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How I went from Educational Leader to Teacher Mental Health Advocate & Coach

Sep 20, 2023
Launch of Kimberly Bolton, LLC

I have been in K-12 Education for over 20 years. I spent the majority of my career as a Teacher, a District-Level Instructional Coach, an Assistant Principal, and as a Principal. One thing that has become clear is that there is a CRISIS in Education.

It’s been bad, but recently it has gotten so much worse.

As I developed in my career, I added my own mental health and wellness tools just to be able to survive. Now, I want to bring both passions together into a new business designed to help equip and empower teachers.

I want to support and advocate for teachers’ mental health and wellness....

Introducing Kimberly Bolton, LLC

Without further ado, I am super excited to introduce to you my brand-new business:, where I am a Teacher Mental Health Advocate and Coach. In my business, I offer New Teacher Mentoring, Seasoned Teacher Coaching, School-based Workshops, and Customized Retreats, to provide teachers and schools with what they need to thrive.

My tagline is “Sustain Your Love of Teaching, Retain the Teachers You Love,” because that is the secret sauce. If we are going to have A+ schools, we need A+ teachers on their A-game, and that is not going to happen the way things are going now.

So, I want to be a part of the solution. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and complain on Facebook or TikTok about how bad things are. I want to get in there and make active changes.

Well, as you can imagine, transforming myself from a Teacher and Administrator to starting my own business was a complex problem to tackle, just like transforming a school is a complex problem to tackle.  

I would like to share with you the Top 5 things that I learned to encourage you that it is possible to make complex changes in your career and in your schools.

1. Look at a Problem Sideways

The first thing I learned when I was trying to decide whether I should stay in a school or take my career in a different direction was that sometimes looking at a problem sideways, and looking at my expertise sideways, is the solution. So, instead of continuing to do what I have always done, I am looking at problems (opportunities!) sideways. So, what about you?

  • Are you dealing with a complex problem, especially when it comes to staying in education, and can you look at things sideways?
  • Is there another way to look at a problem?

2. One Thing at a Time

Another thing I learned was that when I was feeling overwhelmed by the number of changes I needed to make, I stopped and took a breath, and then wrote down all the things that concerned me (without judgment). Then I categorized them.

I started with the highest need category first and focused on one area at a time. If you focus on too many things at once, it’s much harder to see progress, and your motivation slowly leaks away. So, what about you?

  • Can you pick your highest priority change and focus on just one thing at a time?
  • What is that one thing?

3. A Beginner's Mind

Also, I learned was the importance of keeping a ‘beginner’s mind.’ You may know a lot about a certain topic, but “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” (Shunryu Suzuki)

I needed to keep an open mind and learn what I could from those who have gone before me. What about you?

  • Even if you have been teaching for 20 years, are you coachable?

4. Celebrate!

One more thing I learned was to celebrate small successes as they happened. Motivation soars when you feel successful at solving a problem.

Sometimes we get so focused on the next thing and then the next thing that we forget to stop and celebrate how far we have come! What about you?

  • What can you celebrate today?

5. Invest in Yourself - You are worth it!

Lastly, the very best thing that I did was invest in a business mentor and coach, someone who has been there and could show me the way. The thing is that some of this stuff was actually new to me, and some of it was that I had the “nose to the windowpane” syndrome, where I was too close to the problems to see my business clearly. I got so much value out of having expert level support. What about you?

  • Do you feel like you can keep navigating the current problems in education with only the same tools you have today?
  • If you are somewhere in this transition, and you want a mentor or coach to help you navigate these troubled waters, I would love to work with you.

The Bottom Line

Teaching is the most important profession there is, and teachers are under attack right now! If you are a teacher and this has been the story of your career, YOU MATTER.

And, if you are an administrator, with an A+ school vision, YOU MATTER TOO!

I would love for you both to join me in my mission to reignite teachers in their passion. I want to rekindle excitement. I want to elevate schools. I want to create great environments for students to discover the joy and wonder of the world around them.

My big picture vision is that we need K-12 Education to regain its rightful place in our society’s view. Please join me in my mission. Check out my website!

I would love for you to sign up for my FREE audio inspiration, “Bites of the Apple.” These 5-minute snippets give you bite sized wisdom, and bite sized nuggets of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement, so that you can be there for your students. This playlist is updated weekly, so you will always have new Bites to enjoy!

Let’s do it together!

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