My Edge coach really asks me questions that I wouldn’t ask myself. When I get out of my coaching, I think better about what I need to do. When I have to do things, she picks them apart and gets me to think about them in smaller pieces. I feel like I have a better plan when I meet with her.
I like digesting knowledge with my Edge coach Pete. Pete really pushes me- and not in a bad way. He makes me think things through and asks me good questions. If I wasn’t meeting with him, I wouldn’t be able to think through what I need to do.
Ceilia, a high school sophomore, had been very difficult to get to the last few coaching sessions. Although initially enthusiastic, Ceilia had become increasingly resistant towards attending.
“I don’t need these sessions,” she said, “I’m doing fine on my own”. She said this despite considerable evidence to the contrary: her teachers had shown me her productivity in the class was quite lacking, and her ability to concentrate on a single task or follow through on things she’d already committed to were very, very low. Like many of our coaching students during their first few sessions, they really needed coaching but didn’t realize it yet!
As I had done the last few sessions, I got Ceilia to promise “just to show up for this time,” and we could talk about it later if she was still unsatisfied. I was starting to wonder if this was going to work out. If Ceilia didn’t connect with her coaching sessions soon, I couldn’t keep dragging her to her sessions. But she did go.
And, to my delight, the session really made a very positive impression on her. Without my prompting, she told me, “These sessions are really helpful to me- it’s just that I forget that a lot. The sessions help me think through what I need to do to get things done. I need these coaching sessions,” she said with partsheepishness and part gratefulness
“Hector, I see you all around campus- I see you in several different classrooms, I see you out in the quad, and I see you playing basketball in the gym. Where I never see you is at your desk, doing your work. Can you help me understand that?” Hector’s teacher was a little frustrated. This wasn’t the first “No, I just need to try harder to do my work,” he replied. It was the “try harder” part that caught my attention. Students with ADHD often think that the problem is a lack of effort or discipline. They think everyone around them has vastly superior levels of self-control, and that they just need to “try harder” to get themselves to do more regular work. What they don’t realize is that their brain is wired differently, and that they have a lot of extra energy. While effort is always necessary, a lot of times what students with ADHD need is better strategies- smart ways of dealing with difficulties.
That’s why I was glad Hector, a high school sophomore, decided to join our Coaching Program. I talked to Hector about being smart about what he needed to get done. First, I had him list three specific goals he wanted to get done by the end of the week. I made sure they were specificchapters read, people talked to, etc. Then, we looked at his schedule for the week and found 3 different blocks of time in which he could get those things done. Then I texted him a few times during the week- “How is the reading coming along, Hector?” He would tell me about his progress.
By the time I saw him the next week, he had two of his goals completed and the third he had a good start on. We didn’t get everything done, but we got a lot more done than we would have without coaching. With progress like this, week by week, I’m confident Hector can make significant gains in his schoolwork.
The thing is, Hector is still very social and energetic. He still talks to everyone on campus, and participates in multiple athletic activities during the day. But with a clear idea of specific things he needs to get done, he can also focus his attention on making progress towards his goals.
I really get along well with my Edge coach Pete. He gets me to use my calendar and see where
there is overlap. I like learning how to use a planner and schedule what I need to do.
I have put coaching into everyday life. I’m more structured and organized. For example, I organize my internship better and my schoolwork is done quicker. It’s helped me a lot in practicing for the SAT, too. It has given me a way of fitting the important things in where they need to be. I see small things in light of my bigger schedule.
Coaching has helped my self-talk has become more positive. Even when I’m rapping, I know I’m not going to get everything on the first try. I notice when I get down on myself or compare myself to others
Coaching helps me 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.
My Edge coach has really been a consistent help. She gets me to think through what kind of things I need to get done during the week, and then checks up on me to see how things have progressed. I find that my thinking is a lot clearer when I’ve met with her… and I also get more stuff done.
My Edge coach has me making lists for weekly work and accomplishment really helped me focus on what I needed to do. It made my exhibitions much better. When I break down what I need to do each week, it makes it easier to think about each task and get it done quicker.
My Edge coach and I had a talk about my personal life and really being truthful about what it came down to. We got personal and it makes me feel like I had support from my coach. I really enjoyed making the ‘wheel of priorities’ as well because it really let me see where I was at right now. It gave me this push to start improving. I loved seeing how my priorities all fell together, so while I was improving on one priority; it makes all the other priorities better too. I loved the support and direction coaching gives me.
We had a long talk about… whether I was scared to succeed… whether people I’m around and who graduate don’t do anything afterwards… that’s what she said, ‘If you’re scared to fail, you’re scared to succeed… are you afraid/nervous? We really talked about what I was going through. That really connected with me.
The other thing was the wheel and the priorities. I made a goal for each one. I wrote down goals for each one. Jaymi didn’t give me answers. She made me ask questions. She made me get my own answers.
Coaching taught me that you have to take ownership of your work. I couldn’t just tell my Edge coach that I didn’t get something done. She would then ask me, “why didn’t you get it done?” and then I would have to think about the ways that I think about myself. She told me that I’m well-equipped to get the things done that I need to get done. But it’s the personal qualities- time management, caring about me, that allowed me to get done what I needed to get done. She taught me that personal qualities are things I can build and develop about myself.
My Edge coach really helped me figure out my priorities. Each week, we make lists of tasks and named the positives and negatives of each task. That helped me figure out what was important to me. I love coaching!
What I remember from coaching is my coach helping me organize my academic schedule, before I took coaching I was very disorganized and had no motivation but my coach helped me gain confidence and helped me to become a better student who works harder and more focused than I did before.