Teachers need life and well-being coaching

Teachers need life and well-being coaching

I started a conversation with teachers about life and well-being coaching. I made the statement, “Teachers need life and well-being coaching to get through this…” referring to chaos of COVID and the turmoil that ensued when teachers returned to working on site. It was a great conversation that revealed teachers current perceptions of what coaching is and how it relates to ‘getting through’.


I have hidden the teachers names. What the teachers said is in bold italics

.… terrible idea. It’s like throwing ice cubes at a fire.

Brilliant metaphor, thank you. Life and well-being coaching is NOT sufficient. We are throwing ice cubes, buckets of them, and we see that the fire is still burning. Something more is needed. 

In our conversations, we are exploring more of the terrain that teachers are navigating, and how coaching – life and well-being coaching can play a part in getting us through this.

No thanks!

Coaching is always voluntary, but I wonder what you are saying “No thanks!” to.

I don’t need “training”

Coaching is not the same as training. Coaching has a supportive function. There are no predetermined outcomes, as there are in training. Coaching is about exploring the hidden resources we all have within us. Training is about skills and knowledge. Coaching is about values and purpose.

Is this life counseling?

Coaching is close to counseling, with some differences, coaching is not as directive as counseling, the coach does not decide the direction of the conversation.

Teachers are so accustomed to advising others it is hard for them to reverse roles

That suggests the coaching would be some kind of advice. It is not. Certified coaches do not give advice. Unfortunately, there are people who call themselves coaches who do give advice, but they are not coaches, they are consultants or mentors.

I strongly believe that I am not the problem.

You aren’t. You are inside the problem and you are the solution to the problem.

I have therapy.

Great, and a good complement to coaching since they explore different domains. Therapists explore the past and its impact on the present. Coaches explore the present and its impact on the future.

I have a psychiatrist who has increased my meds 

Also a good complement to coaching when needed. Coaches assume that you are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. Psychiatrists help people become well. Coaches help them become better.

5 mental health days that our students can take, but nothing extra for staff.

That needs to be addressed! Teachers need access to days off. Everyone does. But this might be a different conversation.

I do not need coaching. I need resources and respect.

What if coaching could result in you getting resources and respect?

Teachers need parents and admin to step it up

Is this something that teachers can influence? If so, coaching would support you in taking the necessary steps.

I need my abusers to get it.

You said, “abusers”, that sent a shiver down my spine. Coaching would help you see more clearly what is going on, and what you need to do. Coaching would also support you in finding the courage to take bold action if that is what’s needed. 

Teachers need items taken off the plate to function normally. Then, we wouldn’t need the well-being coaching.

I hear you ask for items to be taken off your plate. Working with a coach you would find ways to make that happen. Life and well-being coaching is not about learning to live with a situation where you cannot function normally, it’s about creating the situations where you CAN function normally.

No I don’t, I need less stuff thrown at me!

With a coach, you can explore ways to respond when stuff is thrown at you, that are in alignment with what’s important to you.

An extra day off each month

More money, so I can actually enjoy things to do on my days off

Support my choices in the classroom

Three great requests. With your coach, you can choose which order to tackle them, be clear about your reasons and formulate arguments and action plans. The clarity of your request suggests that you are ready to take action. Coaching will guide you in formulating your strategies.

I really just need time and energy. No coach necessary

Working with a coach, you will find time and energy. Then you won’t need a coach. And that’s the goal of coaching, that you should find your own ways to get what you want and need.

We need systematic change not life coaching.

Ah, that’s a bigger discussion. Life coaching will make things easier for you in the moment, but there is a bigger change needed. What if coaching was a step towards this bigger shift?

…maybe this should be our job

Ah, now we are onto something.