For Teachers & School Administrators

In today’s fast-paced educational environment, middle and high school administrators, teachers, and inclusive education professionals are always looking for new ways to support students who face challenges with their executive functioning. These students are frequently sources of concern and the focus of intense and often painful conversations among teachers, who may sometimes experience them as “lazy,” “careless,” and “difficult.” Often neuropsychological testing or psychiatric evaluation will reveal that these students struggle with impulse control, task initiation, behavioral activation, poor working memory, and difficulty sustaining attention and focus. Sometimes they are disruptive in classrooms, and occasionally other students or parents will voice concern over their impact on other students’ learning. More often they just struggle alone, typically doing poorly in one or more classes, with their grades and self-esteem suffering. Often they internalize views of themselves as lazy, disorganized, and “stupid.” This is painful for those who love and care about them: parents, friends, and teachers. 

One increasingly popular solution is the engagement of 1-on-1 productivity coaches, tailored specifically for students struggling in these areas. This personalized approach not only fosters academic success but also significantly benefits students’ self-esteem and parent-child relationships.

For students grappling with executive functioning issues, the traditional classroom setting and expectations can often feel overwhelming. These students may be perceived as lazy or careless due to their struggles with organizing tasks, starting projects, or maintaining focus. However, with the support of a 1-on-1 productivity coach, these perceptions can dramatically shift. Coaches work closely with students to assess their overall goals and break them down into manageable work periods, meticulously scheduled on a shared calendar. This process involves a detailed review of assignments from teachers and technology platforms provided by the school, such as Google Classroom. The coach’s role extends beyond planning; they actively ensure that students engage in their work through regular calls, texts, or video conferences, employing techniques proven to enhance attention, decision-making, and focus.

The benefits of such personalized coaching extend to students and parents alike. For students, the transformation is profound. As they experience incremental successes and recognize their ability to manage tasks that once seemed insurmountable, their self-esteem soars. They begin to see themselves not as lazy or careless but as capable and effective learners. This newfound self-perception is invaluable, fostering a positive academic and personal trajectory.

Parents, too, experience a significant shift in their role. The constant cycle of reminding, nagging, and overseeing every aspect of their child’s academic life can be exhausting and strain the parent-child relationship. With a productivity coach in place, parents are liberated from this cycle. They no longer need to be the primary enforcers of academic discipline, allowing them to return to more rewarding parenting behaviors, such as offering encouragement, support, and recognition of their child’s achievements. This shift not only eases parental stress but also enhances the overall family dynamic.

The approach taken by productivity coaches is methodical and reflective. By ensuring that the student’s allies, including teachers, tutors, and parents, receive written follow-ups, everyone involved is kept in the loop. This cohesive communication strategy ensures that potential issues are addressed promptly, and the student’s support network can offer unified encouragement. Such a comprehensive approach is crucial for reinforcing the student’s progress and maintaining momentum.

Importantly, the improvements seen with 1-on-1 productivity coaching accrue over time. The process is gradual, acknowledging that building new habits and skills in students with executive functioning challenges requires patience and persistence. The tailored attention provided by the coach is critical, as these students often lack the psychological tools necessary to structure their work independently. Through consistent support and guidance, students learn to navigate their academic responsibilities more effectively, laying a foundation for lifelong success.

For educators and school administrators, the decision to hire productivity coaches or recommend coaching services to parents is a powerful step towards supporting students in a deeply impactful way. It acknowledges the unique challenges these students face and offers a practical, compassionate solution that benefits students, parents, and the broader school community. By investing in the individualized support that 1-on-1 productivity coaching provides, schools can foster an environment where all students have the opportunity to thrive, regardless of the obstacles they may face.