coaching, Women and Leadership



 “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw.

Change is hard. It challenges us. It threatens our existence as we know it.

Sometimes it is easier to hold onto what we know then to be open to a new way, a new life, a new way of being. Change requires us to know who we are.

As teachers this requires an honest reflection on the personal and the professional. It requires an understanding of the professional context in which we operate and the personal demands of our situation.

If we want to grow and develop in our role as educator and leader, if we want to progress as husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend we need to change. We need to reflect. Coaching can unlock these changes and it can support that journey of change.

As George Bernard Shaw says progress is dependent upon change. What are you going to change this term? #growth #coaching #changeispossible


coaching, Women and Leadership



Is this you?

Organizations, structures, hierarchical leadership structures can all influence how much and how often women feel that they are allowed to speak. Sometimes they believe that they are actively being silenced and are no longer seen and heard by those around them. So they stop talking.

Some women struggle with self doubt and lack confidence to push a new idea onto the table. To challenge an established practice, to question decision making, to offer an alternative. Women often struggle to play big and be their best selves. Women find themselves apologising for their ideas, their presence, their failures. It can be easy not to say anything at all.

But. Women have a voice. Women have ideas, beliefs and dreams for a bigger and better future. They can play big in their home, family or work space; on a local, national or global scale.

Women need someone close to support and mentor them. To encourage them to speak, take risks, problem solve and find new ways of being heard.

If this is you, coaching could be the vehicle to find your voice, regain your confidence and make your mark on the world.

As I continue this research journey examining the intersection between leadership, gender and professional learning in constructing professional identity, I can see the importance of coaching to support women. Coaching women into Playing Big.(Mohr, 2014)



coaching, Education, Professional Learning Networks, Writing

The one that got away



I am on the cusp of interviews; that is right I am getting ready to enter the ‘real world’ of data collection. As  part of my preparation I have been  reflecting on some of the different interview situations that I have found myself in during my career in education.

My first job interview as a Graduate teacher.

An interview for a position of responsibility.

A telephone interview for a job on the other side of the world – I sat in my PJ’s at one o’clock in the morning.

Being on an interview panel with HR for new staff.

Conducting interviews for a University research project.

Interviewing students about their learning.

Parent/teacher interviews.

We learn so much about communicating, asking questions, explaining ideas as we engage in the process of teaching and learning. We reflect, analyse and create as we coach our colleagues, lead our department and cast a vision to our school. But we are all human. We can all remember that one question that got away, the one we forgot to follow up on. And it may even have been an important one.

So I want to be prepared and avoid the one that got away. Tell me how you prepare for an interview, what are your tips  for formulating questions, how do you listen actively, interpret body language and silence. I look forward to your stories.


coaching, Growth Coaching, identity, leadership, Professional Learning Networks

Coaching and Identity



I have started reading more about coaching. The formal process and underlying ideas that speak to the benefits of coaching in education. I am always looking for the connection between professional learning and identity formation. This image from Growth Coaching International uses the idea of GROWTH – Goals, Reality, Options, Will, Tactics and Habits, to define and  capture what is happening in the coaching relationship. Trust is being built as the relationship develops, as goals are articulated and achieved.

Professional identity is constantly being formed and reformed as the personal and professional selves interact with one another. Coaching therefore is as much as about shaping identity and allowing the professional self to shine as it is about meeting goals. It is a transaction between head and heart, which is why those who are evangelists for coaching know the power and complexity of change that is taking place in both the coach and the coachee.

My Professional Learning Network has supported many of my ideas around coaching and identity.

These blogs (Chris and Deb) have directed  recent adventures in coaching and identity as  has the educoachOC  blog.


coaching, Education, year 12

Coaching your own Kids


I have a child/young man doing year 12. His final year of Secondary School.

As an educator I have witnessed the transitions of hundreds of kids through the their final year of school. I taught, encouraged, supported and coached them. I helped them back on track when they seemed destined for a disaster. As a teacher my role is clear and I can value add to the life of the year 12 student, as he or she pulls apart that text again, attempts to nail that language analysis or offer an opinion on Wilfred Owen’s poetry.


But as a parent the hat I wear has felt uncomfortable all year. I want to exchange the parent hat for the teacher hat when it comes to ‘supporting’ my own child. My roles is unclear and fraught with mixed emotions. I am excited that in year 12 our young people step up, prepare for independent living and a whole new life. But I am simultaneously terrified that I have not offered the full training package to my son and somehow the parent manual was incomplete.

My partner and I both talk about coaching. In his profession and mine coaching is relevant. He recently decided to intentionally use coaching with our our family, in one to one conversations. He had a coffee and ‘coached’ my son. And he saw results.

So why do I find it so difficult to coach those I am closest and nearest to? Is it personal baggage, emotion, expectation?

Today I read Beyond Blue’s Surviving Year 12 Fact sheet for Parents. It is a succinct document and a perfect and timely resource for me. In the concluding Dos and Don’t s I found myself stuck on this tip.

Remember, the final year is about
your teenager, not you
It is not about me, this year 12. I have had my own year 12 (a long time ago) and have coached many other lovely students through their own year 12 journey. I am actively taking off the teacher hat, wearing my Mum fedora and watching as father and son converse, coach and catch up. And I cannot help but thinking that this is a bit Tim Winton; as the males in the family bond over the intense transition of finishing school and entering the world of adulthood. This in itself is a beautiful reward of coaching the kid.
coaching, professional learning

The Power of One


There are moments when you cannot see the way forward. The trees morph into a forest that is impenetrable. The light is consumed by the dense branches overhead and you are literately stumbling around on the path, hoping to progress. Hoping to reach your destination, hoping to be found perhaps along the way.

There is a need for one. One other to support you along the journey. There is power in one.

I have yearned for a spiritual mentor, a creative friend, a wiser older woman, but I have realised that there is not one person who ticks all the boxes. Not a partner, a colleague, a supervisor or therapist. I see now that there is power in one person that effectively operates as a coach. Inviting me to reflect, think, critique and grow. They appear for a season and help me to to maintain momentum. Edge forward. Transform my thinking, my perspective, my purpose.

My work as a coach in education has been enlightening. Coaching is a powerful  and effective professional learning tool. My work as a creative coach has rendered similar results. The coachee is empowered by entering into the ‘relationship.’

But the power has been just as significant for me as the coach. I don’t believe any on us can coach and not be transformed by the process. So whether it is a formal work opportunity to coach or an informal arrangement with a friend or family member, building coaching into your daily practice holds great potential and power.