5 Ways to Activate Your Natural Teacher Coach
Each of us has a coach inside of us, and believe it or not, you probably use it daily with your students without realizing it! So just how do you bring out that natural coach that’s just waiting to jump out and inspire your students to success?
by Kioni Carter Get your 7-Day Audio Course here!
New contributor to the Gazette
January 1, 2009
In case you haven’t figured out by now, I am an educator, but my primary role is that of a coach. In my opinion, coaching is one of the most important of the helping professions. Why? Because coaching allows clients to take control of their own lives while they forward goals that they have always wanted to accomplish. It is also the most complimentary profession to teaching because an educator’s ability to allow students to be in control of their own learning process activates an inner motivation that creates virtually effortless achievement. Now, you might be thinking, “I’m not a trained coach,” or “I don’t think coaching is something I can do in a classroom full of kids.” Well, let me tell you this: Each and every one of us has a coach inside of us, and believe it or not, you probably use it daily with your students, and you don’t even realize it! So just how do you bring out that natural coach that’s just waiting to jump out and inspire your students to success? Here are 5 surefire ways to get in touch with your natural coach:
It is always important for anyone, let alone a teacher, to be present in all aspects of their lives. What does it mean to be present? It means that at any given moment, you are not living in your past, or your future. You are living in that moment. You are able to pay attention to what is happening right then and there without fear of what has already been done, and without worrying about what will happen in some non-determinable time that may not ever happen. Most of us live in one of these two places for the majority of our lives and that stops us from being as powerful as we could be in any situation. It is time to practice what it means to truly be alive… and that can only happen when it’s right now!
When you learn to be present, you will experience awareness. This is important for a teacher because when you are caught up in your own “stuff,” it is very difficult to tend to twenty-five plus students who are also going through theirs. Let’s face it. You might be going through a lot, but while you are “present” in that classroom experience, you are responsible for those students who were put in your care. Awareness comes when you can begin to see things for what they truly are, and not what you may have made them out to be. We all put labels on things but in your true ability to be aware of what is going on in your classroom, you might surprise yourself with what you come up with when you take those labels off and just pay attention.
Always come from a place of love
Love is the heartbeat of the human soul. It is what lets us know that someone accepts us and it is what makes us strong. Love has no weakness but that in the absence of it, many can and will lose their way… especially children. Think about how many times a student refused to listen or do what you said. Where were you coming from in that moment? What was your tone? How much could that child trust you in that moment? Now what happens when you give that child space and let them know that although they may be wrong, you still love them and expect the best from them? Think about that in every area of your life. The easier it is for you to do everything with love, the easier it will be for everyone, including your students, to do the same for you in return.
Respond, don’t react
Oooo… yeah. That’s a big one. How easy is it for you to take a breath and come at your students from a place where you actually think about what you were going to say--- after they just came back from roaming the hallway? Or, after they just let you know what they thought of you and your homework. Take the time to think about what you are going to say or do in any situation because as you notice, the world is watching, and so are your kids. They are paying attention to how you respond to them and that lets them know whether or not you are there for them, or a paycheck. It’s your decision. Choose wisely. Go to the MyClassroomRules.com website to find more information on our LIE model that gives you a simple yet powerful way to understand your own interpretations of a situation so that you can respond appropriately.
Know what you stand for and “Walk the Talk”
On the My Classroom RULES! website, and in many of our teleconferences, we talk a lot about what it means to be authentic and “walk the talk” about what you say you value in your life. Remember we said your kids are watching your response to EVERYTHING? What message do you think it sends to them when you tell them not to scream or yell at one another, or at you even as you are standing there screaming at them? It is very important for us as educators to be the example we want to set for our students. If you don’t want your students yelling, don’t yell. You would be surprised how well that works. Imagine a child yelling at a peer or at you and you simply say, ”Why are you yelling? Does Ms. Carter yell at you?” What can they say if you really don’t yell and they never see you yell? Trust me; it makes an impact on them. Take the time to think about what you value in your life and in your classroom and translate it into action in every aspect of your life. When you do, watch the magic take place.
Check out the Discussion topic “Do What I Say, Not As I Do” to chat with other educators about the importance of walking the talk, and check out iPEC’s Life Potentials Training to learn advanced coaching skills that will take your profession to the next level!
Kioni Carter is a Brooklyn native, an author, as well as a life coach and educational consultant. She has been an educator for 10 years, and therefore caters to the urban school community with the express and sole purpose of taking them to a new plateau of thinking and creating in their schools and in their lives. Currently, Kioni provides coaching and training programs for educators in the NYC Public School System as well as in the education-based, non-profit sector. Her primary workshop, My Classroom RULES! is her pride and joy and she launches the My Classroom RULES membership community on September 21st of 2008. She also provides programs for the urban community at large, including the newest addition, the PIMP MY VIBE™ Project. Her dedication to the true transformation of her clients is what got her the name "The Butterfly Queen." Her workshops and tele-classes have proven themselves to be both dynamic in presentation, and thought provoking in nature. As a result of her need to influence her community and the unique quality of her work, Kioni has been invited to be part of various events, locally, nationally, and internationally.
Kioni is a graduate of Cornell University with a major in Human Development and minors in Africana Studies and Dance. Kioni is also a graduate of Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus with a Masters of Science in Elementary Education, and a graduate of the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching (iPEC). Kioni is an active member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
Kioni uses her straight forward and friendly personality to make her clients feel comfortable, all the while urging them to take the control of their lives that they need to in order to reach their goals. Through personal experience and professionalism, Kioni not only teaches her clients about their own personal power, but also creates a genuine atmosphere for transformation.
The name "Kioni" is a Swahili name that means "the one who sees." Kioni adopted this name to express her clarity of thought as well as her clarity of purpose, as it pertains to her work with her clients and in her community.