Audacity Born of a Dream Pays Off

An ADHD coach training program in Peru receives official recognition from the Ministry of Education in Lima! Officials have approved a year-long program designed and delivered by ADHD coaches Beatriz Duda and Maya Echegeray to qualify as viable and creditable continuing education for public and private school teachers in Lima. Public and private school teachers who participate in this coach training will receive the official credit toward career development. In addition, scholarships for public school teachers will be provided.

Coaching Philosophy to Redesign Curriculum

This feat of negotiation began with a vision. Bea and Maya, leaders of the Asociación Peruana de Déficit de Atención (APDA), had in mind that private and public schools in Lima—and eventually in the rest of Peru—will incorporate ADHD coaching in spirit and in practice for the sake of all students. They imagined that school curriculum design and approach, communication practices and standards and the opportunity for individual student assistance will be driven in part by a coaching philosophy. This philosophy they see, will penetrate and touch the entire school community. The “coaching way” and practice will foster an optimal environment for all students to learn and thrive—not only those with ADHD and/or learning disabilities.

Teacher Certification Critical

To Maya and Bea, teachers must be the instrument through which this vision can be realized. Ultimately, they see a day when teachers will be required to go through an ADHD coach training program as one prerequisite for teacher certification. This training will build the awareness of the coaching language and ADHD as well as skill development and belief in the power of coaching in a school environment. Public schools, however, are heavily laden with problems and resource deprivation. Teachers are not paid enough to afford training, particularly if the training does not fulfill career development requirements. How then can teachers be a vehicle of coaching without training?

Why not ask for the government to approve coach training then? Of course! Why not consider the impossible? Of course! With a phone call and the audacity to believe they would be seen, Maya and Bea arranged a governmental meeting. The meeting did transpire. Maya and Bea met with a ministry official over coffee and won his agreement to review the ADHD coach training curriculum. Officials reviewed the training program and on May 19, 2011 provided the official document that dubs APDA’s training program the first officially viable ADHD coaching program for public and private school teachers in Lima, Peru.

Coach Training Begins in Peru!Maya Echegerayand Beatriz Duda

As of last week, Maya and Bea have begun this ADHD coach training program with the first group to receive governmental credit. Within this group of trainees are four public school teachers—two of whom are receiving scholarships, there are several private school teachers, a school psychologist, a mother and some clinicians. They will meet two hours once a week in the APDA office for the next year. At the end of the year, the teachers taking the course will receive officially recognizable credits which may grant them a pay raise. Though this is not the only necessary step toward the ultimate vision, it is important progress. And there is no mistaking such a vision-stricken initiative as an act of fruitful audacity.