My BS in Early Childhood/Elem Ed (1979) and MEd in Educational Leadership (2007) equipped me well for the K-12 teaching environment whether in the classroom or administrator’s office. Decades of experience in private, public, and international schools (2005-2011) gave me insights about how education truly makes a difference across the globe.
I agree with Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education at U.S. Department of Education when he said, “Teaching has never been easy, and it never will be. Teachers are our nation builders—the strength of every profession in our country grows out of the knowledge and skills that teachers help to instill in our children.”
In all my years as a professional educator, I never wondered if my work mattered, made a difference. Whether with a energetic five year old or self-proclaimed fully-empowered high school senior, I pressed on with or without their invitation to present new information. Something, somehow, in some child every single day on the job could ignite a thought, connect a learning strand in the brain, or inspire a new way of behaving and therefore make for a worthwhile work day.
Today, my classroom is less structured. I may be the older, wiser woman encouraging a young mothers’ Bible study, spending time with my granddaughters on vacation, mentoring a young couple, or advising a millennial professional just beginning his/her career. I am also the Mid-America Regional Director for American Home Life International and help place international students in Christian host families while they attend U.S. high schools. I look for opportunities to continue to learn and to teach others to Learn to Live Well.
Years of involvement with women, children, couples, and families through small groups and school connections led me to pursue formal academic training in counseling at Liberty University. I pioneered the counseling/college admissions office at my community Christian school in 1998 where I had been the kindergarten teacher for years while working on the MA in Professional Counseling degree (2001). Through my local church, I continued to meet personally with people wanting freedom from present pain and desiring a Christian context for their exploration and healing. My pastor husband and I trained with Prepare/Enrich materials to help couples preparing for marriage and we continue to offer this service today through our local church.
Counseling requires the counselor to join a person’s journey, typically at a juncture of pain or dissatisfaction with life. The job entails discovery of the sources of hindrance, of unanswered questions, or avoided reflection on past life events that now threaten present and future contentment and personal efficacy.
Counselors offer themselves as those (hopefully) enjoying present emotional health to serve as sources of strength and encouragement. As the client peels back scar tissue or carefully erected barriers to identify the deep wound root, he/she needs support. He/she needs outside discernment to sort the more objective truth from the self-imposed subjective truth about guilt, shame, failure, and inadequacies.
When I counsel, I recognize my own dependence on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide each client. Counseling offers a powerful opportunity to help others Learn to Live Well.
After years of studying and practicing counseling, I thought coaching would be another form of the same skill. I was wrong. I completed my life coaching training with Creative Results Management using the same competencies recognized by the International Coach Federation (largest coaching organization worldwide) in 2013. I found this training one of the most personally invigorating exercises I have ever encountered, graduate study included.
Coaching is an ongoing conversation that empowers a person or team to fully live out God’s calling – in his/her life and profession. The goal of coaching is to listen, listen to the client and listen to the Holy Spirit. What results is discovery of new things and motivation to take action that will reshape life around that learning. The coaching relationship is expected to produce insights, greater personal awareness, changed behaviors, actions, and ultimately results that satisfy the client.
Coaching is about learning – rather than teaching. The client is the expert on his/her life. The coach uses coaching techniques such as active listening, open questions, encouragement, challenges to present thinking, and always remaining supportive. All these methods are meant to assist the client in discovering insights and taking next steps.
Coaching is about action – client action and client success! Coaching clients demonstrate step-by-step that they are Learning to Live Well in new ways. I absolutely love to coach clients and watch the progress achieved.
Before moving to Afghanistan in 2005, my speaking engagements focused on education seminars with some Christian women’s groups mixed in. Since returning from overseas, I have been asked frequently to share my experiences in Kabul. In addition to comments on the endorsement page, here is a speaking summary provided by a professional writer/speaker friend:
“Gail Goolsby’s passion to help others learn to live well fuels every speaking presentation and writing project. Whether sharing a faith-inspired message with a church group, an education-themed program with an academic or parent audience, or an international-awareness presentation, Gail’s words promote the balanced health of body, mind, and spirit. Her talks are infused with the same motivational tips she practices one on one with coaching and counseling clients. She captivates attendees with humor and emotion to deliver wisdom through the art of storytelling. Her diverse life experiences, many overseas in volatile scenarios, is fodder for articles, speeches, and even a book.”
Possible Audiences Popular Topics of Interest (can be customized)
- Women’s groups * Education in Afghanistan
- Bible studies * Women’s Issues in Afghanistan
- Church retreats * Life Coaching: Learning to Live Well
- Millennials and Gen X’ers *The ME (Millennial Entitled) Generation
- Missionary groups * Living Without Anxiety and Depression
- Educational groups * Intimate Relationships and How They Evolve
- Leadership development * Smart Versus Crazy Self-Talk
- Community events * Preparation for Marriage
- National organization banquets and keynotes * Live Like a Champion
- Civic and corporate groups * Living Your Future
Speaking Schedule 2016
- March 8 Education in Afghanistan PEO Chapter HN- Wichita, KS
- April 13 Parenting Insights/Life Coaching Eastminster Church- Wichita, KS
- April 29-30 Be Present ~ to God and Others Chapel Hill Women’s Retreat-Seattle, WA
- Sept 16 My Story Eastminster Church – Wichita, KS
- Oct 11 Heading an American School in Afghanistan 20th Century Club – Wichita, KS
Speaking Schedule 2017
- Feb 20 Education in Afghanistan and ISK PEO Chapt DJ – Wichita, KS
- Feb 23 Coaching Skills for Leaders “Serving the Hurting” Seminar – Wichita, KS
- March 14 Education in Afghanistan Soroptimist Club – Wichita, KS
- March 28 Living Well in Afghanistan PEO Chapt HN – Wichita, KS
- May 28-June 2 Counseling-Morning Star Retreat Dubai, UAE
- June 10 Uniquely You/Spiritual Gifts Eastminster Church -Wichita, KS
Please send booking inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have always loved stories, reading and telling them. Books are more precious to me than many other possessions and my children (and now grandchildren) know the same love. Some of my most loved book series appear on the “favorites” link on this site.
Following my return from Afghanistan in 2012, I was challenged to park my unique collection of experiences and memories from those seven years living and traveling overseas in written form. I entered the fuzzy world of the writing industry and all the non-writing efforts that go with growing a platform to attract a publisher for my now finished manuscript No Place for a Woman: My Seven Years in Afghanistan.
I was fortunate to meet a wonderful book coach (Kathy Carlton Willis) at a writer’s conference who walked me through the fuzz with great encouragement. She referred me to a book agent (Steve Hutson of WordWise Media Services) who is now helping me obtain a contract for the book. In the meantime I am writing, writing, writing. Kindergarten tales, great lessons from my coaching/counseling practices and my very own beloved family adventures have given me much to write about, laughing and crying as I type.
Here are some places you can find my articles and guest blogs. Subscribe to my blog here at Learn to Live Well.
Broadstreet Publishing 2017 A Little God Time for Graduates 365 Devotionals, contributing writer
The Praying Woman
Word Girls Newsletter (5 columns)
Upgrade With Dawn
Musings of Edwina
Splurge Magazine, November 2016, Wichita, KS
The Koala Mom, Guest Post