One call with Renee Tupper and I instantly feel my muscles start relaxing. I roll my shoulders back and give my neck a nice stretch. A smile starts to form on my face, and I feel like I can dominate the day. She has that effect on people, and I know you’ll feel the same after this conversation. Today we tap into Renee’s psychology background, her work as a Life Coach, and the impact the pandemic is having on our teens. I think you’ll find the wisdom she shares with us particularly inspiring as we navigate this new normal:
Meet Teacher of the Year, Renee Tupper.
Renee has earned many titles, but I have to say, Teacher of the Year is so wonderfully fitting for her. She is a Special Education teacher at Ridgeland High School in Mississippi where she supports her students to help them achieve their full potential. In the past, Renee has worked with mentally ill adults, as a social worker, and now, as a Life Coach.
How can we help our children (particularly teens) navigate this crazy time we’re living in?
One of the topics I was most excited to dive into with Renee, was the mental health impact the pandemic is having on our teens. Her response, and advice, were especially helpful as she approaches this not only with her professional background, but as a parent as well.
We’ve all been through the myriad of emotions that come with being a teenager. But today, it feels like all of the “typical” teenage angst is amplified ten-fold. As Renee says, “Being a teenager is hard. There is so much going on in the world right now and it is difficult to know where you fit. Many teens struggle not only with self-identity but also finding their path in life. We need people to hold us accountable, even to ourselves. Building confidence and feelings of self-worth are vital to mental health and well being.”
I asked her how we can help the teens in our life navigate this time. Renee’s biggest piece of advice for us is to really, truly, work on our listening skills. Listening to understand, to give them a safe space to know they are seen and heard. Not just waiting to give the advice we want to share, but to truly listen to where they are coming from. And if we need reinforcements, she can help: “A strong support system is built from many different sources, no-one can be everything to our children.”
What is a Life Coach?
While Renee does wonderful work with teens, she is an incredible resource as a Life Coach for adults as well. According to Renee, if you’re feeling stuck, or at a crossroads in your career or emotional life, a Life Coach can help: “Even the strongest among us can feel lost, unsure, ambivalent, or unhappy at times. As a Life Coaching Professional, I can help you understand and manage whatever life throws at you, and do it successfully. Together we can identify individual goals and create action steps to accomplish them, giving you a road map to finding self fulfillment. I believe that you have the strength not just to survive, but to thrive!”
If you'd like to learn more about Renee and the work she does, you can visit her website, here. And one last, incredible title to add to her list: author. Head here to read Renee's book, Try, Try Again: Reaching Students with Emotional Disabilities, A Teacher's Perspective.