About Ian

My story so far:

  • My own education didn’t get off to a good start as I failed kindergarten! My parents withdrew me from kinder when I spent my first day there standing by the front gate with my hands in my pockets wondering where they’d disappeared to, and when the heck they’d be coming back for me.
  • The following year, I commenced school at Concongella Primary School and actually made a reasonable fist of learning the three ‘r’s’.
  • In 1966 I stepped into Stawell High School and I hated every minute of my Secondary education. It used to take me 15 to 20 minutes to ride my bike to school, and yet I could make it home in 4 minutes flat! In fact my record ride home was 3 minutes and 39 seconds with a stiff tail wind behind me. But I had a knack of doing some last minute ‘cramming’, and passing my external exams, and so, I obtained my Higher School Certificate and headed off to Teacher’s College.
  • Don’t ask me why I headed for Teacher’s College because I really don’t know – I suspect it had something to do with the fact that the Education Department in those days actually paid us to go to Teacher’s College and guaranteed us a job for three years on graduation! I graduated from Ballarat Teachers College in 1974 with a Diploma of Primary Teaching, majoring in Mathematics, Economics and Psychology (Honours)
  • Upon graduating, I spent my first three years as Head Teacher in one teacher schools in rural Victoria. During this time I was responsible for the education of 20 plus kids from Prep to Grade 6. My other roles included all the Departmental Administration duties – the day-to-day phone calls, letters and finances, reporting to the School Committee and Parents Committee, and the cleaning! My District Inspector report from 1977 says – “Ian relates well with children and prepares work fully. He has developed a fine policy which indicates a sound grasp of requirements for pupil educational development.”
  • In 1978 I was talked into applying for a job at Pleasant Creek Special School and I spent ten years there working with special needs kids with a whole range of physical, social, emotional and psychological disabilities. I coordinated the Art Room for three years and then spent the remainder of my time at Pleasant Creek running the Numeracy Program and the Driver Education Program in the senior school.
  • In November 1987, I retired from teaching to concentrate on my farming interests and to be actively involved in the parenting of my two infant children. Upon my resignation, the Regional Director of Education wrote, “In all aspects of your teaching you have displayed commitment, maturity and skill. Your unruffled attitude to problems, positive regard for fellow teachers and ability to accept and discharge responsibility made you an invaluable member of staff.”
  • When my own kids commenced school, I soon found myself on the Concongella Primary School Council as a parent representative. This was a wonderful experience for me and it kept me in touch with the educational issues of the time. I spent eleven years on School Council including three terms as President, and I sat on two Principal Selection sub-committees which I found an invaluable experience.
  • In early May 2007, a neighbouring farmer asked me if I could tutor his 8 year old son who was having all sorts of trouble with his reading. In fact, it had become so bad that getting him to school had become a daily battle for his parents. There were tears most mornings and William had lost all confidence in his reading and was petrified if he had to speak in front of his class. But William had a burning desire to improve his reading and with some phonic training he soon started to improve. Within six weeks he had progressed through 5 reading levels at school and his confidence started to soar. By the end of the year, he has completed all 30 levels of the school graded reading program and William had become an independent reader. I had also found that William had a genius inside him- he was mad about fishing and was keen to learn more. So I built William’s tutoring sessions around his passion for fishing and used it to improve his reading and writing skills. We wrote a book together called, ‘Fishing For Kids’ and then we decided to self publish his book. At the book launch, William impressed everyone present when he spoke confidently in front of over 80 people. He also spoke very well during a live interview on ABC radio and he was interviewed by two local newspapers. He was then contacted by the Weekend Today TV show and on Saturday 18th of September 2010, William’s story with ‘Fishing For Kids’ went to air.
  • While all this was going on with William, word had spread about our success and I now had four private students. I got huge satisfaction at seeing these kids overcome their anxiety about learning and start to growing academically again, so I decided I needed to put my tutoring activities on a sound business footing.
  • In January 2008, Aussie Kids Coach was born and as each year has passed, it has steadily grown into a much more diverse business.
  • In 2010, the www.aussiekidscoach.com website was released and along with it a number of educational products designed to help parents help their kids learn.
  • In 2011 I completed Cert IV in Life Coaching with the Life Coaching Institute of Australia and this training has helped me enormously when I’m tutoring and coaching and has given rise to some soon to released self help products Aussie Kids Coach can offer its clients.
  • In 2012 I decided to further my coaching skills and I completed my Core Training in Strategic Intervention with the Robbins-Madanes Traning Centre. This training has helped me to coach kids whose academic problems are a result of much deeper psychological and emotional issues such dealing with family disharmony, grief and learned helplessness.
  • Also in 2012, Aussie Kids Coach began running workshops in diverse fields such as Youth Leadership, Public Speaking, How The English Language Works and How To Make Sense of Secondary School Maths.