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.

Today we’re introducing our Premium cohorts. These coaches are working with Kim as their mentor, and they meet and connect as a cohort regularly to share stories, experiences and reflect on their learning. 

Karli Lomax

My name is Karli Lomax (she, her, hers). My Twitter handle is @Karli_Lomax.

I grew up in central Massachusetts and moved to Houston after college. I’ve been in education for 25 years and have taught overseas with my husband for the past thirteen years in Bangladesh, China, and now Brazil.

I am currently a Deeper Learning Coach at Graded, The American School of Sao Paulo. I decided to join The Coach because I feel like there is so much more I can learn about coaching and being coached myself will help me to see all sides of the coaching relationship. I also hope that it will help me to be more empathetic to my coachees.

This past year was my first in the role. I collaborated with four teachers during the last semester but I felt like my coaching was a lot like students teaching- many times I felt a bit lost and less confident than I’d like to be. As part of a coaching team, my colleagues and I were engaged in designing and creating an on-going professional learning program that included coaching cycles for the faculty at our school. We have done a lot of work implementing the principles of cognitive science to increase student learning. I hope my team and I are able to expand this approach and take a more culturally responsive stance that centers equity.

During the next academic year, I am most looking forward to working with my team to refine our PL program and improve my skills as a coach. My goals during The Coach course include “leveling up” my coaching skills, increasing my productivity (while maintaining balance) and hopefully making connections/learning from my fellow cohort members.

Paula Plaza-Ponte

Hello everyone! I am Paula Plaza-Ponte. I was born and raised in the Philippines, moved to Singapore in 2012 to work in UWCSEA and just moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania half a year ago with my husband and four year old during the height of the pandemic. I currently work at a private, independent Pre-K to 12 school (one of the oldest in Pittsburgh) as a Senior School English teacher and their GOA Site Director. My twitter handle is @paulaguinto and my IG handle is @paulagplazaponte

In a nutshell, I joined The Coach to build capacity, and learn from Kim and other coaches in a meaningful, powerful and sustained way.  Taking The Coach also means I would continue working with Kim (who I have been doing some intense private mentoring – she helped me with the move, through all my job interviews and surviving my first year teaching High School English in a very different environment with brand new people). It would also mean that I would have a strategic and organized way to go about my goals as a future instructional coach and have access to a playbook, resources, other voices, experiences and ways of doing and being. All good stuff. Thanks for encouraging me to join, Kim. 

Share a little bit about your coaching journey so far.

I feel really lucky because I think my desire to want to be a coach has been because I have been surrounded by pretty amazing coaches throughout my career. Whether it was through our literacy coach who taught us how to be our own coaches with our students — implementing TCRWP, setting goals, conferring and reflecting to our own Professional Learning, where we worked with our own mentors to develop and meet our goals, it permeated everything we did.  I learned a lot from all of them and have grown to want to do the work they do – which is to help teachers/learners meet their goals as they aim to have a positive and powerful impact on student learning. Cognitive Coaching also has had and continues to have a huge influence on me as a teacher and coach.

 What are you most looking forward to over the next academic year?

I am looking forward to building strong relationships and being sensitive to colleagues who might want to have coaching conversations.  This way I can practice my skills as a coach in a non-intimidating way as I get to know this new school going through a lot of quick changes.  

What are your goals for yourself during the program (at this point in time)?

I am really hoping to be part of a coaching village who is willing to connect, listen, learn and fail and learn some more together.

Katherine Van Den Hoek

Hi! My name is Kate Van Den Hoek. I’m originally from the USA (VA, RI, FL, AZ, OR, NM). I’m currently living and working in Luxembourg as a Digital Learning Coach. My Twitter handle is @katevdh.

I decided to join The Coach because it was highly recommended by my new colleague Tanya Irene. I was already interested in the program. I’ve taken cognitive coaching training and read several books on coaching. I feel this will give me more personalized focus and consistency with my colleague’s training as we start a new coaching program at our school. I think now is a good time to start this course because my new school is developing their coaching program. Also starting a new school is a great time to reflect on my coaching experience and challenge myself to improve my skills and understanding.

I started as a classroom teacher in USA, when I moved abroad I began as a computer teacher. I moved on to be a technology integration specialist moving from a lab into the classrooms. In my next post I became a Digital Learning Coach, and I have continued in this role.

Next year, I’m looking forward to not being new at the school, implementing the PYP framework, and kicking a new year off for the coaching program.

My goals for the program are to develop and practice coaching cycles with individual teachers and help shape the coaching program into the role and vision our team has articulated this year with our PD.

To make this program just right for me, I need flexibility and working smarter, not harder because I’m a mom with twin 3 year olds working full time.

Yariv Cohen

Shalom everyone. I’ve copied and pasted the questions here to ensure I don’t miss anything. It was great to learn about you and look forward to our collaboration while on this journey.

Originally from: Manhattan, NY, USA
Currently living & working: Hong Kong
Job Title: Ed Tech Coach

Why did you decide to join The Coach? Why now? Having explored several options, I was looking for one that would meet me where I am now, which is ready to apply all my learning while also receiving support along the way (from my new The Coach team – each of you!)

Share a little bit about your coaching journey so far. I’ve been a math instructional coach and had great success which has led me to become an ed-tech coach. I have yet to have any coaching cycles with teachers but I am ready to formally offer it to all staff and begin.

What or who inspired you to join this cohort? This was just the next step in my progression having been a math instructional coach, taken part in Cognitive Coaching (only the first 8 days), completed an MEd in STEAM and Leadership, and the Google Certified Coach. This will allow me to fully practice what I’ve learned and will continue to learn in The Coach.

What are you most looking forward to over the next academic year? Starting coaching cycles with teachers – learning about any challenges/goals, identifying strategies/tools to support them in meeting their goals, apply them in their classroom (I love being in the classroom!), reflect, and repeat if needed.

What are your goals for yourself during the program (at this point in time)? To begin coaching, actually taking the first step. I have already identified 3-4 teachers who would be a good fit – meaning, I feel confident they will benefit from coaching and are open to this type of collaboration. I also want this to help build a culture of coaching at my school.

How can we make this program “just right” for you? Support me in meeting my goals, mentoring me along the way. It may be that we actually go through several cycles ourselves (?) each time focusing on a different goal/strategy.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the #coachbetter community? I’m so excited to be with you all and happy to chat (I’m a chatter).

Becca Morgan

Hello! My name is Becca Morgan and I am a K-12 instructional coach in the Phoenixville Area School District, in Pennsylvania, USA. I was born and raised in a small town in the Philadelphia suburbs in Pennsylvania, USA. I still live outside of the Philly suburbs but just a few towns over.

I started my career in education working in the early childhood setting teaching pre-Kindergarten for a year and a half before landing my first contracted teaching position in the Phoenixville Area School District as a 1st grade teacher. My journey started as a co-teacher, I was the general education teacher in the classroom, and I partnered with learning support teachers, instructional aides, and our building reading specialist to support our students. I was co-taught for 4 years and then we moved into a new early learning center building where co-teaching was not continued. During this time I was in my master’s program for curriculum and instruction supervision, and had my first taste of instructional coaching. It was at that moment that I decided if I was ever going to leave the classroom, which I had never dreamed of doing, it would be to take on a coaching role.

Fast forward to 2020, I was not only teaching, but also one of our LMS trainers for my building, and the building’s technology coordinator. I spent most of the pandemic supporting teachers across our elementary schools in using various tech tools to engage their learners in our new virtual learning world. I had the amazing opportunity of working with Natalie and Ashley, the incredible coaches in our district (Ashley is currently in The Coach) to work through challenges and help me meet my own goals for my classroom. As soon as our district posted an opening for an instructional technology coaching role, I applied immediately. I had incredible advice to leave the classroom while I still loved it. This was also a win, win situation for me. If I got the coaching job I would be doing something I was passionate about, and if I didn’t, I was still going to be doing something I was passionate about, teaching my 1st graders.

Plans changed and while I was not interviewed for our tech coach position, I was excited when I was offered a role in the coaching department as a K-12 instructional coach. No matter what I would be supporting teachers with, I was eager to share my passion and help teachers rekindle theirs after a rough go this last year and a half through pandemic teaching.

I am currently 3 weeks into my new position, and while I feel like I am back in my first year teaching trying to find my way, I am loving getting to work with teachers and support them in their classrooms.

My instagram handle is @bmorgs6615.

Why did you decide to join The Coach? Why now?

I decided to join The Coach to grow my own capacity to support teachers within my district. Being brand new to coaching, but not to my district, this was an incredible way to be able to work with a mentor and help me to find a clear vision for my new role. I am also excited that I get to complete this role with one of the amazing K-12 instructional coaches on my team, Ashley.

What are you most looking forward to over the next academic year?

Over this academic year, I am looking forward to helping teachers reach their goals as they are trying to find their new “normal” in the classroom, and help them to rekindle the passion for teaching that has dimmed during the challenges of the last year and a half.

What are your goals for yourself during the program (at this point in time)?

My goals for myself during this program are to challenge myself to grow within my role as an instructional coach so that I am not only comfortable supporting my fellow elementary teachers, but also developing partnerships and skills to work with teachers in the secondary level.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the #coachbetter community?

I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work and learn alongside an amazing cohort of other coaches!

Ashley Martin

Hello! My name is Ashley Martin. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, USA. I worked as a classroom teacher in grades 1, 3, and 5, in a district about one hour from my home before moving back to my hometown for a K-12 instructional coach position. I guess you could say I’m a homebody. I love that I am working in the same district that my children attend. I have 3 boys ages 8, 6, and 2. My twitter handle is @ashleymartin03 and my Instagram is @essentially.ashley356.

My coaching partner and I were excited to join The Coach when we learned about the opportunity. I was a building coach in the school that I taught in for one year before taking this role as a K-12 coach in a district that didn’t have a coaching program. I felt like things were starting to get off the ground, and then the pandemic hit. This spring has felt a bit like starting back at square one and we are working towards solidifying our vision and mission for the program. I have completed trainings with Jim Knight, worked with local coaches through the IU, and am currently working with Allie Rodman in order to bring better professional learning to our staff and setting goals for the next school year.

I am looking forward to continuing this work with the help of The Coach, Kim as my mentor, and the support of others in the program. Working towards creating a culture of coaching at our district as well as building capacity in the program is something I am working towards. A goal of mine is to enroll more teachers in true coaching cycles because I know the extreme value these cycles can have. Some of this work involves pushing myself outside my comfort zone and I know that the support from this program is going to be what I need to do that work.

I’m looking forward to starting the next school year with a fresh vision and plan in place and learning alongside all of you!

Ian Craig

Hello, my name is Ian Craig and I hail from the mountainous region of northern NY in the USA. My current professional explorations find me in the role of Technology Coach at the MS/HS level within the Anglo American School of Moscow. I can be found at random moments on Twitter @ianGcraig

I have joined this program as I believe one can never stop growing in this field. After a decade of working in international schools throughout Asia and the Middle East as a Tech Director, Integrator, and Coach, my family and I repatriated to the US for the past two academic years where I spent time as an Instructional and Enterprise Technologist at the collegiate level. Now that we have returned to the global K-12 realm it seems fitting to connect with a group of amazing educators who are thinking critically around instructional coaching in schools.

I very much look forward to interacting with everyone in this program. I am eager to discover how schools are embracing or even not yet considering how coaching might play a meaningful role in the design of our students’ academic experiences. My current personal goal while a member of this program is to challenge my existing mindset around coaching. In particular I am keen to explore the factors leading to either embracing or dismissing the value of these concepts in schools among the thousands of pressures that we all face on a daily basis.

Sharon Brown

Sveiki! (Latvian for big hello!) Sharon Brown finally joining the party!  Wow! We have sure been through a roller coaster ride of almost 18 months! Just over ten years ago, I decided to venture out into international teaching from Montreal, Canada. In fact, I still recall the conversation I had with our very own Kim about what it would take to make the leap. I have now taught on four different continents as well as been involved with a couple of consulting gigs with some cool ed-tech start-ups. Like a few of you, I made the move to a new school this year and am now at the International School of Latvia. Although my title is Ed Tech Coach, I was quickly thrown into a role that more involves making sure the backend of (some very outdated and clunky) systems are working well rather than the coaching role I would so very much like to have. Our school has been mostly in VLE this year due to the pandemic, so it has been extremely challenging to create positive relationships with the teachers – so fundamental in coaching – let alone introducing coaching in this context. Also, looking on the bright side of things, some of my moaning about the systems (or I guess we could call it “advocacy for improvement”) has resulted in a new school website and student information system, as well as some other solid platforms.

Also like a few of you, I have had the privilege of training in cognitive coaching – even up to  the advanced level with the remarkable Bill and Ochan Powell. I left a school a few years ago that had well invested in the development of a coaching culture but now am feeling like my skills are quite rusty, so I know this course will certainly provoke, stimulate, and challenge me as well as hold me to accountability as I take on this huge initiative of introducing the idea of a “coaching culture” to the school. I am very very fortunate to be coming in at the same time as a new director who has been incredibly supportive. Our school has no formal Technology Programme or Plan so is a ripe and fertile ground for innovative change. I am also really stoked to have identified a dozen or more teachers (also with a wide range of international teaching experiences) who are eager to join me on a team to develop our school’s technology plan. Our first meeting is next week, and due to our successful vaccination program and a gradual re-opening, it will actually be a face-to-face in-person meeting! Woot woot!

I am delighted to be embarking on this journey with so many of you who are also just at the starting gate with their own schools. Nice to meet all of you!

Mairin Raisdana

My name is Mairin Raisdana, and I am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the U.S. I’ve been teaching internationally for 17 years, and this is my tenth year living and working in Singapore at UWCSEA East. For the past 9 years, I was working as a HS Lang B teacher but this year I have moved into the MS as the G6-8 EAL teacher. My Twitter handle is @mairinraisdana and my Instagram handle is @mrs.raisdana.

My new job is a support role and requires me to work with staff in order to help identify the ways in which I can support the students in their subject classes. This is the opposite of my HS role, which was curricular and tied to an external IGCSE exam. The EAL programme is not ideal, and we are looking at ways in which we might be able to change it to be more ideal for students and teachers. I feel like developing a coaching relationship with both staff and students will help drive these conversations, as well as conversations with school leadership about the programme model.

At the moment, I am working on identifying the teachers with whom I will be collaborating and building relationships. I am relatively new to coaching conversations but would like to broaden my skills knowledge in order to have more efficient and effective collaborative meetings so as to not feel like I am burdening teachers or wasting their time. I know several people who have done this Eduro course and have very positive feedback, so that is what inspired me to sign up.

This year I am looking forward to developing and cultivating professional relationships with my teaching team and feeling that I am effective in supporting them. I’m excited about moving into a new role, but I know that I have several areas for growth that will be challenging but rewarding. The idea of having a mentor is very appealing and I am looking forward to those conversations. I am also looking forward to working with a cohort and learning from each other.

Join the Next Global Cohort of The Coach!

If this is the kind of community you would like to learn within, join us for the next global cohort of The Coach Certificate & Mentorship Program! The Coach is our academic, year-long online certification and mentorship program designed to by coaches for coaches.

The Coach will empower you to confidently apply instructional coaching strategies in any situation – from building a coaching program, to being a leader in your school community. Featuring 40 topics essential to successful instructional coaching, The Coach will give you the strategies, skills and tools you need to personalize support for each teacher you work with at your school.

The Coach is for all educators who want to have better coaching conversations, from teachers, to coaches, to leaders – the customized learning environment inside our global cohorts means that your experience will be personalized just for your needs! 

Find out more: https://edurolearning.com/coach