Teaching students how to think instead of what to think is part of the power of the Academic Life Coaching program.
Standing out from the Crowd
As the fall and beginning of a new school year is fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about what makes one student stand out from another. What causes one to thrive and be fully engaged in life and learning? What causes another to go through the motions of completing (or not completing) what is required without ever really engaging in true learning or thinking for themselves?
A Path to Nowhere
Recently I coached a student though the 10 session Academic Life Coaching program who was open about the fact that she didn’t really think for herself. She was content just going along with what others thought she should do in school, life, and play. As we dug into our coaching sessions, it because clear that the choice to avoid thinking for herself was leading her down a path that wasn’t going anywhere.
Value, Potential, Purpose
As she began to learn about herself through coaching tools and exercises she began to realize she has immense value, potential, and purpose. It wasn’t too long before she took a fairly large risk to remove herself from a situation based on her newfound belief in her capability and value as a person. For the first time in a very long time, this student was able to confidently think through the pros and cons of a situation and make a decision for herself.
It took courage to make the choice she made, but within a week or so a door opened that otherwise would have remained closed. I’m so proud of her and the work she did to begin basing her decisions off of her values rather than going with the flow and making choices based on the opinions of others.
Learning How to Think
Some of the key ways the Academic Life Coaching program can help students learn how to think for themselves is through:
- Building confidence and self-esteem, so students feel free to step out from the crowd
- Building self-awareness, so students understand their unique strengths in life and leadership
- Providing concrete tools to tap into motivation, base decisions on values, envision the future they want to pursue, and the steps they need to take to get there
If you have a student in your life who would benefit from growing in confidence, self-esteem, awareness, etc., I offer free 20 minute consultations. It’s a risk free way to see if coaching might be just the thing to unlock a door that might otherwise remain closed.
Thanks for checking out my blog! I am an ICF certified Academic Life Coach and train youth advocates in the Academic Life Coaching 1.0 coach training program. I’m also an adoptive mom, youth advocate, and a licensed therapeutic foster parent. For more information about this program for the student in your life or on how to train as a coach, please contact me here.
Such an important concept. You’re doing a good work, Brenda:-)
Thanks Laurie! I appreciate you taking time to read my blog.
Finding ways to foster confidence and self esteem is so important for the students in our lives. Great tips!
As a mother of a 6 and 7 year old, these are fantastic tips. Thank you.
Millennials are so different than those that came before them. So happy to see that you are addressing this!
Your program sounds terrific and long overdue within the youth community. Learning HOW to think and expressing one’s OWN views instead of parroting others is vital for these future leaders
Agree! We do this with some inductive Bible studies. I can say it works.
Wow. I cannot imagine just going along with the crowd. Learning HOW to think is such a critical skill. Since it’s not something taught much in schools anymore, we have worked very hard with our children to make sure they have grown up to become independent confident thinkers–and then doers. Thanks for a great reminder.
These ideas follow what I believe, that a real education is learning how to learn!
OMG.. you are so right on.. we need to teach our teens how to think for themselves and not just to tell them what to do. Great tips.
Such a great article. I think every teacher and parent needs to read this and take action. Self esteem and self confidence are critical and foundational for our kids. I also think critical thinking is important.
I love hearing about how you’re working with students to help them win in life. Childhood and adolescence can be tough and it’s great that these kids have you in their corner!
Yes! I love that you said this. Those are exactly the words I use when speaking about learning. Sure the content can be important, but more important is the ability to understand our own thinking, gifts, and talents, to parse the information and use those skills to understand, evaluate, share, and create.
Absolutely! Very well said, Todd. Thanks for taking time to comment and connect!