“I really valued the opportunity to talk to you and have found myself in a position of increased clarity and focus ever since. It was an enriching and inspiring experience to have this kind of exchange with someone who has made space in their life to follow their calling.”
This is an extract from an unsolicited testimonial from a teacher who trusted his wisdom and trusted me by saying ‘Yes please’ to my offer of a complimentary coaching session.
My mission, achieved through my work as a teacher-turned-life-coach is to help teachers to thrive, either in the role they trained for, or by supporting them as they look for a way to apply their talent and passion in a career beyond teaching. Underpinning this work is a deep desire to make a positive contribution to the teaching profession and the wellbeing of individual colleagues.
Affirmations such as “pupil progress is dependent on teacher wellbeing” as well as the statistics that suggest one out of every two teachers in England are thinking of leaving the profession have called me to action.
Shortly after I left my university teaching role to focus on coaching, I was introduced to a Facebook Group called ‘Life after Teaching – Exit the Classroom and Thrive’. When the group was set up in July 2020 there were a handful of members. When I joined fifteen months later there were 23,000 members. Now (May 2022) there are 73,000 members! If there are any doubts that we have a problem with teacher wellbeing, one only needs to spend an hour or two reading the posts in the group. Members cry out for help. They talk about the toxic environments in which they work. They talk about being bullied, about impossible-to-achieve expectations, about dreading going to work. It is not uncommon to read about members suffering from work related stress and being on long term sick leave. Suicidal thoughts lurk in the background. The first night I spent reading the posts back in October 2021, I was deeply affected and vowed to help.
If the statistics are correct, 50% of teachers are struggling. Not struggling with the actual teaching – the standing in front of a class and weaving magic is the easy and enjoyable part for most. But struggling with the overwhelm caused by excessive workload, the long hours (70-80 hours a week is a common occurrence); the never-ending piles of paperwork, the increasingly odd regulations that suck away the individuality of teachers, the lack of support, the feeling of not being valued and the feeling of being stuck. Many teachers I speak to say they are disappointed with themselves. They are frustrated, sometimes frightened, and nearly always see themselves as living an unfulfilled life.
It doesn’t have to be that way. I help teachers to rediscover their innate resilience. If a teacher wants to stay in the profession, we work on uncovering the secret behind finding a deep satisfaction in their work despite the ever-increasing external pressures and the unacceptable environment. If the teacher decides their time serving the classroom has drawn to a close, then we work on career-change helping them identify the right pathway for them to follow. In short, if a teacher has a dream to achieve, a problem to solve, or a legacy to create, then I’m here to guide them.
Imagine creating your own life, a life where you have clarity, freedom, a sense of contentment and a sense of direction. Imagine falling back in love with teaching, or enjoying your day spent in an exciting new career.
Whether you choose to stay in teaching or to leave the profession, the first step is to seize the opportunity for one of the ten complimentary coaching sessions I offer each month. I call this my Random Acts of Kindness project.
RAoK is my way of giving back to the profession. I reach out on various platforms and offer a complimentary coaching conversation to teachers who are struggling, stuck or anxious. My motivation is simple – to help those I connect with find some clarity around the questions they are asking themselves; to begin identifying their life purpose and to offer them a safe space to decide on next steps. One recipient described it as a joy to put all their cards on the table before making one of the most important decisions of their life.
Important life decisions are best made when we stop over-thinking and start trusting our wisdom. Coaching creates the space for this to happen. Coaching is a process and requires a long-term commitment, but my offer of a complimentary coaching session will allow your wisdom to start working its magic. It will create a space for you to find clarity of thought and the inspiration for your next adventure.
Not had a contact request via social media but would like to book a complimentary session? Message me at: [email protected]
About Me: I qualified as a teacher in 1977 and retired in August 2021 having worked in secondary, primary and higher education. I’ve experienced both the state and private sectors, initially as a ‘foot soldier’ and then as a part of a senior management team and finally as a University ITT programme leader. I’ve experienced leaving teaching and returning to teaching along with all the ups and downs. Alongside the last five years of my teaching career, I established a life coaching business which is now my full-time occupation.
Photo credit: J. Kelly Brito / Unsplash