The Breakfast Club #BFC530 Gratefulasked a question this morning that I was not prepared to respond to in the short 15 minute chat time.

I couldn’t respond immediately – there were too many people to include.

I am always thankful for coaching, but do an excellent job of disguising my thanks. I’ve always needed good coaching, immediate feedback to make quicker changes. Two of the most effective sources of feedback for me were my first principal and my high school running coach. While their approach was different I see now the similarities which made them so useful to me. And I am grateful for their topical feedback, but also for helping me learn about myself and what I need out of a supervisor to be successful.

My first principal was a brusque and intense man. Or at least he was with me. I understand because he had a rough job. He had to jar me out of practices of poverty, scarcity, and procrastination. He did so be coming directly to me and asking me what I was doing/wanted/etc. And then he followed-up with what he wanted me to do next. I would use this strategy with fellow teachers who weren’t-getting-it-done later in my career, occasionally my own children, but most often with middle school students. He is such an early influence in my career trajectory – I am eternally grateful to him.

My High School cross-country team did not have a coach. Faced with the possibility of being coached by the boy’s coach a father of one of the runner’s stepped up. Boy I sure am grateful¬†he did. I learned with him through those years. He made the journey fun, showed me/told me/let me be a leader with very low risk. He showed me how to learn something, be humble, and have fun all at the same time. He showed me that content knowledge was not as important as caring about each other. Buy he showed me that you don’t stand still either – you pursue that content knowledge. I remember at my senior banquet telling him that – he sure learned a lot – something only a teenager can get away with! But I am eternally grateful for the lessons he continues to provide to me.

I continue to tell them to this day how grateful I am to them both.