The Focus 3 Blog

Coaching the Gap

As we embark on a new school year the energy is high! The anticipation of a fresh start, a renewed sense of purpose has never been more apparent amongst educational leaders. First-day “jitters” for new educators and veteran educators are a sign that we care deeply about our first impressions. We want our kids to like us, we want them to be excited about coming into our classrooms, we want to be accepted.

Over the next several days and weeks the “whys” for being an educator will begin running, walking and sometimes being pulled into our school doors (smile). These young people have the same emotions...anxious about the unknown, hoping they have a friend in their homeroom class and excitement to meet their new teacher(s).

Notice adult and student emotions are very similar! It is all about relationships! It is all about making each other feel safe, welcomed and accepted. As we begin this school year, now more than ever, let’s all spend time investing in each other as humans. Let’s find out what is important to each other, listen to each other’s hopes, dreams and fears. We GET to impact the lives of young people, we GET To lead with a purpose! A school system is a HUMAN System first and an Educational System second.

Culture first, content second. We are all on our own Journey to Elite. We are all striving each day to be the best version of ourselves. This is our purpose, our calling as educators. To believe, invest, encourage, equip and remove barriers for our students so they can achieve what they didn’t think possible.

Coaching the Gap to Guide Students over Their Edge

What is the Edge? The Edge marks a place in a student’s journey where they are challenged to get better. It is called the “edge” because it is just beyond the student’s current ability. It requires them to stretch, push, and get out of their comfort zone in order to grow and build skills whether academically, athletically or even personally.


Coaching the Gap is about helping students overcome an obstacle at The Edge of their ability.  By building discipline and skills into the student. The Edge will get more narrow and less high at future challenges as they develop a tool-set to achieve what is possible.

Students will have many edges throughout their learning journey in school; indeed, they will have many edges in their journey through life. How much and how far a student grows depends on how they respond at The Edge. The Edge is a quintessential Event that a student needs to know how to Respond to in order to get the Outcome they desire, which is getting over the Edge.

Teachers/leaders provide coaching and support at The Edge. They help students stay focused, embrace productive discomfort, learn from mistakes, defeat fear, and persevere. Exceptional leaders/teachers “coach the gap” between where a student is now and what is possible.

Leadership isn’t a difference-maker; it is the difference-maker. Your classroom, and your school, will perform to the level of leadership you provide.

Be Elite,

D. Sayre



Topics: Leadership- Culture First- Coaching

Dawn Sayre

Dawn Sayre

Dawn is an accomplished speaker and educator with nearly 25 years of experience working and leading public educators. Dawn is leading the Focus 3 Education Partnerships.

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