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A Coach’s Coach

Today’s post is a guest post written by one of my clients, Maura O’Reilly. It is my pleasure to be Maura’s virtual coach. We are both learning, growing and SHINING! Want to learn more about virtual coaching?  You can read more here and contact me anytime! Your first call is always free so that you can determine if virtual coaching fulfills your needs. My goal is for YOU to SHINE! 

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I felt excited and validated the first time I finished a video chat with Kathy. I was living in Africa, 4 hours ahead of her time zone, and I think she may have got out of bed early just for me! I had decided to leave the classroom after nearly 20 years as an educator and needed some guidance to begin work as an instructional coach.

Leaving teaching is a scary thought. It is what I needed to do, and I am thankful I was brave/clueless enough to just go ahead and do it. I absolutely love teaching but the ‘extras’ were burning me out. Meetings & paperwork; new curriculum & high staff turnover; continually growing expectations that teachers will take on roles meant for parents, social workers, psychologists, doctors, etc.

I didn’t want to leave education altogether – I wanted to stay and help teachers, in some capacity. When I eventually decided to pursue instructional coaching, a search on Twitter brought me to Kathy. She immediately offered to help me however she could – which I needed because I really had no idea where to begin.

Coaching is a popular and growing field today, not just for teachers but in many lines of work. As a coach I can use my experience and knowledge to help students via their teachers, and hopefully help improve the state of education in some way. For these reasons, coaching is a rewarding way to stay in the sector with which I am most familiar, and still have an opportunity to pursue a new line of work.

With Kathy’s help, I have been introduced to the video platform of Sibme that allows teachers to record themselves teaching and then review the footage by themselves and/or with coach. Just like a sports replay, by which players can inform their performance and continually look for ways to improve, Sibme is a teaching replay that gives educators the opportunity to observe themselves and grow.

With a coach alongside them, teachers can make small and big changes in practice and management. Being able to view yourself doing your job is an excellent way to truly improve. I have been filmed myself, while teaching, and have been amazed at how different it looks from how I imagine it went. I noticed small things, like body language, that I had not given much thought to beforehand.

I continue to use Kathy’s virtual coaching services via Skype, Voxer, and email. As successful life coach Christine Hassler has said – “what kind of coach would I be if I didn’t have my own coach? Teachers need teachers, doctors need doctors, and coaches need coaches. It is reassuring to know I am not expected to be an expert without continually learning and reflecting on my work. 

I recommend Kathy Perret as a coach as she has helped me immensely and continues to do so, in a warm, encouraging way, as my journey continues. Thanks, Kathy!

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Maura O’Reilly is an educator, instructional coach, and teacherpreneur. You can see other writings and content by her at www.mboreilly.com. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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