The Coach Needed Coaching

April 19, 2017

This past week I’ve found myself feeling overwhelmed with the task of “changing the world” aka my piece of influence on the world of education. Do you ever find yourself on information-overload that you feel entirely insignificant? You read so many books and hear so many inspiring presentations, yet you feel frozen–as if you don’t know which way to turn or how to solve this problem that seems all-consuming. 

When this happens to me, I wonder, how will I ever accomplish the task of truly impacting students’ educational experience at the level they SO deserve? Is it even possible to innovate within the box? How do we move away from standardized testing and a nation that is hung up on politics and climbing some status-ladder to care about adding passion-led learning back in the mix for students? What about tapping into the curiosity of our children and allowing their strengths to guide their learning? Will that ever be the norm? Then, I think, who am I? A pinpoint on the globe–that’s who. On an optimistic note, a passionate educator who has a small voice. Insignificant. That is the place I landed this past week.

The coach needed coaching

The encourager needed encouragement. 

A couple of days later, a mentor of mine simply replied to my ridiculous defeated comments with a few questions something like this, “Tara, would you ever give this advice to a new teacher? Novice coach? Anyone?” The answer was clearly, “NO!” So, he later demanded, “Tara, do NOT make any decisions right now. Your frame of mind is overloaded.” Then, he went on to reassure me. “Do you know how (insert choice word here) amazing you are? Let me tell you…” and after some much needed positive feedback, I began to believe what he had to say. At the end of our conversation, he clearly stated, “You’re an overcomer.” Wow. Typically, Words of Affirmation is not my Language of Appreciation, but on this day, it was exactly what I needed. The specificity and sincerity of his feedback truly uplifted me.

Then, Thursday night I hung out with a dear PLN peep, Tisha Richmond, via Google Hangout. We chatted about anything from the mom-life of teens, to writing, and doing our best to have a positive influence on the students and educators within our realm of influence. Tisha’s energy is so contagious and authentic. In fact, throughout the conversation, I could feel a restoration of life and zeal deep within my heart. It’s safe to say, I enjoyed our collaboration so much; I had no idea two hours had passed. 

My spark began to flicker again. At this point, I felt ready to stand up and fight the good fight.

Then Saturday, my sweet friend Kara Wilty tagged me in her blog post Unleashing Your Limitless Power. The title alone had my attention. When I read this post, I began to feel my bucket run over with encouragement. When discussing reaching for your dreams, Kara wrote: 

“Being logical is important in many instances, but what is actually needed more in this world are people who are OBSESSED with their dreams and passions. People who have dreams that seem unfeasible to the average person. People who can visualize their goal to see the picture of success within their minds. Then, ultimately people who do whatever it takes to make their dreams a reality each and every day.”

I’m entirely convinced this post was written for me. (Kara, tell me no different. *wink*) It spoke straight to my heart! I felt like a boxer who was almost knocked out but surprised the crowd by standing straight up with determination and fierceness that was undeniable. 

The coach needed coaching

Side Note:

• All of my “coaches” are members of my PLN and are not a part of my daily interactions.

Kara and Tisha had no idea I was feeling defeated.

• Strength comes just in time, and we are all truly better together

If you feel the need to encourage another or write an uplifting message, please do it! Even the coaches need coaching. 

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  • Theresa April 25, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Just what I needed to read! Everyone needs their bucket refilled ever so often.

    • Tara M Martin April 25, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Thank you for reading and sharing your comments, Theresa.

  • Marisa Dahl April 20, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Thank you for the “just in time” post! I totally agree! I can tell from your writing you are a very passionate coach and educator, sometimes the right thing to do isn’t the popular choice. Good luck!

    • Tara M Martin April 20, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Thank for sharing your thoughts, Marisa. #appreciative

  • Judy Imamudeen April 20, 2017 at 5:11 am

    I can completely empathize with you. It’s wonderful to have people you can turn to who you trust can help you dig yourself out of your rut. It’s normal to feel this way. I think all of us need to have support systems, especially as a coach, so these periods of overwhelm can pass quicker and our emotions are reset. Glad that you have people in your PLN who can provide perspective and encouragement.

    • Tara M Martin April 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I agree, Judy. It’s crazy to imagine edu-life without my PLN–even though I’ve only had them in my edu-life for about 10 months.