After an uncertain school year young adults, kids of all ages, parents, teachers and school officials are preparing to go back to school in September. With this reopening there will be a real focus on wellbeing, so how can coaches make a difference? Find out in this latest article from our Mastery Series created by TCA Trainer Sharon Lawton.

There’s a quote from Socrates that says "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new". That is certainly true when we consider how our landscape has changed as a result of Covid-19 and in particular how school life will have changed.

As someone who has worked in schools coaching teachers and young people, I have found that there has been a common thread that has run through this period for a lot of teenagers and younger children, and that is loss. 

This was highlighted recently by Professor Barry Carpenter CBE 

1. Loss of routine

All children need a certain amount of routine, expectations and boundaries to keep them feeling emotionally safe. Those who work with children will know that the biggest contributory factor for misbehaviour will be inconsistency.

2. Loss of structure

We know how important routine and structure are for all young people, but for some, it will be even more impactful, and school might have been the only routine and structure they could rely on in their lives.

3. Loss of friendship

The loss of friendship and social interaction will have been hard for some (for others not so, they may have relished the quieter insular time). Those of you familiar with DISC Personality Profiling will instantly recognise this as another tool to use as a  coach in schools. 

Also teaching is a relationship-based profession.  Teachers will have missed the interaction with colleagues and pupils no doubt.

4. Loss of opportunity

Opportunity – to develop, learn, grow, reach their full potential

Students taking their GCSE’s and A’Levels will have the loss of the exam process and not seeing the fruit of their hard work and effort, realising their potential on results day.

5. Loss of freedom

Let’s face it being stuck at home 24/7 with the family will have been tough for some young people (and their parents too).  But what teenager wants to be locked down with their family every day for 4 months?!

All of these things are part of the rite of passage during adolescence and are part of how they shape ambitions for the future.

As schools reopen there will be a real focus on wellbeing for teaching staff and their students.  Improving wellbeing has a direct link not only to feeling better, but also functioning better. It helps with physical health, and also things like performance at school, and quality of life.

What can we do until then?

Vicky Ford, the Secretary of State for Children and Families said in a recent webinar for the Department of Education that this has been an incredibly stressful time for young people and we have an opportunity to support children and help them understand feelings and make sense of them.  

So what can we do as parents/teachers/coaches?  Here are my top 3 tips:

Keep The Conversations Going…

Talking helps young people make sense of their experiences and process them.  Here are some conversation starters that can help share around the table the following;

  • A challenge I overcame during lockdown was...
  • A new skill I learned is...
  • A hope for the future I have is...
  • Something I enjoyed which was a surprise was...

Feelings are Feelings!   

All feelings are ok – young people need to know that there are no right or wrong or good or bad feelings. Our feelings help us make sense of the world, it’s what we do with our feelings that matters. 

Help children understand their feelings by validating them using empathy “It looks as though you’re feeling angry right now!”  or “Wow! That look’s like a big prickly feeling you have at the moment!”  or “It’s ok to feel a bit worried about going back to school, let’s talk about what we can do that might help you feel more confident!”

Just breathe! 

When big feelings come, they can highjack and overwhelm young people putting the emotional brain in charge and triggering the fight, flight, and freeze response. 

Teaching young people calm breathing techniques is a tool that they can use anytime to help them self-regulate and reclaim control of their thinking brain.  This then calms the survival part of the brain, balances their emotions and lowers the stress response.

As a coach within Education, it’s incredibly empowering to know that I can have a role to play to support young people to be the best they can be both now and in the future.    

Making a difference in the lives of young people

  • Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people? 
  • Do you want new tools to support your students or own children? 
  • Are you an existing coach who is interested in specialising in this area?

Find out more about how coaching within the education sector can either enhance your current role or be the beginning of an exciting new career with the Coaching within Education Programme

There are many opportunities for using coaching skills within Education, and whether you are interested in coaching young people, teachers, parents or school leaders, there are so many tools that you can use to build your personal coaching toolkit for working in the education sector.  

Join the Conversation! 

If you are interested to find out more about making a difference in this area, join us for an insightful conversation about the Coaching within Education Diploma. 

This session will give you the opportunity to meet the trainers - Sharon Lawton, Merete Langler and Lorraine Thomas, and you'll find out more about how you can develop your coaching skills within the education sector. 

No previous coaching experience required! 

Join us here on 25th September from 11:30 am. 



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