It’s Good News Saturday

By Troy Headrick

I’d like to share some good news with you.  I was just awarded a “Master” certificate in Life Coaching.  I can’t tell you how much this pleases me.  There’s more than meets the eye to my certification story, though. 

I’ve long been intrigued with coaching.  In fact, though I’ve only recently been certified, I’ve been a life and learning coach for many years now.  So, when I began to do online research about certification programs, I was lucky to find a renowned institution that would provide the credential based upon educational background, work and life experience, publication history, testimonials, and so on.  I compiled a large collection of evidentiary documents and submitted it.  In a little more than two weeks, I was granted certification.   

My history as a life and learning coach began a couple of decades ago when I had an epiphany as an educator.  I suddenly realized that I needed to stop thinking of those in my classroom as students first.  Instead, I needed to see them as human beings.  This paradigm shift changed me and the relationship I had with learners.  I suddenly found that I had a knack for getting students to open up about their lives and challenges, those things that were keeping them from excelling in their academics.  (This was partly a result of the fact that I began to model honesty, authenticity, and openness myself; I believe that we get from others what we give to them.)  As a result, teaching became more pleasurable and holistic.  I didn’t fully realize it at the time, but I was doing life and learning coaching and employing humanistic and Socratic methods.  I had long used questioning as a tool to help students find and make meaning when working with texts, so to help them find and make meaning in their lives by employing probing inquiry was merely a natural progression in my development as a coach and educator.

I have also used journaling, a great self-exploration tool, in my teaching.  (In fact, I have written about journaling here and here on this website.)  Like I’ve said, I’ve already been coaching and using many coaching tools. 

I’m partly writing this to reach out to any life and learning coaches who happen to be readers.  If you are a coach and are willing to exchange a couple of emails with me, I would appreciate it if you could identify yourselves in the comments section.  In my responses to you, I’ll share my email address.

I look forward to hearing from coaches and non-coaches alike.  Thanks for reading.

Troy Headrick’s personal blog can be found here.

33 thoughts on “It’s Good News Saturday

    1. Sadly, too few educators do. I’ve spent a lifetime listening to educators–especially those who work in universities–talk about their work and about those in their classrooms. They almost always call them “students” which creates a certain set of expectations and interactions–that there is a certain hierarchy and power arranged in the classroom. What I’m about to say might sound a bit weird and controversial, but sometimes we (in the “West”) are too “professional.” We have so regulated our behavior that we have removed the human element from what we do. There needs to be a greater emphasis in the “human” in our human interactions in places of learning. Thanks so much for your comment.

      1. Yes I too have seen educators do the same especially ones with my kid , sometimes they think thats the only way to keep control of the classroom or getting kids to listen , whereas with my experience and belief the more you are able to connect to them at their levels you need not put extra effort to get their attention , they on their own become interested curious and wanting to know from you

      2. Years ago, I used to teach a class in which I used the text, On Duties, by Cicero. He said that there are two ways to lead people. One involves the use of fear and intimidation. Such techniques will work but they create resentment in those who are expected to follow, and thus leadership of this type is fragile. The other method involves the use of love. If a leader shows his followers that he/she really cares for them, they will follow him/her anywhere and forever because they will not feel compelled or forced. This is a lesson that many could and should learn. Thanks.

    1. Thank you. And I always learn so much from my readers and those who comment here! I will check our your blog if you write one. Why not leave a link here to make it easy for all of us to find it? Again, thanks.

  1. Congratulations, Troy! No I’m not a coach, formally. I am a mentor to a group of people studying for their life and health insurance license, who will work for me in the future. In that process, I’m working through with them the definition of what they want to accomplish (near and long term) and their motivation, as well as how to address negative influences and impediments. I suspect that overlaps with what you do. BTW, my practice is based in NJ (for now), but I’m licensed in CA, IL, ME, MD, NY, NJ, PA and VA. I’ll be adding NV later this year.

  2. Troy, the heartiest congratulations! Best wishes for many more years of teaching and mentoring students! <3

    What you said about treating students as human beings brought back memories. As a teacher in an inner-city charter school. I was experiencing a bit of difficulty motivating a few of my seventh-grade students. It occurred to me that the Golden Rule applied to teachers in their relationships with students. Remembering to follow the Golden Rule soon resulted in improved motivation and a friendly atmosphere in the classroom.

    1. Like I said in my email, we get from others what we give to them. Show respect and one is apt to get respect. Show domineering control and one is going to get rebellion. Of course, I’m not naive enough to think that this always works with every person, but I’ve seen these things play out enough to know that there is general truth in such a principle. I’d love to hear about some of your school anecdotes. Anyone who taught school-aged kids for any length of time should be given some form of recognition. It’s always good to hear from you, Cheryl. Thanks for dropping by.

    1. That’s cool. Are you thinking about pursuing certification? I think you should. I’m especially interested in coaching for academic success, coaching to live happier, coaching to become more creative, coaching for those who have newly moved to the us and are having trouble adjusting, and coaching to live a fuller, more uncommon life. I would be open to other forms too. It does look like you’ve been learning about coaching. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      1. Yes, I am. The life coach industry is interesting because one has to self-study and/or have the life experience to be a life coach! Those sound like they come from your unique life experiences! It also sounds like you have a lot of different niche’s, which target a lot of diverse types of clients/receivers. Maybe it would narrow when you begin coaching? Fun times ahead. 🙂

  3. Your epiphany of treating those you teach less as students but human beings first is also one I recently experienced. And spot on too on modeling the behaviours you want to see from the fellow human beings in the class – openness, authenticity, honesty. Cant agree more. Glad im not alone in feeling these. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi. What prompted your change in attitude? Have you made a discovery that’s similar to the one I made? I’d like to hear a bit more about your experience (if you don’t mind sharing). Thanks for your comment.

      1. I was looking at the meaning behind my teaching. I remember the thought i had then was, these are individuals with emotions, dreams, hopes, and aspirations just like me, no? Shouldn’t there be a connection beyond just teacher-student? Guess that was the start of it. That said, i cant say im always in the moment to think and relate to them that way. Sometimes i do go back to treating them like students especially when i am pressed to complete the syllabus, so to speak.

  4. That’s a beautiful shift in mindset, from “XYZ” to a human being, first. I think that can be applied to a lot of things. I’m going to take this with me 🙂 And of course, congratulations on the certification!

  5. When on placements in schools while studying my Bachelor of Teaching I treated all people I interacted with as humans (at least I hope I did). I often learnt as much from them while I was ‘teaching’ their class as I felt I taught them. Everyone’s life situation is different and when we are encouraged to bring all of who we are into an environment where we feel safe and valued, great things can happen. Not just in terms of the learning, but as you say Troy, in terms of lives as a whole.

    Struggles with depression taught me to be honest with how I am feeling. Not to bring anyone down, but to remind others and myself that it’s ok to not be ok. I had to acknowledge it to be able to work through those emotions. When we present ourselves as a human, others might feel safer about being human around us too!

    Thank you for sharing. 😊

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