
Many parents are. Challenges like these exist at all ages, not just in middle school. It’s not a sign that there’s something wrong with your kid, or with your parenting. Most of all, it’s not permanent. Life coaching for parents is a transformative process that can help you and your family.
I have combined my unique teaching background, my training as a Certified Professional Coach, and my own personal experience as a struggling child to create a process that works to transform the mindset of parents, and the lives of whole families.
Here's why I LOVE working with Parents:
• Resolving conflict at home helps parents and kids so the impact is BIG!
• Parents have enormous power in the lives of their children and changes can come quickly.
• Parents love their kids and are ready to get into the deep self work that it takes to move beyond ‘tools and strategies’ and make lasting change.
• People who take care of others often lose sight of what they need, and parents deserve some self care too.
So, how does it work?
I coach clients individually over the phone every two weeks. Clients make an initial 3 month commitment to coaching. Many choose to coach between 6 months and a year, but it varies for each person.
At the end of each session there is a call to action or fieldwork. This can be a reflective practice or a direct action that will keep the work from the session alive and moving forward.
Clients love coaching over the phone because they have their coach right there with them in their ear, and at the same time they’re in the privacy of their own space. It’s a great balance and it also works well for people with busy schedules because it cuts out the traveling. Ready to find out more?