Educators shape tomorrow’s society, and Christian Worth, PCC, France, is quite passionate about that truth. “I’ve seen my children going up or down with their education depending on the teacher they have had,” he explains. It is this observation that motivated Worth’s involvement with the Coaching for Educators (C4E) nonprofit organization.
Worth first learned about plans for C4E in 2014 when he met the founder, Martin Richards, CPCC, Sweden, at an ICF Regional meeting in Sweden. The two met with a few other interested coaches and began brainstorming Richards’ concept of providing four hours of free coaching for any educator who requested it. By 2015, the C4E website was launched, and by 2019, 50 educators world-wide were receiving pro bono coaching.
Coaches are selected based on interest and certification. They express interest through application on the C4E website and provide verification of accreditation from a reputable school. Likewise, educators request coaching through the C4E website.
“When I was a young teacher, I longed for something like this,” said Richards. “When I landed in a position where I could retire quite early, I knew that I wanted to put into place the thing that I had longed for.”
According to Richards, the greatest difficulty was recruiting educators. They have been suspicious of the word “free”. “There have been a lot of walls to climb,” he said, “but when they do, they love it. We have received extremely high-quality feedback from them.”
C4E currently measures impact through educators’ anectodal feedback offering detail-rich examples. English teacher, Ng Xuandy, said about being coached, “I think the best part about coaching is that it makes me feel really strong, like there’s nothing that can stop me if I set my mind to it.”
Worth and Richards see the future of education evolving. “We are seeing this year already, teachers who are desperately needing support as they change not only their behaviors (using different strategies), but changing their roles (“if I’m not in front of the classroom, then who am I?”), and coaching lends itself to that,” stated Richards.
Looking ahead, they are forming partnerships, engaging in “co-activities” with others, and shifting some tasks to the organizational level. These may include: a co-activity in Greece, a Workshop in Arizona, and a partnership with IBeMee. The partnership with I Be Mee, may include bringing coaching into the education system for educators to become more coach-like.
“Our aim is to introduce educators to coaches and to the benefits of coaching. No one makes money off what we do,” Richards stated. “We do this in our free time.”
Worth is pleased with what C4E has accomplished, “I am really proud that this idea, this seed finally came through. There are coaches coming out of the woodwork and saying, ‘yes I want to do that’/‘Yes, I share the emotion associated with giving back, with building the future, with supporting educators.’ There is this social awareness I would say which manifests itself with coaches coming forward, and that to me is a source of joy because here are people who all just want to give back.”
Martin Richards, CPCC, Sweden, has more than thirty years of experience as a teacher, educator and facilitator. The last ten years he has coached people through important changes in their lives. www.martinrichards.se
Certified Co-Active Coach
Author of A Coaching Approach to Education, available on Amazon
Christian Worth, PCC-ICF, is a senior coach based in France who coaches clients via phone and VoIP from his village in the Pyrénées. He worked in Advertising for 30 years in 7 countries and 5 languages before turning to Coaching and joining ICF in 1998.