Peter – Dealing with learning difficulties
Peter is in Year 9 and has some learning difficulties. He has issues with writing by hand and dyslexia but is also extremely smart and has created his own strategies to do well at school. Now that he is inYear 9, he needs more strategies to cope with the increasing workload. The best approach was to approach the Learning Support Team at his school and work on a united strategy. I explored what they were doing at school and reinforced the methods at home.
We also introduced some new strategies at school and had them approved. One example was that Peter can now take a photograph of the board at the end of the class where the teacher has written up the homework requirements. He can also record the last 5 minutes so he can replay it at home and have clarity on what is required. Until we implemented this strategy he could not remember what his homework was and did not complete the tasks. This required collaboration between Peter, his parents, the school and his coach. We will continue to look for strategies to support his learning and will ensure we remain aligned to the school.
Deanna – Reality hits
I sometimes ask my students to keep an audit of one week to determine how they really spend their time. Often they are sitting at their desks for hours and not really achieving much work. For others it is often the realisation that they are spending more time on an activity than they realised. Deanna arrived quite distressed after doing this activity. Having reviewed how she spent her time over the previous week she realised that she spent more time in personal grooming than actually studying for her HSC and knew how out of balance this was. She took action and she rebalanced for the last 6 months of her HSC year and was more centred, confident and achieved better marks in her final results.
Riley – Being accountable to yourself
Riley has been an off again on again client over a few years. I will see him for a couple of sessions and he will drift off to take charge of his own actions. During our time coaching together he has learnt the techniques and processes to look after his own learning. He has learnt to be accountable for his own actions but also to seek out support when needed. Riley is now much more aware of when assessments are due and keeps a term planner on the fridge so the whole family is aware of the demands of his school work in Year 12. He now also calls his mother each afternoon to advise what he will be studying when he gets home. She has not asked him to call; the difference is that he is now accountable for his learning and declaring it to the world. Riley is leading his own learning and not needing to be told what to do. He also has two major works due for his HSC and he is on track with both of them. He has had to deal with some serious health and family issue over his HSC year but he has sought help from professionals and is managing well. Riley does find school stressful but is doing his best, which in the end is all you can ask.
Millie – Needed help planning her time
Millie came to me in the middle of Year 12. Her results were average but she knew she could do better. She was disorganised and was not planning her time. Assessments were piling up and it was becoming stressful. We went back to the basics, planned her weekly timetable, then her term planner. We also created a study planner for her mid year exams which she implemented over the school holidays and up to the start of the exams. This was all that she needed. Her attitude was positive but she needed some tools and methodologies to organise her time. She is now planning and managing her time and doing well as she prepares for her trial exams.
James – Dealing with ADHD
James is one of my longest clients who I have been working with since Year 9 and is now in Year 12. He struggles with feelings of overwhelm due to the multiple demands of his life, focus and concentration and writing longer assessments. Over the years we have built up his skills to be able to deal with the increased complexity of his work and the increased workload of his assessments. He is currently on track with all deliverables in the HSC including his major work for Visual Art which he recently received an A for the review of his body of work. Many students at this point of the year are often behind in their major work but James is on track to finish it by the due date. This takes the pressure off and allows it to not consume his other subjects.
James now spends more time collaborating with his teachers to ensure he really understands what is required in his assessments. This allows him to start earlier, get more work done earlier and stay on track. He now understands the role of collaboration and support to ensure he has what he needs to thrive in his studies. James is not afraid to help and will often call with a quick question rather than procrastinating and putting off the task. He has also learnt how to deal with the feelings of overwhelm by implementing different thought processes that serve him better. James is learning strategies that will help him in his life after school.
Oliver – It’s never too early to start
Oliver is my youngest client at age 11. He is smart, seriously smart, but shies away from doing his work. In Year 6, his last year of primary school, his mother wants him to learn some good study habits, some routines and more positive mindsets before heading to high school next year. We are making progress. Oliver is now starting assessments earlier and reducing his procrastination, learning new techniques to perform learning tasks in less time, including planning presentations in a faster effective way and changing his attitude towards school work. He is a work in progress and I look forward to working with him during his transition to high school.
Jennifer – In my own time
Jennifer approached me at the start of her HSC year. She wanted better results than she was achieving. We worked together for a few months and she resisted and did not commit. Ultimately the actions of coaching are with the coachee, they ultimately make the decision about what action they take. She completed her HSC and her results were average. She came back to me 6 months after the HSC to now work on what she wants to do with her life. Now the real coaching begins.
School was not important to her, and nothing anyone could say would change that. Now she is her own woman and wants to make her own decisions in her own time. She has quite a stubborn streak but now she is channeling that to achieve what she wants in life and is currently making her final decision to begin a course in the following month. For Jennifer, the choices have to be hers, not those pressed upon her by others. Often parents will ‘tell’ their children what they want them to do. It is so much better to ‘listen’ to what they want. You will find out a lot more and the child will thrive if they are heard and supported in their choices.
Adam – Anxiety of exam stress
Adam has a meltdown each time we approach exam periods at school. Over time we have helped Adam to reset his perception of exams and reduce the anxiety. We have looked at his thoughts, feelings, and the reality of the situation. We worked on his thinking by asking questions to check his reality. Is it really as bad as he thinks it is? What would really happen if he did not do well? We also got practical and reviewed his processes for revision and preparation for exams. As he goes into Year 11 he is calmer and better able to cope with this stressful situation.
Diane – Setting priorities
Diane was working 25 hours in a part time job during Year 12. She liked her work in a high end boutique and really enjoyed the money. She was, however, finding it hard to fit in all her school work and there was no time for study. When we started planning for the HSC, she realised to succeed in school, she might need to cut back to 10 hours from her trials through to HSC. She had the rest of her life to work but for now her main job was to do well at school.