Curtis Brock | Los Angeles, CA
As a single father with a young son, Curtis became a teacher in order to do work that mattered and still have the time to parent the way he wanted. Yes, teaching had been a bit of an after thought - but not for long. He soon took teacher leader roles in the use of technology, student leadership, musical performance, providing students with learning experiences away from campus, and especially the affective development and skills of students in the activity of class meetings.
Curtis completed a Masters of Education at UC Berkeley in order to take on the leadership role of principal, but after a few years he realized that too much of his time had little to do with what was best for students. He missed working with students - especially with teaching effective skills and learning about learning. While attending a Life Coach training he immediately saw the potential for using strategies similar to those used with business executives in working directly with students.
Thoughts About Academic Life Coaching for Students
This program is so powerful as it supports both taking small incremental steps to improvements - and thus providing a sense of “I can do this” - but also for a radical and complete shift in perspective. The need for one-to-one time for students has never been more extreme. California already had the worst adult to student ratios of any school systems in the country, but the last few years have drained schools even more completely, true at both the High School and University levels. The key to success is now truly up to each student - and they all can succeed with a handful for specific skills and self knowledge.
Favorite Academic Life Coaching Concepts
- Recipe for Academic Success. I love that there are just three relatively simple ingredients and the trick is just to use all three. It really is this simple, although not necessarily easy to do. Use all three and you will see the difference almost immediately. Most students, even those already with great grades, are only using one or two of these and by intentionally using all three in a systematic way students leverage success with much less stress.
- Core Motivation. I didn’t discover this tool until well into my career as a teacher. I always knew that some days were better than others, but I just didn’t have a good handle on what it was about and certainly didn’t have any clarity about how to get out of the funk and back into my groove - until I understood my Core Motivation. With this concept in hand students are able to name and understand their Core Motivation and thus recognize when they are out of sorts and what strategies they might use to get back on track much quicker than if they just left it to chance.
- Well-Designed Actions. If goals are where you want to go, well designed actions are how you’re going to get there. Goals are often easy to say - I want better grades - but they don’t provide much direction or how to. Well designed actions provide a doable plan, completely under the control of the student, and always about what positive action is needed. Mastering this concept can empower students for a life time.
Fun Facts About Curtis
- I love my bicycle as much now as when I was five
- I’m working to use the library more than the book store
- I’ll try almost anything once - and then I know better
- After a lifetime of being the music nerd, I ran a couple half-marathons (does that make it one marathon?)