VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING COACHING
Effective learning solutions for the modern day student
The Game Has Changed
Although it’s difficult to accept, the current pandemic has changed our lives in ways we could have never imagined. As a parent, you are now expected to be your child’s teacher amongst the various hats you already wear, including working from home for many of us.
There has been a dramatic shift in the educational landscape, as well as a rush of anxiety and depressive feelings, and we must help our kids adapt. Distance learning has left millions of students on their own to manage their entire academic worlds, and everyone is scrambling to figure out how to handle this new reality. Students with learning differences, ADHD/attention disorders, and executive functioning challenges are the most affected, as they are expected to navigate Zoom session schedules, inconsistent teaching modalities, various websites, blogs, Flipgrids, portals, deadlines, and sometimes an overwhelming number of resources and responsibilities.
Academic management is now COMPLETELY in the hands of the learner and his or her parents. Maintaining a positive relationship with your children is paramount, and we can help take the load off of parents and facilitate systems that will pay off extensively for families.
Why Executive Functioning Coaching?
The student-parent battle has always been prevalent when a parent is managing the
student’s education, but deep-seated issues are amplified now that many parents are
expected to be their students’ teachers.
Executive Functioning Coaching is a mash-up of targeted executive functioning support, tutoring, the teaching of study skills, and helping a student manage his or her education. A new structure must be built to accommodate each child, and it looks different than the structure of the usual school year. Each student can benefit from learning how to organize themselves, manage their tasks, chunk assignments into manageable parts, and initiate daunting work.
There are so many implicit skills needed to succeed with this new format, and without them being explicitly taught in the context of our current lives, many kids are struggling (as are their parents). Now, more than ever, this is a crucial provision for students, as they are essentially on their own for a third of their school year.
Learning loss is real, and it has long-reaching negative effects when not addressed in a timely manner. Even though we can hope that teachers will meet students where they are when they go back into the traditional classroom environment, the reality is that standards must be met, and that students will be coming into the next school year with various levels of skill. Students who are receiving individualized support will undoubtedly be in a much stronger academic position whether distance learning continues into the next school year or the students are back in the classroom setting.
Coaching vs. Tutoring
While Executive Functioning Coaching has the spirit of traditional tutoring, the goals and process of this kind of intensive support reach further and delve deeper to teach students to become more effective, efficient learners --not simply to get through the current COVID-19 crisis, but to emerge with a stronger executive functioning foundation.
We focus on planning and prioritization, organizing time, materials, and ideas, while focusing on productivity, and learning how to manage a “plate” full of various responsibilities. Of course, we understand that students also need help with academic content to get started, and this subject support is weaved into sessions as well. Along with daily classwork and homework, we teach students how to write essays/research papers, break down long-term projects, and comprehend their reading. Advocacy is another important component of our work with students, as they must communicate with their teachers to let them know how they are faring and if they need any specific assistance, extensions, or guidance. We also understand and acknowledge the whole child, which requires taking a child’s social-emotional health into account when working together.
Using current school challenges and other qualitative and quantitative information from the student’s learning profile as a base, we help students build strong habits that will allow them to generalize their success in and out of the classroom (whatever format school takes).
How We Do it
While we are all virtual, our Masters-level Executive Functioning Coaches see students in 1:1 online sessions that are consistent, systematic, personalized, prioritized, and meaningful. No two sessions are the same, as each student has distinct needs that are addressed.
Knowing how important it is to find the right fit, we match the student with the Executive Functioning Coach based on multiple factors and encourage rapport-building for student “buy-in” and comfort in exposing weaker sub-skills.
We highly recommend sessions at least twice weekly to have the ability to go deep and to be able to follow through with our students. We assist students in identifying, understanding, and utilizing strategies and tools that are tailored to their own learning profiles and academic needs.
Additionally, we aim to help students build new habits and sustain them by seeing the success they can bring for lasting changes. Executive Functioning Coaches can also communicate with parents and/or teachers for true case-management.
Once we are cleared to resume our usual lives, we will have the option of moving into home sessions or staying virtual (depending on how the student chooses to proceed).