Teen Life Coach Returns From Vacation; Learns Her Clients Don’t Need Her Anymore

Academic coaching in six simple steps

Cyndy Etler | Teen Coach | Author
3 min readSep 18, 2023


Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

While I was out of town for a few weeks, my teen life coach clients went back to school and started kicking ass. All of them. Every one.

I wish you could be a fly on the wall for these sessions, to hear their descriptions of the ass-kicking.

There’s the listing of each class, followed by the kid’s current grade: “ELA, A+. Spanish, A. Phys Ed, A. Math, which can drown in a thousand toilets, A-.”

There’s the hair-splitting analysis of the percentage of work not completed: “I’ve turned in all of my assignments but .01 of a percent, and those are the ones that are worth .001 percent of my final grade.”

There’s the rare, quick admission of pride: from the 7th grader, wrapped in a squeal, “I feel great!” to the college kid, hedging his bets, “It’s good, as long as I can keep it going.”

“You can, kid,” I told him. “Here’s how: keep doing, for yourself, what I’ve done in our academic coaching sessions.”

What did I do? I listened to them, instead of telling them to listen to me. Boiled down, that’s what a well-trained teen life coach does.



Cyndy Etler | Teen Coach | Author

Locked up & homeless as a teen. Now teaching resiliency & hope with my YA memoirs & teen coaching. Seen on CNN, HuffPost, NPR, CBS, ABC. www.cyndyetler.com