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Wellness Matters 26.06.2021

Be Specific

New Rhythms


Last week I spoke about rites of passage and closure and the need for both at key transition points in our lives. The pandemic has also thrown up a need to establish new rhythms, so that we can accommodate the externally imposed restrictions needed because of the coronavirus outbreak.


After my recent holiday I looked forward to being back home, working in my office and allowing the rhythm which I established 8 months ago, to provide the headspace I need for creativity.


I have participated in 2 EMCC professional learning opportunities this week: a previously recorded seminar from late May - How to Grow Your Coaching Business and a workshop, Making it Work as a Coach.


The message that both EMCC presenters imparted resonated with me: be specific about what you are selling, and to whom.

I am aware that I have a tendency to skip on detail and avoid being specific in my intentions and with my words. However, since completing the proofreading and copyright course last December, it has become 2nd nature to thoroughly check that not only does my content make sense, but that it flows. It is a skill and it requires that I follow my own rhythm for writing.

For me that entails getting everything that is on my mind out onto the paper regardless of spelling, grammar and language because it will be edited.

I read the draft copy aloud several times to ensure that the flow is there, and sometimes I send a copy to myself because seeing it in a different format throws up anomalies, typos and clunky sentences.

The recent OECD report on the Curriculum for Excellence has revealed that there are a number of areas for development. For me an opportunity has been missed to embed skills for life: analysing, interpreting, planning, editing and openly discussing areas for improvement. Because of an antiquated exam system, which relies heavily on rote learning, the development of creativity and fundamental skills is sadly lacking.


Can we just blame the SQA though? Initial teacher education does not adequately cover approaches needed to work with young people from diverse backgrounds including with additional support needs. During my time at Leith Academy, we had a visit from a charity worker who was promoting awareness of the desperate plight of street children in India. Her presentation was poignant, motivating and on task and pupils were encouraged to create a poster, write a poem or organise a fundraiser. One of the teachers present asked: can’t you just give us the lesson plans?

I was initially aghast at this but upon reflection, I realised that inadequate teacher training had created a passive culture, perpetuated by an authoritarian education system.


After the OECD report there will be another round of discussion and proposals, but I hope that this time engagement will involve a systematic and research based approach.


My heart and soul remain aligned with education: it is why I was drawn to teaching in the first place but also why I left, in order to find my voice.

There is a groundswell of teachers and educators who are #10%Braver; a network of excellent practitioners who need to be the power behind change. They are the positive disruptors - the ones who can instigate change from the chalk face and they are the ones who will be collapsing with utter exhaustion this weekend, having given everything they have.


Let’s be specific about the change we want to see in all aspects of our lives. Let’s have a coaching conversation where you can clarify your aims and I can assist you to achieve them.




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