A tool to implement 21st-Century Constructs in Iowa: Coaching in the Classroom

Coaching in the Classroom

Implementing  21st Century Iowa Core Curriculum 

Coaching in the Classroom (CIC) is a passion-identifying, goal-setting, workplace and leadership development program best implemented with at-risk students. CIC guides students in creating direction in their life through passion, purpose, vision, and goals.  It also helps students create new businesses and/or transition into buying existing businesses someday in their communities.

Kim and Frank Spillers are weekly in-class coaches for about 80 7th-12th-grade students at Coon Rapids-Bayard High School (CR-B) and about 15 students at the Metro West Learning Academy, an alternative school for 6 Des Moines-area feeder high schools. Unofficially, CR-B has actually implemented the 21st-Century Constructs through CIC.

We ran year 1 of CIC in 2009-2010 at CR-B as a pilot with 7th-12th-graders. Two very encouraging results came that first year:

  • 34% of all the 7th & 8th-graders met or exceeded the grade goals they set for the Spring 2010 semester, plus,
  • 45% of the students on the “at-risk” list Fall 2009 were not on the list Fall 2010.

These results, plus the individual accomplishments of some of the  students, encouraged the CR-B administration and school board to bring us back for the 2010-11 school year, with results still being tabulated. We eagerly and gratefully return this fall for year 3.

CIC at CR-B works with all 7th-12th-graders, but concentrates on those identified “at-risk” by the Iowa Department of Education, as monitored by tardiness to school and classes, low grades on standardized tests, participation in extracurricular activities, and failing grades in 1 or more classes.

Elements taught through Coaching in the Classroom come from more than 23 years of economic development experience in rural areas. Our knowledge stems from being business owners who have hired workers and met payrolls, visiting with business owners, and working at local, state, and federal levels of community development.

Coaching in the Classroom and the Iowa Core Curriculum’s 21st-Century Universal Constructs

Below, you will find a list of the Fall 2010-11 semester topics we've discussed, presented, and around which have enjoyed activities in and out of the classroom.  Coaching in the Classroom includes all six constructs:

  • Critical thinking
  • Complex Communication
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Productivity and Accountability

A partial list of Coaching in the Classroom topics: 

  • Though students don’t always agree, they are told that every single adult in their school building wants them to succeed.
  • Kinesiology – how internal and external language affects you physically.
  • Identifying their passions – what they love to do, what future they can develop to live out their passions, and what goals they need to accomplish to get them there.
  • They discover their personality type to better know who they are, how to get along with others, and how to use this information to succeed in school and relationships.
  • Brain development and how our thoughts lead to actions.
  • 96% of our decisions are subconscious habits. That means only 4 percent of our decisions are made through our actual, conscious thought on any given day. This makes your positive subconscious critical to success.
  • C  + A = R. For every single circumstance in our lives, our Action gives us the Results. If we want a different outcome, we must change our response to an event. Positive responses bring positive outcomes. Our responses are choices that we make.
  • When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Dr. Wayne Dyer
  • The importance of being committed to learn every day of their lives. For them, learning is their job right now, and requires commitment for success in every single class.
  • The importance of legible handwriting and speaking – first impressions matter when you apply for a job of any type.
  • How visualizing a goal can help in your achievement of that goal.
  • Make your goals SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
  •  What makes you feel welcome, understood, comfortable, and appreciated? Do you do that for others in your life?
  • How they feel their communities feel about them; creating positive, supportive community.
  • THINK YOU CAN!
  • Encouragement to students to participate, and community leaders to allow / include students at input and decision making levels in town activities.
  • How it feels to many students to have to be the "adult" in their homes because the adults in their lives are not making safe or good choices.
  • Getting out of the “I’m a victim” mentality.
  • Be responsible for your actions.
  • What behaviors are sabotaging your progress? Reflection is hard and uncomfortable.
  • The importance of unity and teamwork to prepare for success and to be good workers.
  • To look on the labels they may have of being ADD/ADHD as strengths they can use and realize these labels won’t matter once out of school and in the workplace.
  • The importance of being punctual, dressed appropriately, when to use technology, how to talk to and with people, and always display respectful attitudes.
  • Recognize change takes time, determination, and may be painful.
  • Peer pressure to make good / poor decisions. “All of us are one poor decision away from ruining ,our life at any given day.”
  • Creative decision making, the steps needed, and who is included in decisions.
  • For what are students grateful? They have very long lists! When you are grateful for what you receive, you’ll likely receive more. Focus + Act = Receive.
  • Question and learn about life and why things happen! Be curious!
  • Be involved in your city, county, state, and national politics. Your voice makes a difference. (Continuous classroom encouragement and field trip to Iowa Capitol.)

We really thank you for taking the time to learn about Coaching in the Classroom. We’d love to visit with you about bring CIC to your school.

Take care and Be WUCA!!!