Rita Hoppes Jones is a former K-12 School Counselor, who has always had a passion for helping parents and children.
She spent 20 years helping kids in therapeutic foster care, got certified in Love and Logic to support parents, achieved her Masters in Education in School Counseling, and then went to work at a charter school for three years as a K-12 School Counselor, which she loved!
“There’s no Better Reward”
It means the world to her when her now-grown-up students come up to her and thank her. She says, “There’s no better reward” and you can hear the emotion in her voice.
Providing Support for Kids and Parents
Rita loved working with kids from Kindergarten to 12 because it gave her so much experience “with kids and their different levels”. She says, “There are so many stages in kids’ lives that they go through and as an adult we forget. Once you work with them and you see what level they are on, and then to have an avenue to help them. And they trust us.”
Rita shares that “it’s so common that sometimes parents and kids don’t get along well at some time when growing up.”
That’s why she likes working with kids and parents.
65-Hour Work Weeks take their Toll prompting a New Career
As much as Rita loved being a School Counselor, the 65-hour work weeks took their toll on her health and Rita had to find a new way to help kids.
(The school ultimately replaced her with three counselors!)
She searched online and discovered Adventures in Wisdom, a story-based curriculum for teaching growth mindset skills to kids 6-12 years old.
She downloaded the coaching story that teaches the mindset skill of self-talk, and shared the story with a friend’s son who “loved it”. And the mom thanked Rita.
Why Rita Valued the Curriculum
She says, “It was so much like what I would do as a school counselor that I just fell in love with it – it was a blessing.”
How Rita Has Helped a Young Boy in One Coaching Session…
Now that she’s certified as a WISDOM Coach, Rita has started coaching kids and finding that she is already making a difference.
Rita shared about working with a very reluctant 10-year-old boy who was described as “obstinate” by his grandmother who is raising and home schooling him. Grandma said that he is the type of child who would usually not leave the house.
At their first session, the boy was reluctant to stay when his grandma dropped him off, but he did.
The first mindset skill that Rita taught him was self-confidence, using the coaching story, Canville and Cantville – a Tale of Two Towns. The boy learned about his comfort zone, how to build confidence, and how to have an “I can” mindset.
He also learned about “the grungies” which are his negative feelings, and how the grungies are a clue to examine his thoughts.
Rita noticed during their first session that he used language like, “I’m stupid” and “I can’t do it.”
For their second session, Rita was at risk of needing to reschedule, but the grandmother was able to delay the session instead, so that it could still happen. Once they were in the session together, the boy told Rita that “He felt the grungies,” when he heard there was a scheduling problem, because he was really looking forward to the session! And, he was fine with staying with Rita when his grandmother brought him to coaching!
Rita says, “It really works. Kids really can connect with the grungies and the dragons…and relate it to their lives.”
How is WISDOM Coaching Different from School Counseling?
Rita shares, “When I was counseling in the school, usually kids would come to me with a problem… but now I’m going to kids first with solutions… With coaching, we can get in there early and give them skills like self-talk and power shifting.”
Rita Hopes School Counselors will see WISDOM Coaches as a Source of Help
Rita says that school counseling is such a big job and, “I’m hoping that counselors can look at coaches as someone who can help them and maybe take some of the burden off them …because there is no way to get to every child.”
“[School Counselors] don’t have this curriculum and it’s something that could help kids.”
How to See the Curriculum that Rita is Using – Try a Coaching Story for FREE!
Simply download the free coaching story that teaches the essential mindset skill, Self-talk.
You’ll get both the Mentor’s Guide (with coaching notes for you) and the Children’s Guide (with the coaching story and child-friendly discussion questions).
Click here to download the 27 mindset skills that WISDOM Coaches help kids develop.
See how the STORY Coaching Process works in the video below:
How can School Counselors and Parents find a WISDOM Coach to Work With?
Simple click below to:
- Use the “Connect with a Coach” form or
- Search the WISDOM Coach® Directory
How School Counselors can get Certified as a WISDOM Coach to use the Curriculum Themselves
School Counselors can create impact and income – working part time or full time – as a certified WISDOM Coach®.
Lisa has remained a School Counselor and she has been certified as a WISDOM Coach®. Now she has a curriculum to teach mindset skills to kids in school, after school, and in her own private practice. She sees a career path for herself in retirement.
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Adventure well, my friend!
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