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Traditional education has long served as a foundational pillar in societal progress. Yet, its inclination to prioritize academic success over the holistic development of children remains a predominant concern. As students invest countless hours in classroom learning, more than 90% of the students are struggling to reap its full benefits. This results in unmotivated learners and a sense of disillusionment among parents and educators. This podcast addresses that critical imbalance head-on.

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The show joins a diverse group of people who express their discontent with the current education system and offer their well-informed opinions on necessary changes. Listen to parents whose children deal with the challenges of a system that seems to be against them and how these families have successfully managed to navigate through standardized education to showcase their children's unique talents and abilities.

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Empowering Children To Become Lifelong Learners With Sara Hazelton

February 18, 202442 min read

Children deserve a holistic approach to their learning and support. However, the existing system and classroom dynamics often constrain even the most dedicated teachers. In cases where a child faces challenges, many tutors tend to concentrate solely on academic issues, overlooking the possibility that the difficulties may extend beyond mere content-related issues. Today, Learning Success Coach Sara Hazelton and Kohila Sivas discuss potential teaching platforms and the academic needs of students, emphasizing the importance of open communication between teachers, parents, and administrators in developing lifelong learners. They also touch on the challenges students might face due to the holiday season and the need for a holistic approach to learning.

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Empowering Children To Become Lifelong Learners With Sara Hazelton

I have the pleasure to introduce to you our certified neural growth Learning Success Coach, Sara Hazelton. Sara has several years of experience as a professional teacher and she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Sara has a mission. Her mission is to empower children with confidence and motivation to become independent lifelong learners. Her approach goes beyond conventional teaching. She helps students understand the why behind the learning and how it connects with their future. Let's welcome Sara Hazelton.

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Sara, welcome to our show. Thank you for being here.

Thanks so much for having me.

Tell me a little bit about yourself. I know you were a teacher and you left teaching, so tell me about that journey a little bit.

I've been involved with teaching for my whole life. My mom was a teacher, so I've always enjoyed school and spending time in her classroom growing up. I have an early childhood education degree in my sense. That's preschool through grade three and I added a K to 12 intervention specialist licensure area. My main significance experience would be as an intervention specialist in a public school. I served K-6 in that range, so that's where I'm coming from here.

Aligned Learning Revolution (Activate, Accelerate, Achieve) | Sara Hazelton  | Lifelong Learnin

In that experience, I understood the value of an individualized approach for every student because I was blessed to be able to work one-on-one with kids or in a small group. We always start with a plan to sit down and work with parents. We had a team. I saw that approach being so effective. I love now that I get to do something similar to create an individualized plan for every student and work holistically online.

As a teacher, you were not able to do that in the classroom. You didn't have that luxury.

I didn't have quite the same. I did all I could but there's just limitations in the classroom. You can't always focus on all the needs, can't get into all of the social emotional things, and even a lot of the cognitive stuff. There's so much content that teachers have to get through. I didn't enjoy that part of the teaching. I like how with Learning Success Coaching, we can focus on the whole person.

What was your main reason for leaving?

For me, I left when my daughter was born and stayed home with her for a little bit. That's been a wonderful experience for me. As far as the classroom, those limitations, I would say, I didn't get to know the kids as well. I had to follow that content piece and get them ready for state testing. That's a huge thing in the school classrooms. I felt like I was pushing towards that end as opposed to teaching kids how to be learners, want to be learners and motivate them to impact their whole lives instead of focusing so much on a test or not being able to expand in other areas of need.

Our show will be read by parents. We're hoping administrators will read as well because it can bring lots of change and clarity in what they do as well as teachers. Sometimes, I'm hoping students can even read because we're not blaming anybody. We're not pointing fingers at anyone. All we want to know or do is to bring awareness of what's happening exactly and what each of the perspectives of the people involved so that at the end of the day, we need to protect our students.

They're vulnerable people. They're little. They can make stories and become damaged by other people doing stuff intentionally or not intentionally. I want you to answer as if a parent was read. Sometimes, there's a lot of misunderstanding between the teacher and the parent because of the school system. You were there. You were part of that system. How can we help parents understand what goes on in the school system?

I would say the open communication is the start of that. Teachers and parents being able to talk with each other about the things they truly see and perhaps, getting parents involved into the classroom firsthand to see what's going on. That would be beneficial and the general understanding of what parents are seeing and what they want for their kids. A lot of parents see the academics. They want their kids to be successful academically but there's so much more that goes into learning and even personhood.

My business is Whole Human Academy. It's just about the whole person experience. Students might need help with more things like following direction at home, their study habits, and the homework battles that parents have, like how can we help in those areas but in general, if you have a student that's struggling, it's a lot more than content, let’s face it.

It's the attitudes that come along with it and struggling with emotional regulation knowing how to learn because we're not taught about that. If parents are proactive and feel welcome into the school and talking with teachers. They can make a difference to talk with them about these different areas and administrators because they are in the backbones of change. That's my general thought on that.

A lot of the time I hear people and teachers talking about how parents directly go to the admins then the teacher becomes part of the problem versus teacher should be part of the solution to that problem. They shouldn't be blamed or put into a position. I'm not saying parents do that intentionally but as you said, that communication. When it breaks, it becomes this who do I go to that can solve this better and quicker, but then we go to the admin. The teacher is left in a dark place.

I agree. It's like us versus them rather than the whole team approach. Even feeling like you're part of a team makes so much more of a difference. All get together and sit down and what can we do to help this struggling student.

At the end of the day, if you make the teacher the enemy against you. It not going to work out at the end of the day because you got to then change your child from the classroom because no matter what, your child has to go to that classroom the next day. I'm not saying all teachers are same and equal. There are some teachers who may not be doing what they're supposed to be and there's a problem going on. That's fine but what I'm saying is that including them and proactively as you said helping that communication with them and included, then you have them part of that conversation.

We need to think about our kids. If I have a problem with one of my son's teacher, I want that teacher to be there so she can hear me as a parent of what I'm saying. I’m not talking behind her or him. The admin can represent each party clearly. Not talk behind them. I think that's what's happening in the school system. Teachers feel like they're left out and thrown under the bus.

I've been there as a teacher, where it's like, “I wish you would had came to me. We could have had this conversation openly. I might be the one working with your child directly so I would be the one that's going to need to know this information anyway.” As you said, the team aspect of having other teachers there or the administration. Depending on how the situation is there. We're all on board. It's all open. There's not the pointing fingers thing. The blame game isn't productive. All being on the same page is important.

It’s so important for our kids or anybody's kids. That child is the most important and precious person in that situation. We have to be mindful. Now you left and you had your daughter. You decided not to go and you're also thinking of homeschooling her as well. That's one of your thoughts.

I started homeschooling kindergarten, so that's done a fun adventure as well. I homeschooled my daughter and my nephew at the same time. It's awesome to watch growth, isn't it?

Yes, and in the young age, if there's a younger mom or dad reading this episode, it's important to lay that foundation where you're empowering your daughter and your nephew without any limitations.

I'm so excited to work with young kids, my daughter and my nephew. Family and homeschool and I love that part . In thinking about my students, I focus K-6. A lot of times kindergarten is so young and so fun hopefully, it's still fun and they love it. That's so disheartening to hear stories of someone's kindergarten are coming home from school not exciting because that's what kindergarten should be for, get kids excited about learning and prepare them for the rest of their school career.

When I work at the lower level, even as kids get older, I do find that when there's a gap or a struggle, a lot of times it's from a foundational skill at the younger level. It's important to focus on those basic understanding and reading and the basic understandings of math and why are we learning this like what does this have to do with me? That real world connection is huge for me, too.

Relatable. It’s important part of growth and learning. When you're working as a learning success coach and holistic neural growth learning success coach, your approach is different compared to tutoring because that's one thing that parents always ask and get confused is, “Why don't I just hire a high school student to get my son or daughter struggling with reading or writing or math?” What's the difference? Why can't they hire a high school kids?

A tutor generally focuses on content. They want to make sure that your child is reaching those academic goals or maybe they're even doing homework out or making sure the homework is done. That might be what a tutor does. Myself, I coach. I don't just work on academics. I start off with a 360-degree analysis of your child as a person and as a student.

I look at things like their thinking process and how they learn best, even at the beginning when I do an assessment. I don't just see if they get the answers right or wrong. I want to see their process. I want to know what they do when they get stuck. All those things impact learning. That's the idea of the holistic approach where it's the social emotional, emotional regulation, and action taking skills like organization and study habits. Even the perspective taking is important. Imagine that in learning. The soft skills of life.

I tried to look at all areas and build an independent learner. Instead of giving information, I'm not like filling the child with information. That's the idea of tutoring, where we keep delivering content and give it. I want to build a learner so that your child is ready to learn on their own too so they can be independent.

That shifts the child. As you said, when you deliver, the child's job is to sit, listen, and consume. They're not actively participating in many of the parts because they are considered. You don't know this or sit with the tutor and learn this. Versus, when they're learning with you, it's not the way it happens.

I make sure the students are engaged, talking, active, and they're thinking out loud with their processes. They take ownership of that learning and that's so empowering for kids and motivating for kids when they can do that. Otherwise, think about in a classroom if they're sitting there and taking it in. They get stuck or they don't understand something. They don't know what to do next. Luckily, there's a lot of kids who aren't afraid to ask for help in a classroom or raise their hand.

That's awesome and important to know they can do that, but also know, “How did I learn this or how can I learn this for me in a way that works for me?” Giving students some of that power to themselves so that they know that they can learn something because once you're a learner, your potential is unlimited. You can learn anything if you know how and you know the action steps to take. That's another part of it. Knowing how to learn then what steps do I need to take to keep going.

Once you're a learner, your potential is unlimited.

The order of those steps because when you do it out of order is when you get stuck then you call yourself, “Maybe I don't know what I'm doing.” Those doubts can creep in, then fear sets in and you tend to give up. As a student, if they are reading, what would be a tip for students? You have brought a very important point there when you were talking.

You said, in a classroom setting, when I was even a student, I would sit there. If I don't get something, I would be like, “Everybody else seems to be getting it. It's only me.” I would make up a story, “Maybe I'm dumb in this situation because I don't get it.” I'm making up my own story while everybody is okay, but I'm not getting it. Is that true? Is it only me that's not getting it in the classroom?

Of course not. That's what I tell kids all the time. You are not the only one that's not figuring it out or doesn't get it the first time or doesn't understand the way that it was taught to you because there's lots of different ways to teach. There's a lot of great teachers out there trying different ways and different methods but it might not work exactly for you or that day it didn't work for you or maybe you didn't get a lot of sleep the night before and it's that didn't work for you that day. We work a lot on mindset with that whole idea of, “I'm the only one who doesn't get it or I feel stupid.”

I listen to that self-talk when I work with kids and we always address that right away because kids need to know that everybody struggles. We all have things that we need to keep getting better at. We can all get better at everything in various areas. That growth mindset is important for kids to know that they're not the only ones. They can do it. I might need to try it a different way. I might need to try over and over, repeat, but you can learn it.

The other thing is if you're not asking questions or letting your teacher know that you don't know. That's important because if your teacher doesn't know, you just sit there like, “I think I get it. I understand.” You just nod your head along with your teacher. She doesn't know. She's not reading your mind. When she does find out, it might be on an assessment then she wrapped up that and is moving on to the next piece of content sometimes. Ask your questions. Let her know you don't understand. Those are my tips. Work on the mindset.

How about if I feel judged? Sometimes as a student, when I was sitting in the classroom, even my head went up, I would pull it back down because it's like, “No one's asking. I can't put up my hand.”

I get that, especially maybe as you get a little older, too. We get a little more self-conscious. I do work, as I said, on the mindset piece. That can give help students gain that confidence. Again, knowing that there are other kids struggling. I've seen strategies where some classrooms allow you to even ask a peer. Maybe you talk to the peer before. You can talk to the teacher. That's a strategy.

Approaching your teacher at a different time, if you're too anxious or nervous to do it right in the moment with the other kids looking at you or whatever. Usually, there's some downtime whether that's recess or right before lunch or at a restroom break. Things like that you can quietly go over to your teacher and be like, “I didn't get that.” Explain what it is and usually, the teachers are more than willing to try to give you any help they can.

As parents, it's important for us to discuss that with our kids that everybody learns differently. The teacher is applying one method to all of the 26 or 30 kids. If you have a question, I can guarantee you as a person who avoided those questions all my life in my classroom. I can tell you, there's probably half of the class also have the same questions or the misunderstanding or the confusion you are also feeling. If you're brave enough to put up your hand as a student in the classroom, those other half of the class is going to go like, “I had the same question, too. She was so brave to ask.”

They'll think you're brave and they'll be thankful. They'll be thankful that somebody asked the question because most definitely you're right. It's not usually just one student that doesn't get it. As a teacher, we know they start popping up. All those hands start popping up when somebody's brave enough to ask.

How do you think parents can handle their child if they have negative self-talk? Can you give them a tip?

For negative self-talk, the biggest thing is to be aware. Knowing that self-talk and being aware of it means that can also affect other areas of their life with relationships. I say talk about it directly and openly. Try to take that negative wording and spinning it around and making it something positive. Even though, “I can't do this or I feel stupid.” Those comments happen especially homework struggles, let's say with parents at home. That little word yet, maybe you've heard that before where it's like, “I can't do this yet. I'm not great at this but I'm awesome at this.”

Thinking about not yet, you're getting it, you're getting better and improving. We all need to go through this process. When we start to learn, we go through this process of fear, the steps of I can't do it and doubt. Eventually, you got to keep pushing. You got to keep going through those things to get to the other side of, “Look at that, I can do it now or I can do better. My grade went up. I was getting a C and now I'm getting a B in reading or math.”

We go through this process of fear and doubt when we start to learn. We have to keep pushing and going through these things to get to the other side.

Take a head on and talk about it with your kids because you don't want that negative talk, even if it starts out at academics to see into other areas of their lives because that mindset piece is life. We all are going to have things throughout life that we struggle with. We need to know how to think positively about it, how to change things with our own mind stories.

Also, meeting our kids that way they are because we are a bit harsh on our own kids. We want our kids to be at certain milestone by certain time. If it's not there, then we start looking at other people. We get worried. I always compare to like we all started walking at toddlers. We didn't just walk right away. We fell, held, and got up and got bruised then we started walking and now we don't have any problem walking. It's the same thing. In any learning situation in life, it doesn't just happen. As we said, it's a process.

That's a great analogy the walking thing because we all can visualize that and remember our kids and all the things that they tried. They might fail at first and failed the first time. Fail forward.

Bicycle riding. I even have permanent bruises. You don't give up. Both of my arms have serious bruises because I went into some ditch but those are all lessons. Did I give up? No, I got up again. A few days later, when the thing was better, I went back. I'm like, “I need to learn this. I like this.” There was an interest to learn. As parents, we have to share those stories with our kids, too. When I learned my bicycle, it wasn't easy. That's the way you're learning. Sharing examples, having conversations, and telling them that it's a process as you said, is so important in a relationship between a parent and a child.

I know, even my five-year-old in kindergarten. I can't do it. My five-year-old thinks she's going to get it the first time. It's like, “It's okay. We're just going to keep going. We're going to keep trying. Let's try it this way or this way or let's have a snack first. Take a break.” That's an important thing, too. Parents need to remember when kids come home from school, they've just spent all that time all day. It would be like going to work then coming home and expecting to do more work immediately. That would be what homework would be like.

Make sure you give your kids at break. They need to move their bodies and expand their brains in different ways. Usually, snack I know is a big thing, so give a little break.

What is the difference? What are you using that makes it so powerful and transparent for the students you work with?

I like to think of the iceberg analogy. You see the tip of an iceberg and that might be what a parent sees academically. They're struggling in reading or they're struggling in math. Ninety percent of an iceberg is under the water. I feel like that's what I do. I dive down there into the deep. I dive into their personhood like their personality, learning styles, what motivates them, and their goals. I do outside of school stuff. We talk about all that. Their relationships, sleep habits, family and friends.

As I'm going through this process when I get to know a student, I'm trained to listen to that self-talk and thinking patterns and self -work. As I said, I look at the process of learning and they're working through things. For me, I see what their process is and what they do when they're struggling or what they do even when they're finding success. You can only see the point.

As I work with kids, I start with something that might be below grade level where they're at and they start building confidence. Their demeanor is happy and easy. You start to see them sink down or stall, watch their body language or anxiety. I get to see that whole person. I use that approach in my coaching as well. Is it okay to talk a little bit about my coaching process?

It's important for you to understand the child as a person before it seems. That's what I'm hearing and parents who is reading will know that as well. You set up a program that's customized for them. Under the surface is where a lot of these things are lurking. It's like the area that no one has put into. Tell me before you go into the tutoring part. When it's tutoring, where are they working? As a teacher, where are they working so parents can understand the difference?

With tutoring, as we said earlier, they focus on that content. If we're looking at the iceberg, they're up on the tip of the iceberg. A lot of tutors can work on some of the skills and some tutors are like homework helpers. It depends on their approach themselves also. Beyond the content, though, teachers can spend a little more time.

They get more time with the kids. They can spend a little bit more time. They do mostly content and a little bit on like processing, memory and some of those cognitive skills. They get a little time maybe to address the learning how to learn and social emotional needs. Let's face it, in schools, it is mostly content.

It's more general, though. It's not specific to that child because we think every child has the same print. They have the same mind print or build. They're not. They're unique.

I agree. That's why when we think about teachers and giving the content, it is that delivering content type of thing that we talked about. It's generalized, “This is what needs to be taught, so give it to the kids.” Fill their brains with knowledge is a general idea of how I see in teaching the content and focusing just on content. As I said with me, I get to dive into their whole personhood.

I've taught lessons on being assertive, taking perspective, and different emotional regulation things like conflict resolution skills. All those extra soft skills that are important for life and also important for learning. I had a student, we had done some math and we pulled out some reading stuff. She made an face impression as soon as I pulled out a passage. We paused and I’m like, “What's with the face?” The title of the story had a big word across the top. It was the name of a Greek mythology character and she saw the title and shut her down right away.

Those extra soft skills that are important for life are also important for learning.

She did not read the words. She just wasn't anything. We pause and talk about it. We use our strategies, break it apart, and like, “That's what that is. I’m studying Greek mythology in school. I have seen that word before and it looks different,” or that piece where it's like that face ,that little tiny thing of that girl making that face. A teacher in a classroom does not have the time.

She wouldn't have noticed it. She's looking at the possibilities.

Even if she did, it would be hard for her to bring attention to it in the moment, especially.

That's the thing, that moment when it happens. You're helping them at the moment. Not after or before. As children, it's hard for them to comprehend, too. If you do it at the moment, it's powerful.

We talk too about the next time, like, “The next time if you see something like this, here's what we do.” We move forward into those strategies, tools, and tips for kids. If she is in the classroom next time and comes across some, whether it's the title of a book or story that she instantly shuts down or wants to shut down. She can remember and draw from that experience. That's a little example.

Also, you're working as a neural growth learning successful. You are rewiring those. You look at what's underneath the iceberg, then you bring it and you're rewiring them. Tell us a little bit about that because it's a huge part of your process, too.

We do a lot of work with talking out loud, processing things, talking to your brain and repeating things over and over. You don't want to give kids too many strategies because they get overwhelmed with strategies. You stick with the same things and we do them over and over until I have mastered the strategy itself.

We work on applying it to the academics and to things specifically that she might work with me versus in school. How does this look in school? How does this look when it's applying to something in your home life or maybe a relationship issue or working with our emotions? It's about a lot of processing. They're thinking about the process. We think about our thinking. With me, we talk a lot about our thoughts. I make sure she talks thinks out loud. I do a lot of modeling with that as well, thinking out loud to make sure that we're thinking about our thinking.

That's the whole meta learning distress methodology that you are qualified under as well because it's about learning to learn and learning to teach ourselves how to learn. Also, becoming aware how do I learn like I don't learn like that person. I learn the way that I learn. It's very empowering for students to believe that I learned differently and that is okay. It's great I learned differently because I'm unique.

They can build upon their own super power. Their own special things that make them. They learn that moment how we were talking about where they don't get it in class. They can tell themselves that story, too where it's like, “I might not get this because of the way it's being taught. I can learn this. I might have to do some other things or other strategies and learn in the way that works for me.” Gives them that extra confidence that they can do it.

You work with kids with IEP. That's one of the areas you work on. It's hard for parents to take that document and understand what's being said. It's like reading your travel insurance because half of the stuff they say you don't even know or the real estate contract. You're like, “I think I got it.” I don't know what's that mean. You have to have a lawyer beside you to interpret all that into regular language. Sometimes IEPs are like that for parents when they get it.

I agree. I've seen that. I've been a part of a lot of meetings and how I used to run those meetings myself when I would go through the IEP. I would read for the most part what was there or summarize it then talk in real people terms, what that means and what we see. If there's parents that ever want support and help understanding that or even on the advocate side of things. I'm also able to do that to support the IEP process as well.

That's the holistic part. It's not just you're working with the student and with the family because when a child needs that support, all of us has to work together. That's one of our mission, to make sure that the person who's vulnerable is always the child. It’s a matter of the administrators, the teachers, and the parent. They're in conflict. It doesn't matter. It's going to eventually affect the child.

That team approach is important. Parents start to notice things after like with coaching. They notice things in their student and their child that it's hard to describe. I'll put it that way. A lot of parents are like, “I see this change.” I had a parent say, “She seems to dislike even be like walking taller and getting along better with family.” It comes down to that ballistic approach, where we work on the mindset and kids develop this inner confidence. They don't fight things as much with homer things. It’s like a transformation that you don't always know how to describe.

When we work on the mindset and kids develop this inner confidence, they don't fight things as much, like homework.

That's the parents see first. Sometimes when I was involved in this process earlier, I was a tutor myself. Parents always come for the marks. It's always the marks that brings them first thing. It's like, “My child's marks have dropped,” or they went to a parent teacher conference then teacher has said, “Your child is 2 or 3 grades behind.” They immediately got to fix the problem because that's what parents do. We want our children to get help. With our knowledge, we find a tutor then we ask them to help.

Immediately, what we want is those struggles to eliminate but a lot of the time, it's not. It's tend to mask it because what I could do as a tutor at that time would only mask the symptoms like, “Let's put a bandage here and here. We're good for now.” I don't know when it's going to explode, but it'll be okay for a while. Let's just do that. In coaching, we don't do that. We don't put bandage. We completely as you said, go under that surface, figure out why are they struggling. It’s an important part of the equation. Why? What happened? When did the struggle start? When it started makes a big difference in the way that you can approach it. Did it just start or has it been like four years?

By the time there's a big enough gap, let’s put it that way, kids are pretty good at, as we said earlier, not raising their hand or not asking or flying under the radar. They can make it enough that even their grades might be okay for even a couple of years. All of a sudden, there's this wall that they can't get through and that's when we start seeing a bigger gap.

When I go to do an assessment to see where it started to do this holistic approach that I do. It's very often several years before you see the problem. A lot of times it happened way before then. Academically, a lot of times, it's gaps and skills in the foundational level. There's always other things besides academics that need addressed. Even if it's study skills directly related to education, but other times, it's confidence things. That's always an amazing side effect. I love to see the kid’s confidence. They come with a different energy eventually once you make that connection with kids.

Connection is huge for me and my program. It's the core of what I do. I always say, “Connection is everything,” because the connection with the student, they know somebody cares. They show up for you. The kids will rise. They will meet the expectations. They want to keep that connection with you. They want to feel cared for and loved and those things affect learning. I went a little bit off there.

Powerful stuff you say. No, you did not go off. That's what, as a coach, you want is to see that confidence. Those a-ha moments where they go, “I get it. I can solve this. I can do this.” That's the power, so you're right. We're coming to the end, Sara, this show is all about taking perspectives from each sides. We talked about the parent side and the students. We talked a little bit about administrators giving teachers the space so that we can all work together so no one's being finger pointed or put into a place where you’re an enemy. You're against each other because that doesn't help anybody in the situation. Now let's talk about teachers.

There are many teachers struggling to get results in the classroom. What is the solution that we can give them? Those teachers who are in the classroom who's trying. Some teachers have given up. Not every teacher is the same, but there are many teachers who are doing what they can and still unable to get results and being blamed. What's your thoughts on that?

For teachers, to be honest, if we could make that magic wand and give them more time or less content. That would be great, but that's not what we're talking about. Honestly, a coach for kids is a great solution. It helps someone like me or other coaches be able to fill in all those areas that teachers don't have the time for. It's a systematic problem. It's not necessarily a problem with teaching.

I know a lot of fantastic teachers and they go above and beyond and do all they can but there's still limits. When you're working with that many kids, it's hard. As a coach, I can help fill in the gap there and reach all these other areas that we're talking about. Get below the iceberg, work on the confidence, the mindset, the emotional regulation, and things like that that all are going to also impact the learning.

That transfers into the classroom which can help the teacher when they are addressing 30 or 26 or 25 kids at the same time.

Imagine if every student had a coach by their side, then they would come ready. They would know how to learn. They wouldn't be an open vessel to pour into still because we're all different. We all learn differently.

They will be curious and a creative learner. They will ask questions. They will be critical about things. Now you can have a class where they can openly ask questions because they can say, “That doesn't make sense. How does that make sense?” That's real learning. Now you have an active learner in your class.

Imagine the engagement in a classroom. If you had 25 kids and they all had their own coach. They all were working holistically and ready to go. That would be awesome in a classroom.

This whole process of becoming a learning success coach, how has that changed for you in your life and your vision for future?

I love the holistic approach and I see with me homeschooling my daughter. We are involved in some co-ops and stuff. I love being able to share this information. I push it to everybody that I can and I talk about it with everybody I can because it's so important to meet kids with all their emotions and the mental wellness.

There's a lot of people struggling and to be able to have strategies and tools to change your mindset when you need to and to be in control of your thinking. That's a life skill. That's like one of the most important things in life, is to be able to control your mind and turn things around that are negative because we all are going to go through negative hard times.

One of the most important things in life is being in control of your mind and turning things around that are negative.

I want to keep that impact going, which is why I'm part of this mission with the Learning Success Coaches. I want to continue to make true transformations for kids and things that will impact and improve academics and education but also for their lives. It’s so important to realize and acknowledge then work to improve the mindset part of education.

It's huge. We need a shift and that's what this show is all about. It’s to bring awareness and take perspective holistically with all the people involved, but we cannot forget at the end of the day, those little people that we have in the middle, our students or your child is precious. Anything you do as a team or not as a team, will affect them. They're the one that's going to be affected. Not us. We get affected too but they're the most important person in that equation always. We have to protect them because we're the adults.

That saying of it takes a village, like let's do it. This is an opportunity to expand the village and help your kids in a holistic way.

It's a powerful time in history because with social media and with all the stuff that happens, children have lots of new things that they have to deal with that you and I probably didn't deal with. They are going through a lot. It's a hard time for many of them. A lot of them don't have the right support and the adults who are in their life are not supporting them as a team. It eventually takes them into the wrong paths. That's is something we don't want to cause or create intentionally or unintentionally. Thank you so much, Sara, for being here and giving us so many excellent tips and how you work. Do you have any other final thoughts?

I don't. I just wanted to say thank you so much for having me and I hope to hear from more parents who need some support for their kids.

Awesome. If any parent wants to reach out to you, they'll have all the access to reach out and see what you have to offer. Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you so much.

---

There you have it, another interview, and another episode with one of our holistic neural growth Learning Success Coaches, Sara Hazelton. I want to summarize some of the stuff me and Sara was talking about. I’m going to be repeating again because as an educator and several years in this industry, one of the things that I want to prevent is the harm that's created to the children that are part of the system where we're not working as a team but rather, we're pointing fingers and blaming.

We play this blame with game intentionally or unintentionally. It's important as parents before, as you said, going to address it with the administrators, maybe include the teachers. I know when we are so attached, it's our children's life, so it's our child's life. It makes us angry when a teacher doesn't do the right thing. I'm not saying that everybody does the right thing, but as parents, we want to protect our child because at the end of the day, after you talk to the administrator. Your child still have to return to that classroom.

It's like you got mad at somebody. They're getting disciplined by the admin. Now your child is part of that equation. They're in that classroom. My point is that we have to protect your child. We don't want to create this negative cycle. Rather, you involve everybody and be forefront about what's going on in the classroom while you're having this issue. You can all have a conversation and come conclusion.

That was one thing that that I'm going to keep repeating again because I hate to see children caught in the middle of any disagreements or misunderstanding or miscommunication. It's so important as parents and I'm a parent myself. This is the approach I would take is to have a meeting as a group. Not one-on-one behind each other's.

The other thing that I think Sara addressed well is the iceberg. It's important for us as parents to understand that when you're hiring a tutor, you're only getting them to work on the tip of the iceberg. We work on what is exposing. A lot of the time, it's the marks and let's get ready for the next test because I was a tutor myself. I know that's what I was able to do because the expectation is that they need to go and write and test or an exam.

They need that mark and that quick fix. It happens at the tip of the iceberg. When you're working with the nueral growth Learning Success Coach, what they do is, as she said, they do a 360 analysis of your child. Not only academic but socially and emotionally. They're alignment to learn, their mindset, and their mind stories because mindset is a result. We have to study the mind stories they have and we need to ship them through coaching. Realign them and get them into alignment to learn.

That's when the magic happens and that's what we were talking earlier with Sara when she said that confidence when they walk. You can't bring that without having to go under and having a deep dive into the things that are lurking below the iceberg or below the surface. You have to see and 90 % of the issues that students face, our children face are below the surface. If we fail to look at them, what happens is they're going to become dependent on the tutor who's serving at the tip of the iceberg.

As parents, we want to make sure we are aware of this so that you can make a decision when your child is struggling what's the best option for them and best option for you. She was offering some tips for parents. In terms of IEP, as I said, I was joking earlier, it's like reading the real estate contract or the travel insurance documents. Since there's a lot of stuff, there are fine prints that we don't understand and the language they use it's hard to understand and implement at home.

As parents, it's important to have someone who can understand that, interpret that and help you to implement what is being said at home as similar to what's happening in the school system so that you have continuity of what's happening in both of the environment so that your child is not getting confused between the two environment.

This very big environment for them, the home environment and the school environment need to be in alignment. Everyone involved has to be working together. I hope that these tips that I bring to you and these perspectives that I'm taking from the perspective of teachers, the administrators, and of parents, we all want to do one thing, that is to help your child.

Your child is precious. We want to make sure they are not hurt, heard, seen, and valued for who they are. Every child is special. They come with their own mind print and we need to be able to create an education system that is going to serve them and look at what they're looking for in learning. That is not possible yet, but that is our hope. Thank you for reading.


Important Links

About the Guest

Sara Hazelton

Aligned Learning Revolution (Activate, Accelerate, Achieve) | Sara Hazelton  | Lifelong Learning

Hi, I'm Coach Sara. I empower children with confidence and motivation to reach their full potential as independent life-long learners. Students learn how to learn and make meaningful connections, so they understand WHY they are learning and HOW they will use it in the future. And once a child’s mind is cultivated and ready to learn, I fill-in gaps with foundational K-6 academic skills, focusing on reading and/or math.

Children deserve a holistic approach to their learning and support. Unfortunately, even dedicated teachers are limited by the system and classroom dynamics. And when a child is struggling, most tutors focus solely on academics, even though it’s often more than just a problem with content. As a Learning Success Coach, I make a deeper impact by addressing the whole person- the social-emotional, cognitive, and academic needs of each individual child, to truly transform their future. This holistic approach is what works for kids. This is why I do it this way. I help to create true learners- learners who think about their thinking, know how to control their thinking and stress to create a positive mindset, and are able to use executive functioning skills to take action.

I've been a professional teacher for over 15 years. I say it that way because I've really been teaching for many years before and after those 15 years in an official employed position at a public school. I am the middle child of 5 in a family of educators. Education was valued in my home from the start, and my mother's classroom in my elementary school was a familiar, comfortable place growing up. Learning and children have always been at the core of my life. I myself have always been a learner- I just love to learn new things! And I love to help create learners out of kids, because once you're a learner, you've figured out the "secret" to unlimited potential. You can do anything if you know HOW to learn, and have the confidence and motivation to take action. That's my big picture goal for every student.

As far as credentials, I'm a certified Wholistic Neurogrowth Learning Success Coach. I have a preschool-grade 3 teaching license as well as a K-12 intervention specialist teaching license. I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, and earned my Master's degree as an Intervention Specialist. And, as most teachers, I've completed additional training and coursework in various related areas beyond my degrees and certifications. I have been teaching in some form throughout the past 26 years, with my most significant experience serving as a public school intervention specialist at the Kindergarten through 6th grade levels. This role strengthened my conviction of the value of an individualized approach for all students. In my current role as a Wholistic Neurogrowth Learning Success Coach, I serve students online, in a highly personalized one-to-one setting.

In my free time, I garden, cook, read, and spend time with family, ideally outdoors, or at the drag strip with my husband and daughter. I'm also a homeschooling mom who understands the value of a village in parenting and in life, and I'd love to join your village if your child (and family) needs help. No matter the educational path you've chosen for your child, teaching and learning starts in your home. The right approach and the right mindset does make a difference, no matter the situation. If your child's learning feels off-balance, or they're outright struggling, please reach out and schedule a call with me. I can help you gain clarity on the best action steps to take to get back on track building a confident, capable, life-long learner!


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Kohila Sivas

Kohila Sivas is a parent and a lifelong learner. She has been a classroom teacher at all levels and a Special Needs Instructor and is a Professional Math Interventionist, a Master NLP coach, and a #1 Best selling author.

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