Mr. Derek Brady, principal of Upper Mount Gravatt State School says having a life coach attached to his school to deliver professional development and parenting workshops has been instrumental in his school’s excellent performance. Mr. Brady’s school has won the 2010 QUT Showcase Award for Excellence in Leadership for its ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Spirits’ program, in which the wellbeing of the entire school community is addressed, including teachers, non-teaching staff, parents and students.
With the guidance of the Kids Matter government initiative and by engaging Ronit Baras, a Brisbane-based life coach, Upper Mount Gravatt State School has already had 100% of staff trained in the ‘Be Happy in LIFE’ coaching program and 60 parents trained in the ‘Happy Parents Raise Happy Kids’ parenting program.
‘That has a huge impact’, says Mr. Brady, ‘Because it creates a common language everyone can use at the school and the “spin-offs”. This is helping with the kids’ wellbeing and, ultimately, with their learning outcomes’.
One of the main things Mr. Brady has seen is a big improvement in the children’s behaviour. ‘We haven’t had a suspension in 4 years’, he says proudly, ‘There’s no Detention room, there is a real happiness around the school and the kids are really vibrant’.
Another positive change is students’ ability to handle issues independently. ‘Kids are more resilient’, says Mr. Brady.
In the parenting workshops, parents have learned about communication styles and have used this new knowledge to help their kids learn better, but also transform the atmosphere at home. ‘People now understand that their kids or their spouse or their other family members communicate differently’, Mr. Brady explains, ‘And this makes the communication all around them smoother and more relaxed’.
Mr. Brady has seen parents come out of the workshops inspired, saying they just love the experience and asking to register their partners to the next parenting workshop so that they gain the same understanding and skills. He says, ‘Parents have come to me and said their kids were doing better as a result of the course’.
The international parenting expert and life coach that has been working with the school is Mrs. Ronit Baras, who is an experienced motivational speaker, and author and a parenting blogger.
For parents in the Brisbane area who are not part of the school community, Mrs. Baras will be running a full day parenting workshop on Sunday, 25 July 2010, at the Southern Cross Sports Club on Klumpp Road, Upper Mt Gravatt and promises to improve the lives of another group of parents and their kids.
For the full video interview with Derek Brady and more information about parenting workshops for schools, visit the Better Parenting Skills Workshop page.