I really like to think of learning as a continuous journey where the things I’ve learnt in my life have made me who I am today.
Now, when I look back over my professional life experience…firstly, as a student in the UK and later doing distance learning, then as a teacher living and working in Europe, Asia and North Africa and now also as a coach settled in Italy, I can see how the dots all connect to make my own unique learning path.
I see how I’ve learnt to connect with people from different cultures, work in teams and autonomously in the private and public sector with people of all ages and backgrounds, learn from others and teach in a foreign language, to navigate the challenges of finding work abroad and deal with officialdom in different countries.
Then my learning journey continued from my early 40s with a move into coaching.
This started after a conversation with a friend back in 2014. We’d met for a coffee in downtown Turin, Italy and I was telling her how frustrated I was with my teaching job, finding it draining and dissatisfying…and how I wanted to change career. She asked me what it was that I wanted to do, but I didn’t know…
As a teenager I wanted to be a journalist but even though I enjoyed writing, newsrooms were laying people off, not taking them on, so it didn’t seem like a sensible move.
What I wanted to do was help make a positive difference in peoples’ lives, help them to see themselves and the world around them from different perspectives and achieve their own full potential to be the best version of themselves.
“I think you’d be interested in Coaching”, she said. And so, my coaching journey started from there.
Through my coaching training, first with The Coaching Academy in the UK and then more recently with WBECS based in the USA, I experienced how coaching truly helps people reach their potential through continuous learning and development. I learnt so much more about myself and others and how, when we connect our values to our actions, we achieve more than we could have ever imagined before. The trick is being able to identify those values and cultivate an awareness of our actions. Not easy. But being coached helps you do that.
I’ve been helped so much by my coach to learn how to live the life I want. And I’ve helped my clients to change their own lives by exploring the values that guide their everyday behaviour, decisions and communication to help them understand who they really are, what they really want, what they’re prepared to do to achieve that, and then to do it.
I’ve helped them see things from different angles, see what was getting in the way and create new habits so they can focus on what’s important and learn to love both their work life and home life and be content in both.
I’ve also helped people coping with chemotherapy and to start afresh when the treatment ends (as I learned to do myself back in 2014).
But I also never gave up teaching! The irony was that despite once being really frustrated with teaching, as I was telling my friend that day in the coffee shop, I gradually realized that there was a deep connection between the core principles of teaching and coaching and so learnt to love teaching all over again. Since the values and principles that motivate coaches and teachers are startlingly similar, I got thinking and came up with an innovative way of combining the two.
Now, I offer my clients coaching for professional purposes for people who are thinking of changing or transitioning in their careers. I offer the option of a job search consultancy service too. I also provide intercultural awareness workshops on request.
I developed AUTONOME a teacher coaching competency model that builds autonomy towards professional development (CPD) objectives.
And I also offer coaching for students who want to explore ideas for their future studies and career path. I have the added bonus of being a teacher of academic writing and international business communication and prepare students for English language exams for study and work purposes so we can stay on the learning path together throughout the whole development process. Students can also choose to blend both coaching sessions and lessons together for a really unique experience.
All my work is underpinned by coaching ethics and principles as outlined by the International Coaching Federation. But I am also strongly influenced by Mindfulness practices and the subtle connections between our thoughts, sensations and emotions that, if we are not aware of them, can cause us to experience a life of frustration and dissatisfaction which impacts our performance.
And that can be anything from getting on with co-workers in a team, planning your career or producing a piece of writing for your studies or preparing for an exam.
So, if you’re frustrated in your job, thinking about a career change or want to work on your study/career path, I’d love to hear from you to get started on achieving your potential and living the life you really want!
I’m also currently a Mindfulness Trainer for Italian teachers at Pearson Italia. And Contributing Editor for Italics Magazine, for whom I write articles and interviews about the world of work and universities in Italy.