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Coach in the Spotlight - Rachel Schofield

Posted 306 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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During teaching for 15 years in the 11 to 18 sector, both in mainstream and the special educational sectors, I became increasing dissatisfied. However, I didn't know what else I could do, listened to those who told it was a 'good job' and was far too exhausted at the end of each working day to consider my skills and options.

During teaching for 15 years in the 11 to 18 sector, both in mainstream and the special educational sectors, I became increasing dissatisfied.  However, I didn’t know what else I could do, listened to those who told it was a ‘good job’ and was far too exhausted at the end of each working day to consider my skills and options. Time passed, pressure increased and by autumn 2013, I collapsed and diagnosed as having a breakdown with severe anxiety and depression. I spent the next few months hiding away at home, crippled by low self-esteem and worry about my future.  The NHS helped me immensely as did a programme of counselling and it is in fact the latter, that I owe for introducing me to coaching and my new career.

Towards the end of the sessions, as I started to look more positively towards the future, my counsellor suggested I take a look at coaching and what it might offer me both personally on my continuing recovery journey as well as providing a possible fulfilling career route utilising my existing professional skills.  I came across the free 2 day introductory course and signed up immediately for Leeds in November 2014.

What a 2 days! By the end of day 1, the informative and fun content had confirmed what I was starting to realise, that teaching had never really been for me as my core values were in conflict with what the profession expects. By the end of day 2, I was spilling out my story to the trainer Mike Blissett who I remember telling me, “There’s a book in there a few years down the line!”  I went home full of renewed hope both for myself personally as I continued to recover and for my future career as a coach and signed up immediately for the Personal Performance Diploma.

Completing the course has been extremely enjoyable, raised my self-esteem and those I have worked with, I’ve certainly got my mojo back.

The structure of the course has helped me to complete it alongside my existing commitments; I knew from early on in the course that I wanted my career to focus on supporting teachers and other educational professionals. I am passionate that no one should need to hit absolute rock bottom as I did and through my pro bono sessions with a teacher and support assistant, I’m 100% certain that this is the way forward for me.

Had I known about coaching when I was on the ‘slippery slide’ and accessed support, then I would have felt empowered to climb up rather than slip further down.  Quite possibly, I would have not ended up as a coach though so perhaps I have my breakdown to thank!

I look forward to launching my own business ‘Coaching Teachers’. I intend to start working 1 to 1 with staff with whatever issues they bring to the table, stress and anxiety, confidence, work life balance, career change, promotion and coping with inspection are all hot topics right now.

I truly believe teachers and staff need more support to reach their own goal and manage stress, anxiety and balance in a positive way.  Schools are fantastic at safeguarding pupils and do what they can to support staff but I believe, with my past career experience and work through the Coaching Academy, I can greatly enhance this, and then maybe, I’ll be ready to write that book!

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