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 8 participants who are working with Kim Cofino as their mentor. They meet and connect regularly to share stories and experiences and reflect on their learning.

Ruth O’Connell

Hello, I’m Ruth (She/her/hers), the Academic Leader for the Lower School PE team at The International School of Luxembourg. You can find me on Twitter as @RuthOConnell2 and on Instagram as fahyoconnell. I recently completed a Positive Peer Coaching course and I’m eager to further my coaching skills within an international

educational context. Several ISL staff members have praised this course, and I’m excited to be part of a community that values reflection, support, and autonomy for coachees. 

My VIA profile highlights strengths like Love of Learning, Teamwork, Spirituality, Gratitude, and Social Intelligence. My strengths profile includes Legacy, Unconditionality, Action, Pride, and Strategic Awareness. Outside of my professional life, I’m a mother of two young children and have been teaching internationally for over 15 years, with experience in Cairo, Phnom Penh, Dar es Salaam, and now Luxembourg.

Isidro Legara

Hello everyone! My name is Isidro. I am from the Philippines  🇵🇭, but currently living in Morocco 🇲🇦. I am currently working at an American School in Casablanca. I am a K12 Instructional Coach for Science, Mathematics, Design, Arts, Physical Education, and Health. Prior to my Instructional Coaching,  I was a science teacher, and STEAM Club Coordinator for 10 years in the Philippines and the United States. 

This is my first year as an Instructional Coach! We have another coach in our school who is very helpful and is helping me transition to coaching. I am currently doing a coaching cycle with my first batch of educators. 

Our school administrator recommended this professional development opportunity. I am looking forward to connecting with fellow coaches and cohort mentors.

My goal is to develop organic coaching skills that are essential as I begin my coaching journey.

I am passionate about technology integration in the classroom, and I am happy to help with edtech-integration matters.

I look forward to working with all of you on this professional development journey!

Gwen Bere

Hello everyone! My name is Gwen Bere, and I’m an instructional coach at George Washington Academy in Casablanca, Morocco. While I’m originally from a small town in Michigan, I have lived in Morocco since 2010 and consider it home in many ways. 

After teaching a variety of subjects in 5th-10th grades for ten years in the U.S. and Morocco, I became an instructional coach in 2017 without any guidance as to what that meant. By researching on my own and taking courses, I’ve grown so much as I developed my own vision of what it means to be a coach and created systems to support that here. After feeling isolated for a few years as the only coach at my school, I’m excited to have a teammate and also join The Coach to continue growing with a community who can push me in reflection and accountability.

Tim Benford

Hey team.  It is a great privilege to learn with you on this course.  Just a few facts about my identity:

-I am currently teaching in the Philippines at the International School Manila and have been doing so for the past 13 years.

-I’ve taught from Grade 6 up to Grade 9, but my heart is working with MS students.

-I teach Grade 6 SS and English, and I am currently the head of SS for MS. 

-I grew up in Akron, Ohio (the home of Lebron James), but call Phoenix, Arizona, home (where I went to university and started my family).

-I am an able-bodied, CIS-gender, half-black American and half-white American male who is married to a half-French and half-Vietnamese

woman. We have two wonderful children: a boy (Easton), who is 17 and a junior at ISM, and a 20-year-old daughter who is graduating this year from McGill University in Montreal. 

As far as coaching is concerned, I’ve had no experience other than reading books on the topic. Our school does not currently have the role of a coach. 

I decided to join The Coach because I am looking to better myself as a leader in regards to doing classroom observations. I want to be of value to the people I lead by helping them accomplish their goals in the classroom. 

I was inspired when Kim gave a quick blurb about coaching at an EARCOS workshop at the beginning of the school year. Her words resonated with me in regards to the role of a coach and how it benefits not only the coach but the people they lead as well. 

My hopes for this program are to gain as much knowledge as possible about what it means to be an effective coach and receive feedback on the strategies I implement throughout the week. 

If there is one skill that I have developed over the years, it is my emotional intelligence. One of my core values is ‘belonging’, and in order to build this, I have spent a considerable amount of time developing myself in this area.

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!

Melissa Carr

Hi, everyone! My name is Melissa (she/her) and I’m originally from Boston, MA in the USA. I’ve been living and teaching in Japan for the past 15 years, and am teaching at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo. At St. Mary’s, I taught kindergarten for 5 years and am currently teaching grade 1. I am also the Language Arts Learning Coordinator. I am very

new to coaching, and very curious. I’ve decided to join the Coach with the support of my school because we are interested in implementing a coaching program and want to know more. We really want to know how to set up a system that will be sustainable. My previous administrator, Cushla Jones, inspired me to join this course. Over the past few years at my school, due to Covid, teachers started collaborating less and less, so this year I’m really looking forward to connecting to more of my colleagues to build collaborative relationships. In this program, I really hope to gain understanding of a foundation for a sustainable coaching program that I can bring back to my school. I want to learn how to build a culture for coaching, and how to make my message clear. I think I’m the kind of teacher/colleague who may not have all of the answers at first, but I’m someone who is willing to work hard to figure something out to support my colleagues. I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone!

Greg Stewart

Hello everyone! I’m Greg (he/him) and I’m originally from the Bay Area in California, though Toronto is also “home” for me due to my Canadian roots. I am a Learning Coach at the American School of Warsaw in Poland. Prior to my current

role, I was an Elementary Technology Coach for 2 years and a PYP homeroom teacher for 11 years in Serbia, China, and Sweden. 

As my colleagues have mentioned, we’re embarking on a new journey as coaches at our school with a new coaching model, so I’m looking forward to connecting with both our mentors and peers in the cohort to find out what systems and structures others have found successful. My goals at this point in time are to expand my range of coaching skills to match the shift in role description and to build our collective understanding of the new model. I’m happy to help others with tech-related things, and I’m also able to break bigger problems down into manageable steps. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you this year!

Sara Rainey

Hi everyone! My name is Sara (she/her) and I’m from the U.S. (Connecticut, about an hour outside of NYC, although I more “grew up” in Virginia). I currently am in my 5th year at the American School of Warsaw in Poland. Previously, I was in Beijing for 5 years. After 9 years teaching 3rd and 5th grade, I am in my first year as a coach! As Reyna and Kira have mentioned, we have an amazing team of 7 pre-K-G12 Learning Coaches

and are in the midst of a shifting of the coaching roles, job descriptions, and culture at our school. Thus, a perfect time for us to engage in this course all together! You can find me on Instagram @sara_rainey (for photos of my dog and travel), or on Twitter (X?!) @saraerainey. As we go through this course, I am looking forward to gaining clarity about my own strengths and areas for growth as a coach, as well as where I can best direct my efforts to have maximum impact on student learning. I am also looking forward to building resources we can use at our school to clearly communicate our roles and capabilities for supporting teachers – I think this will be a big step forward in building our coaching culture. One asset I have is that I have a lot of established relationships already at ASW, and am very connected to the daily realities of the classroom. I also am a very action-oriented person; I’m a doer (for better or for worse!) so I’m always excited and ready to jump in and prototype new ideas. I’m looking forward to this journey together!

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!