Executive Function Coaching in the High School setting

Last week, NPR affiliate KPLU reported on the impact of the Edge Foundation Pacific Northwest Schools Project at Tacoma’s Giaudrone Middle School. We heard from 8th grader Katie Beckman, whose life has been transformed by working with her coach: “I for once know that I’m not dumb, I know what I’m doing,” she says. “I know I can do this. Bring it on.”

The innovative pilot program is also in its second year at Big Picture School in Burien. Troy Berry is a Junior this year and in his second year of receiving coaching. Project Coordinator, Tim Kniffin, recently sat down with Troy to ask him about his coaching experience. Here are some excerpts from that interview.

Tim:

Since you started working with an Edge coach, have you noticed any changes in how you identify or work towards your academic goals?

Troy:

Yes, [I] focus in on smaller tasks throughout the week.  Instead of thinking “oh, I have to get ALL of this done”, it helps me focus on smaller parts of a big project.

 

Tim:

How has coaching impacted your use of time?

Troy:

Having coaching in the morning gives me time to talk about what needs to get done and then follow through with it.

 

Tim:

“Self-talk” is when you hear your own voice or someone else’s when you’re thinking about what you have to do.  Has coaching changed anything about your self-talk?

Troy:

The repetition of going over what needs to be done, being said out loud, helps out.  My teacher gives me tasks, but then to have someone ask me about it later makes it stick.

 

Tim:

If another student asked you to describe what you liked best about working with an Edge coach, what would you say?

Troy:

It helps you focus in on the work that you should be doing, compared to pointless tasks.  Anyone can just do “pointless task”; this helps me understand what’s most important.

 

Tim:

If I were to ask someone who knows you very well and interacts with you a lot if coaching has changed anything about you, what would they say?

Troy:

That I’m more task-efficient.  [I’m] More focused on what needs to be done.

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