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Having Global Ripple Effect

Meet ithrive31 coaching client Ryan. Ryan was an Executive in a Banking Institution before he made the significant decision to pivot his career in a big way. In the summer of 2021, Ryan and his wife sold their home in Iowa and moved to Kuwait to teach in an American School. Ryan teaches English Literature to high school students and his wife teaches 5th grade. Ryan always had a passion for teaching, learning, and literature and he stepped fully into this calling.

Learn more about Ryan’s journey in our interview with him below.

You took a big leap to follow your passion. What led you to take this leap?
Covid 🙂 Or the crisis of coming fully into middle age. Truthfully it was probably a combination of many things, but three significant ones: becoming empty-nesters, extra time for communication and reflection with my wife due to us working from home during the pandemic, and coaching and advice I received from Dorene. Teaching internationally is a dream my wife and I shared since our college days more than twenty years ago. For various reasons (including fear) we only recently pursued that dream. The intervening years were filled with raising a family and successful first careers, but finally following the dream has been very gratifying.

What have you learned about yourself in this journey?
A lot!
1. It’s never too late.
2. Gratitude – for all of the opportunities and experiences, including a wonderful first career in banking in addition to my new experiences as a teacher
3. Confidence – this stems directly from my work with Dorene. I’ll do my best to paraphrase her wise words: I have unique gifts and abilities; both I and the world are a better place when I use those gifts and abilities. Even though I believed it when she said it, I really internalized it over this last year.

How has your experience with Leadership/Life Coaching supported you?
Many, many, ways… but since I seem to be giving three answers to each question I’ll stick with that pattern.
First, coaching expanded my self-awareness by giving me feedback along with help reflecting on that feedback.
Two, Dorene provided coaching in a positive way, focused on my unique abilities, which produced self-confidence.
Three, like an athletic coach, Dorene was able to give specific, actionable ideas for me to consider. This advice helped me correct mistakes I didn’t know I was making as well as seize opportunities I didn’t know were there.
Four, coaching with Dorene was fun. It wasn’t always a party, it was often challenging and sometimes tough, but Dorene and I laughed during every session. I always enjoyed our coaching conversations.

Your personal growth has had a Global ripple effect. How are you using your Coaching experiences to help others?
So much of the stuff I learned through coaching is applicable to teaching.Daily there are three (surprise!) things I try to remember and convey to others:
1. There are opportunities in every experience.
2. Everyone has certain skills, abilities, and interests. They and the world will be better if they can maximize those. (As a teacher I have the amazing opportunity to help students see skills and abilities they didn’t know they had.)
3. Pursue what gives you energy. If you don’t know what gives you energy, experiment. It’s amazing how much energy you can get from spending the day in a room full of 10th graders.

As for the people impacted by this ripple effect, the ripples start with my family. From there I hope I’m using my coaching experiences to be a better teacher to my students.

Finally, my coaching experience helps me as a professional colleague and member of my school community.

What advice would you offer others who may be interested in following their passions?
First, get some good advice. In my opinion, professional coaching is invaluable.
Second, do your best to banish fear. Many of our fears are simply bogeymen – much more frightening in our imagination than in reality.

What is next for you?
My wife and I spent our summer break near our daughter in Minnesota. We flew back to Kuwait in the middle of August and we’re going to teach there for at least one more year. We’d like to keep teaching internationally for the foreseeable future.


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