Are teens being left behind, bored, frustrated, or turned off?
Are teens being turned into compliant micro-perfectionists?
Is the end point too abstract and distant?
Do teens get enough help transitioning to adulthood?
Do working parents have enough time to coach teens?
I hate school - it just seems so pointless
I love school butit makes me so anxious
Schools aren’t designed for young people
Are schools setting the challenges teens need?
Is what’s being taught seemingly irrelevant?
Even very good schools still can’t quite give every young person what they need.
Everyone says I am bright so why are my grades so poor?
This is so dull - I wish I could do something interesting
It doesn’t have to be like that!
Rushmere Tao helps teenagers find the right approach, become collaboratively independent, set their own challenges and put meaning back into their learning.
How Can We Help Teenagers?
Give us two 1-hour online sessions with a teenager each week and, with as much through-the-week access as they want, and we will coach them to become independent, self-aware learners for life who can continue to develop themselves as such.
In addition, they will learn how they can…
Get the best out of their school and education system
Develop the habits needed to create a seriously useful portfolio
Optimise their ability to make wise decisions and take wise action.
I suddenly understood that we weren’t just learning things I liked, the coach was helping me develop my confidence, curiosity, perseverance and other stuff…’
Vinh, G10, Vietnam
‘These were the best lessons ever – I think I learnt more from these than from all my other lessons put together!’
Nana, G5, Georgia
‘Everybody said I was clever, but I never did well in exams. The coaching sessions helped me understand how to get more out of school and fix this.’
Vivian, G9, Switzerland
‘With the help the coach gave my daughter outside the sessions, it was really worth the fee. Within three months, she was able to learn independently.’
Grade 6 Parent, Turkey
‘I don’t understand how, but since I started doing projects (with my coach), my grades in other subjects have gone up!’
Fahad, G8, Qatar
‘I was really bored with school – but the coach gave me a new perspective and I know how to use school to get what I need from it.’
Fumika, G10, Japan
Take a look at our brochure for more information
Who We Are
Team South Africa
Robert Thorn is an international educator, coach, and former principal with more than thirty years of experience in various educational systems and cultural settings. He is a proponent of learner-development-centred approaches to education. Founder of the non-profit ‘Developing Real Learners‘, the ‘Academy of Learner Development‘ and ‘Rushmere Tao‘, his mission is to help individuals and institutions transform education for themselves. Around him is a growing, dedicated team of coaches and colleagues whose vision is one of individuals and communities transforming themselves and their approach to education through accessible and straightforward processes that rely on our common humanity and their own cultural perspectives.
We hope you will join our community.
Answers to Some Questions
Where are you based?
Coaches are based around the world. Our coordinating offices are situated in Iskenderun, Turkey and London, UK.
Can you help my teenager pass their exams?
Yes and no. The sessions we share will not focus on teaching a student a subject however, by coaching your teen and even using the subject as a context for learner development, they will surely do better in their exams.
Can you tutor my teen in mathematics?
No, and yes - we can coach your teen with mathematics as a context.We are not teaching subjects but using what learners find engaging to develop the attributes of good learners.
What is Rushmere Tao’s relationship to Developing Real Learners and the Academy of Learner Development?
Our Founding Director set up the registered non-profit ‘Developing Real Learners’ (which is also the name of our LinkedIn discussion group) in 2012.The organisation helps promote the transformation of education towards a more holistic approach worldwide.The Academy of Learner Development is a UK-registered institution which provides professional and community development globally.Its launch is planned for autumn 2023.Rushmere Tao is a Department of the Academy which seeks to help individuals bring about a transformation of education towards a wiser society.
What are the fees?
Fees may vary slightly from coach to coach but are usually US$80 per session. That’s US$640 per month.
How are fees paid?
Fees are paid a month in advance.A weekly payment can be arranged however, you will bear the costs of each transfer.Payments may be made in a number of ways - bank transfer, using payment gateways, e.g. Stripe - we are happy to adopt others.
Rushmere Tao fees are quite high considering the aims of Developing Real Learners (DRL) is to bring educational transformation to the less affluent.How do you justify that?
Yes, the fees are quite high although no higher than some specialist tutors and certainly nothing as high as fees in other professions.However, the reason for these fees is that it allows us to do the work of DRL and AoLD.With the income generated, we are able to work on:
Creating free or low-cost courses, for teachers, parents, and teens
Providing coaching scholarships for teens in need
Providing support for coaches who serve communities in financial need
and of course, staff and institutional fees.
Will the sessions be too difficult for my child?
The sign of a good coach is to know their learner.Through developing a mutual understanding, a balance is reached between the two.While the learner will engage in learning they enjoy, we know that learning takes effort, change is difficult, and being the best one can be, takes determination.So, ‘yes’, it will be difficult but a good coach and a good learner will both know that it sometimes takes baby steps to get to where we need to go.
If the learner really doesn’t want to be at sessions or to move forward with us, we understand that.We will work until the end of each month to try different approaches to engaging the learner, however, if unsuccessful, then we may pause and you might consider re-engaging us at a later date.
What if my child doesn’t like it?
We believe that this is unlikely if you have discussed the idea of having a learning coach with your child and they have agreed to give it a chance.Of course, there is little we can do if a teenager really resists coaching, however, we can usually win learners over once they realise we are not their teacher but their coach.
If there are difficulties - changes in mind or in financial situation, we are able to provide a refund of fees paid beyond one month i.e., if you have paid for three months we can provide you with a refund of two months' fees.Places are limited and coaches have budgets too after all.
What do you mean by ‘learner-development-centred’?
You may have heard of teacher-centred education where, basically, the teacher leads and the students comply and do what they are told - listening and note-taking mostly.Then there’s ‘student-centred education - now there are many interpretations of this but ours is where teachers help young people become good students as well as learn the subjects at hand - they do study skills and become good at school.Next, there’s ‘learner-centred’ and this again has many interpretations.It’s very good, it helps young people become good learners however, from what we have seen in practice, even in very good schools, this approach often slips back to being student-centred and again is driven usually by the teacher.
At DRL, we make a distinction because although we want young people to become the best learners for life they can be, we also want them to become independent, collaborative, and wise enough to be able to develop themselves as learners and one can do that best via coaching.
Can I become a Learning Coach?
Yes, we are very excited about an upcoming initiative of Rushmere Tao and the Academy of Learner Development. We will be running courses for parents, teachers, and others, which will offer training and coaching in what we call ‘learner-development-centred coaching’. This will allow you to either learn to help your children grow as learners at home or use the approach in your teaching at school if you are a teacher. For those of you wishing to work with us as a Rushmere Tao Learning Coach, it will be the first step in doing so.