Student Life Coach – for Parents

In the last few years, as I approached a new decade, I realized that I was searching for more meaning in my career; as an educator. In recent years, I have supported students and their families to the best of my ability, surpassing the school learning specialist or consultant role. One day in 2021, I introduced myself as an “educational first responder,” which led me to the Coaching profession. 


As a Life Guard for the City of Santa Barbara, I was a real first responder at 18. As an adult attempting to teach over Zoom during the lockdown, I recalled the grueling physical and psychological drills we would do for our physical and psychological training. Today, I responded to personal and academic patterns of concern and more urgent cases where mental health is at the forefront for teens and their parents. With mental health symptoms increasingly playing a larger role in their young lives, there is no doubt that internal and external risk factors will overwhelm the student experience.


Students and parents were already “stressed” before these most recent years, and the word “success” became more confusing to educators regarding how to measure it and what it means. Many students face internal and external risk factors that impact their everyday living, management of emotions, and resilience to adversity, as in life, there will always be uncertainty. 


Of course, I was searching for answers despite my multiple degrees and special certificates in education. I could not have prepared myself for this role working with children and parents on the front lines. I was a Coach. I supported students, parent(s), and blended families and worked closely with caregivers and educational outside support teams. I was “on call,” operating on many levels to collaborate toward the common goal with a student-centered approach every time. 


But there was one problem. I was not a Coach. I was an Educator. I envisioned becoming a Coach but needed to be certified. I had a dream to Coach, but needed to build skills and engage with the Coaching Principles to support me as a Coach. Once I discovered the program, Academy for Coaching Excellence, and Founder, and Director, Dr. Maria Nemeth, more than a year ago, I was thrilled to embark on my new way of life and my career path as a Certified Professional Life Coach for students and adults across the lifespan. I was welcoming this opportunity to study and become a Coach, as it aligns with my values as an educator, learning specialist, and advocate for girls’ and women, and neurodiverse learners. 


“What does ontological coaching mean, Mom,” asked my 14-year-old daughter, with patience as she had been waiting for me to get off my Zoom class. Ontology is the study of nature in terms of our existence here on Earth. This is the heart of being human. Do you know how I always say that ‘everyone has their own path’ in life? In the study of ontology, we are all on our hero’s journey, a personal road to self-discovery. We must find what has meaning and what we are here to contribute. The ontological perspective focuses on truly who you are within all aspects of being human: language, emotions, and the body. This determines who you are and what sort of future you may create for yourself. 


As an Ontological Life Coach, the focus is on the following: 

  • Life’s intentions what is the purpose that gives our life meaning. 
  • Standards of Integrity are core values that anchor us deeply with importance.
  • Being willing is the capacity to say “yes” to everything on your hero’s path, no matter what doubts, fears, or anxiety one faces as humans manage what the Monkey Mind is saying. 
  • The generosity of spirit is the heart of spaciousness, compassion, and forgiveness. 


In Ontological Coaching, one becomes aware of themselves to listen and speak, what’s happening emotionally, and how your conclusions and thoughts manifest in physical reality. The components of your way of including how others perceive you and, more importantly, how you perceive yourself, your place in the world, and your potential to reach your point of mastery (e.g., goals). 


For students in middle school to young professionals learning about their career, ontological life coaching goes deeper than a goal-based strategy approach. It helps a person to shift unhelpful patterns, perceptions, and ingrained emotions at a deeper level within themselves. This transformation has the ability to allow you to observe new perspectives and possibilities. The ontological tools will enable you to become your best resource, allowing you to work toward personal, school, or career goals in any area of your life. A Student Life Coach resinates with me as I support the student’s pathway forward to learn specific strategies in identifying with the power to look, see, tell the truth and take authentic action towards the life you want to live. 


Every student that I have met has hope and dreams for the future that they want. 


Every student that I have met has shared with me their vision to a life that they dream for themselves as they pursue their educational choices, expand their interests, recognize their gifts, take risks, face heartbreak and life’s challenges that impact may our path. 


The presence of a Life Coach for the studnet journey is to empower the student experience with effective strategies to approach life the ontological way with a plan and purpose.  


The coaching supports the client on their journey that they are here to contribute, learn, and will reach their most desired goals and dreams by being willing to translate into authentic action. Coaching from an ontological perspective opens the realm of possibilities to live life without stopping yourself from reaching your wildest dreams with clarity, focus, ease, and grace. 


It is both straightforward and profound.


It’s the start of meaningful and sustainable change.


Coaching empowers the human spirit, by focusing on the ontological perspective.

1 Comment
  • Beth Ann Suggs
    Posted at 00:07h, 06 May Reply

    Thank you, Coach Cathie, for being so clear about what can become possible for the life we long to create.

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