week 3 coaching course

This post is an update to our Fall Coaching course, “What Could I Do With My Life.”

Just wanted to let you know that I just posted our third week of activities for our coaching course, “What Could I Do With My Life.” Here’s the link to the page: https://thedreamdean.com/life-design-program/hhs125-design-your-life-i-what-could-i-do-with-my-life/.

Last week (Week 2), we had the students start the storytelling process by creating I Am Statements, statements that told the state of their lives right now. We also had them construct ONE statement (after watching Brene Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability” Ted Talk) that identified how they planned to live their lives from a place of vulnerability, power, grace, and compassion. I have compiled the results from many of the classes, which you can find here: https://thedreamdean.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/58e1e-92fa6-i-am-statement-results-8-21-18.pdf. (Note: Activity was revised during middle of week to reflect mission of activity better.)

During the first week (Week 1), we had student rate their life at the present moment and set an intention for the semester.  We’ve compiled most of the responses to our initial coaching assessment, where the students were asked to: (1) provide a number to assess the state of life at the present moment, (2) provide one word that describes the state of your life right now, and (3) to complete the following sentence: “By the end of the semester, I want to…” We used this as an way for the students to set an intention for the semester. Most results were either focused on becoming a better person or choosing the right major/career. Several also focused on getting good grades. You can see some the results here: https://thedreamdean.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/9f312-66e0b-introduction-results-8-16-18.pdf. It’s our hope to have them reflect using the same scale at the end of the semester to see if their sense of their life has changed by the end of the semester.

This week (Week 3), we’re focused on preparing them for their first Project – the My Life Story Poster and Presentation. During class, they’re introduced to the topic of writing their story, first with us sharing a short video by the Philosopher Brian Johnson on writing a victim vs. hero story, then I share with them my quick story, using my college transcript as the theme. (Note: I was a TERRIBLE student, but still found a way to graduate!) After 10 minutes of sharing my story, they get 10 minutes to share their story, where they identify a challenge that they were able to overcome, plus the lesson learned or how it changed them. Once they complete their story, they have 1 1/2 minutes to share their story with a partner. Needless to say, after watching the Brene Brown video, most found it easy to share a personal story with another classmate. I had a chance to overhear some of the stories…and many would truly break your heart! But most shared that the challenges made them stronger in the end. The videos and activity are listed on the web site under Week 3.

The last 10 minutes of class is to prep them for their My Life Story Posters. We provide them everything (including poster paper) to create their posters; we also created a My Life Story Worksheet that they can use to take notes and identify the 25 items that they need to construct their poster. Again, showing our vulnerability, one of my instructors (Megan) and myself completed our own worksheets and shared them with the students – the good and the bad. (Note: I’ll usually have a couple of students thank me for sharing my story because they feel that they have an ally who’ll understand them when things go bad.) The other pieces to their poster include their final I Am Statement and a Six-Word Memoir (instructions on web site). They also have to present their poster, based on four questions – and they have between 1 and 1 1/2 minutes to share their poster.  (Note: Now you can understand why I had them share a for only 1 1/2 minutes – to prep them for their poster presentation).

For next week (Week 4), I’ll post a few poster examples on the web site so you can see the type of work they created and shared.

All in all, I am so glad that we decided to change the class and have the coaching work done in class (life work) vs. as homework. They get a chance to share and connect with their fellow students and I get to hear some very powerful stories – stories that have shaped them to who they are today. We (the four instructors) are excited to see what the posters will look like next week; regardless, we believe that these first three weeks have been a valuable learning experiences for the students and the instructors!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments at whjohnso@uncg.edu.


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