When you join The Coach Certificate & Mentorship Program, you not only get a mentor for the academic year, but you also join a cohort of like-minded colleagues who are also working on improving their instructional coaching practice just like you. In each cohort, our participants are all located around the world, so you get to build your Personal Learning Network, while you learn about coaching practices in schools from all over the globe. Because those conversations happen in our private learning management system and messaging channels, we want to give you the opportunity to meet the coaches who are learning with us this academic year.

In this post we’re introducing our Coach 7 participants. These coaches are working with Kim and Maggie as their mentors and they meet and connect regularly to share stories and experiences and reflect on their learning.

Jen Friske

Hello everyone! My name is Jen. I am originally from Canada, where I lived on the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. While most of my life was spent living in the cold Canadian mountain climate, I now find myself on the other side of the earth, soaking up the hot, tropical climate of Phuket, Thailand where I work as the PYP Coordinator at United World College (UWC) Thailand. The outdoors has always played a significant role in my life and in my free time I enjoy hiking, running, traveling and volunteering. You can find me on Twitter, @JenFriske – though, I’ll be totally honest, my tweeting has fallen off the radar as I have been trying to make more of a concerted effort at reducing the amount of time I spend on a device and on Social Media and increasing the amount of time I invest in my in-person connections.

I decided to join The Coach after I heard Kim speak, and attended sessions with her at the EARCOS conference in Bangkok earlier this year. My role of PYP Coordinator innately has aspects of a coaching built into it, but I’ve always just approached it from a “wing it” style based on professional books I’ve read, and instinct. I’ve never actually engaged in formal coaching courses or training, and I’d love to engage in a more systematic approach and engage in current conversation around the topic as I try to develop and deepen our appreciation for coaching at our school as a valuable tool in staff development. My goal (personally) is to improve my own approach to coaching in order to further support and work in service of the amazing staff I spend every day with; my goal (on a larger scale) is to share with our senior leadership tangible evidence the impact coaching can have on staff development in order to advocate for a full-time coaching role to be added to our staff moving forward. I am very excited to work with a cohort of educators in order to learn their own successes and struggles in order to grow together. Sometimes middle leadership can leave you feeling a bit isolated and, so having a community of people to rely on, bounce ideas off of, absorb ideas, share experiences and frustrations with is always something I appreciate.

Lindy Hirt

My name is Lindy Hirt, I am originally from Vancouver Island, Canada, but have been living in Switzerland for over 17 years. I am working at the Inter-Community School of Zurich as a Grade Level Leader for Grade 11, IB Academic Coach and I also teach a course called Global Futures.

My love for coaching began many years ago and I completed a Master’s Degree in Life Coaching. I am fascinated by human potential and performance. However, it has been challenging to pursue a coaching career outside of my current job, which I also love. I have been able to coach peers and students at school over the years, but would love to further develop skill in the area of instructional coaching.

My goal is to develop a hybrid of life coaching and instructional coaching in order to help educators feel invigorated about their teaching and their lives outside of teaching. I believe that with the demands of teaching today, it is critical that teachers are taking care of themselves in all areas of their lives. I believe this has a massive impact on student learning.

As I was searching for programs, one of my colleagues, who has an incredible background in instructional coaching suggested this program.

When thinking about ‘The Coach’ and the year ahead, I am most excited about figuring out how to design a coaching model that considers the holistic teacher. I can’t wait to learn about and develop more skills that will help teachers excel in the classroom and impact learning, but I also want to consider the ‘well-being’ needs of teachers.

My greatest goal for myself in the year ahead is focus. I get constantly inspired and tend to take on many projects at once. That, combined with my current role in the school, takes me in many directions. I look forward to having only one major passion project this year: The Coach. I would like to dedicate this year to laying the groundwork, developing skills and determining exactly what I can offer schools as a coach.

Currently, my school does not have any official Instructional Coaching positions. Coaching is embedded into my Head of Year role and my work with Diploma students, but I’d like to explore how to bring a coaching model officially into my school.

Cora Yang

My name is Cora and I am a college-wide Learning technology coach based in Hong Kong. I have been developing resources around Virtual Reality and circuit design and have been in the field of technology education for more than six years. I’m from China, and being Chinese is a huge part of my identity, especially working in international schools. I enjoy exploring the city with my family and all that it has to offer. I am passionate about helping people to understand and utilize the power of technology, developing student agency, and promoting creativity via technology, and I’m excited to share my knowledge and experience with you!

I decided to join The Coach Microcredential to further my development as a coach and to gain a deeper understanding of the coaching process. I have been working as a technology coach for the past six years and have been developing resources around virtual reality and circuit design and more. I was inspired to join this program by my desire to provide a high-quality coaching experience for my colleagues and to be able to help them reach their goals. Over the next academic year, I am looking forward to learning from the experienced members of the #coachbetter community and furthering my knowledge of the coaching process. My main goal for this program is to become a confident and competent coach, building a systematic and sustainable coaching program in my school context. and I am confident that with the support of the community, I will be able to achieve this. Lastly, I am excited to be part of the #coachbetter community and to contribute to the development of coaching practices.

Josh Wood

Hi everyone! My name is Josh Wood and I’m originally from Mississauga, Ontario (just outside of Toronto). I’m currently located in Hong Kong and teach science at Hong Kong International School. My wife and I have only known teaching at international schools as we moved overseas right after college. We have taught in Vietnam, Korea and now HK. Outside of education, I love to be outside on the water windsurfing or paddling or on the trails. You can find me on Twitter here: @joshwoodg

Previous to my current role I served as a Design and Technology Integration Coach in Korea, but I’ll transition back into an Ed Tech coaching this August. I wanted to join The Coach to connect with a like-minded group of educators and build my coaching repertoire. My hope is to hit the ground running and this course sounds like the perfect foundation to have that happen. I’m looking forward to digging into the resources and content, but to also create artifacts that are meaningful and purposeful. It will be interesting to engage in the first half of The Coach prepping for the role, and then in August becoming fully immersed! As an educator I always strived to be intentional about the learning experiences for my students, and I want the same to be true about coaching. By developing my understanding of what it takes to create a sustainable coaching culture, I’ll have the confidence when it comes time to build!

Dalton Flanagan

My name is Dalton and I’m originally from the US, south of Boston. Over the past decade, I’ve been an educator in multiple roles, such as Primary Teacher, Technology Coach and Design Teacher. I am currently a Computer Science Teacher at Kellett School in Hong Kong. I’m also enjoy about coding, app development and I’m very interested in the latest developments in deep learning AI models. Feel free to tweet at me, @desertclimber. In my free time, I enjoy rock climbing and kayaking. In 2018, I moved to Hong Kong from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and now I’m living near

the beach with my wife and one-year-old daughter. My wife is a Technology Coach here in Hong Kong as well, and I find it very useful living with a part of my PLN.

I decided to join The Coach Microcredential to further my knowledge and understanding of coaching, and to develop my own coaching practice. I have been passionate about coaching since I first worked with a coach to improve my inquiry-based practices. In 2018, I became a secondary Technology Coach and Design Teacher and also took part in the Coaching Microcredential. It was a big transition for me and I was unable to finish all of the course work in the Coach Course. I am looking forward to learning along with everyone and completing all of the course work. I am particularly looking forward to the mentorship and guidance I will receive during the program, and I am hoping to develop a deeper understanding of the coaching process and how to effectively help my others to reach their goals. My goal for the program is to understand the coaching roles on a deeper level and to be able to provide an even higher level of assistance to colleagues. I am confident that with the support of the #coachbetter community, I will be able to reach these goals.

What’s YOUR level of coaching mastery?

All coaches go through various stages of coaching mastery. Once you identify where you’re at, you can begin to build the skills needed to move to the next stage.

This quiz is based on real-life case studies compiled from years of working with coaches inside The Coach Certificate & Mentorship Program!

When you receive your results, you’ll also get your matching case study from the STRIVE Case Studies to see where you fit in the stages of coaching mastery.

Ready to tackle your challenges and move on to the next level in YOUR coaching practice?

The STRIVE Model of Coaching Mastery quiz will help you identify your level of coaching mastery by matching you with case studies compiled from years of working with coaches inside The Coach Certificate & Mentorship Program so you can easily see where you fit!

Saadia Faisal

The need of instructional coaches at our educational milieus is critical to develop a strong collaborative learning community. The role of an instructional coach to me is quintessential in maintaining and enhancing the quality of teaching and learning through reflective practices. After experiencing the struggles of teachers and administrators at different schools, the idea of having an authentic structure to scaffold the teaching practices through evidence based learning strategies emerged in my mind. Being an experienced PYP educator, I have found myself mentoring, coaching, helping, supporting my colleagues in their teaching journeys at my school. I have been an active member of the inhouse professional development of my educational milieu and enjoy being a helpful resource to people around me. This practice has made me think of becoming an instructional coach as I move ahead in my career and take action by

becoming a game changer. As I started hunting for instructional coaching courses and certifications, three people on Facebook recommended The Coach as an effective course to take. I searched into this and found it wholesome and intriguing, so I wasted no time and emailed Kim. I got in!

In the next academic year, I am looking forward to taking ownership of the academic and social-emotional teaching and learning at a school and would like to be equipped with the most up-to-date, operational and recommended ways of building a supportive, open-minded and reflective learning community of teachers. I believe in one step at a time, therefore, at this point I would like to unlearn and relearn the dynamics of coaching by building relationships with my audience. I expect this course to unfold the most appropriate teaching and leading techniques that can support me in my learning journey. I would like to see examples of coaching to compare my expertise and improve my performance. I would also like to listen and hear from my peers who have prior experience of coaching to know ‘what not to do’ while collecting ideas for ‘what to do’ during coaching.

Stephanie Chisholm

Hi Everyone! My name is Stephanie Chisholm. I am originally from a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada. I have worked in the middle east for the past 13 years – 4 of those years at the American International School of Kuwait and the last 9 years at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi. I am currently taking a year off to be home with my 2 boys.Two under 2 is no joke! I am still involved in the school coaching basketball and volunteering for events. I teach MYP Science, NGSS and IB Biology. My twitter handle is @Stef_Chisholm

I decided to join The Coach because I am interested in Science coaching. After my maternity leave with my first son, I returned to do a six month role as K12 Science Specialist. Although I really enjoyed the work that I was doing, I did not feel prepared to fully support adult learners. I needed to spend more time developing my toolkitto help me feel confident in the work I was presenting. I returned to the classroom the following year but I missed working with teachers and starting looking for what type of training I could do to “level up” my skill set. I came across The Coach because I had completed COETAIL and was still connected to members of my cohort. My experience with COETAIL was extremely positive and changed how I used technology in my classroom.

My hope for this academic year is to learn the ins and outs of coaching and what a successful coaching program looks like in a school. I hope to develop my toolkit on how to navigate the work with teachers and supporting them in a way that is meaningful and ultimately impacts student learning. I am excited to learn along with this group and the diverse experience it brings!

Cathie MacLeod

Hello everyone! My name is Cathie MacLeod and I am really excited to be joining you on The Coach this year!  I am originally from the beautiful,  rugged Outer Hebrides of Scotland, although I am currently working at United World College (UWC), in Maastricht, the Netherlands.  I work as an English Language Acquisition teacher in the Primary school and this year I joined the whole school coaching team, which I am very excited, and a little nervous about!

I decided to join this course to ensure that I am the best me that I can be for my coachees. I value colleagues giving of their time to expand their professional practice, and it is important to me to provide the best coaching experience possible.  Coaching is new to me! In addition, a colleague participated in this course last year and she recommended it to me so it’s also great to have someone to bounce ideas off!

I hope that the experiences of this course will provide great stimuli for many valuable conversations with fellow coaches and leadership. I hope that the research and evidence gleaned through it will act as a catalyst on which to build a framework for a coaching system, in the longer term.

Tifani Edwards

My name is Tifani Edwards and I am originally from Tampa, Florida. I currently live in Oldsmar, FL (which might as well be Tampa) with my husband and 18 month old daughter. I work as an elementary technology/STEM teacher at a PK-8 Episcopal school. I attended Florida State University for my undergraduate and graduate degrees where I received a Bachelor’s in Communications and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Elementary Education.

I decided to join this program as I am looking to move into a role of coaching teachers as they integrate technology meaningfully into their curriculum.  I have enjoyed assisting teachers with the integration and implementation of technology in their classroom thus far, but have struggled due to little room in my schedule, lack of support from administration, culture of the school, little knowledge about coaching, and other factors. I

want to have the tools necessary to help teachers feel confident in implementing it as well vs. me just coming in and doing it for them. Technology is currently viewed as a siloed subject when it truly should be integrated throughout every subject.

David Perkin, our former tech director, made mention of this program and how well it worked at a previous school of his. He said it changed the culture in such a positive way as teachers were feeling more confident and technology was more seamlessly integrated into the regular classroom. My administration is not completely sold on the concept of Coaching yet or how we could even make it work, therefore I’m looking forward to connecting with others that may have been (or may currently be) in a similar situation. My goal is to determine how I can make Coaching make sense for our school by having the tools necessary to start the process of transitioning our school’s overall thinking on technology and have the knowledge to support teachers through somewhat foreign and daunting concepts. This program can be made “just right” for me by providing feedback and guidance on this potential transition for our school. I am eager to learn about how I can further my learning and better support my colleagues and school!

Sviatlana (Lana) Yashchyna

Hi, everyone! My name is Sviatlana (Lana) and I am an international educator with over 20 years of experience on two continents: Africa and Europe. I am originally from Belarus ( and that’s how we spell my name in Belarusian 🙂 – Sviatlana, Sviata for short, meaning celebration). I have started my overseas career as a volunteer in Uganda, the most beautiful country on the African continent, in my opinion, and ” a pearl of Africa” as Sir William Churchill described it. Twenty years in various schools on the African continent, meeting and learning from diverse communities, giving back to them and feeling absolutely filled, before the new challenges itch had taken over me. The solution came with a job offer from Anglo-American school of Moscow which I happily

accepted, even though I couldn’t have imagined that the new learning and experiences I had been looking forward to would have multiple other unexpected challenges ( COVID pandemic to start with, a geopolitical situation that followed it).
What brought me to The Coach? Without any doubt the inspiration of the coaches I had at AAS, their professionalism and support, the knowledge, skills and time they have shared so generously. Being their coach has supported me through the challenges of the past few years, taken my personal and professional growth to a new level, made me understand, and appreciate the art of coaching and see how coaching is the essential foundation element for building successful, achieving and happy communities of self-directed dedicated learners.
Through this course, I look forward to filling my coach’s toolbox with practical effective tools, instruments and functioning methodology; building my confidence as a coach and creating a successful coaching program in my school. I want to do my best to support my colleagues and work alongside the school management and leadership to create a positive learning environment for continuous lifelong learning for everyone in my school community.

Level Up Your Coaching with The Coach!

If you are ready to dive deep into your coaching practice, to help you #coachbetter and build a thriving coaching culture in your school, please join us for our next cohort of The Coach!

Wherever you are in building a coaching culture in your school, The Coach will give you the strategies, skills and tools you need to make coaching a success and will empower you to confidently apply instructional coaching strategies in any situation – from building a coaching program, to having coaching conversations, to being a leader in your school community. We facilitate only one cohort each academic year so we can offer individualized support for each participant.

Coaches of all levels are welcome: you’ll start the program with a self-assessment to determine exactly what the next steps are for you!