“Writing has always been challenging for me,” Flathead County coach, Jay Shaver, says. “I can easily relate to students who also find writing a challenge.” Yet, he has been coaching for two years with great success. As a healthcare professional, he is passionate about helping students build their critical thinking skills as well as their confidence. He enjoys giving students positive feedback and encouragement because he recognizes that, “If school is challenging for them they may not receive that on a regular basis. Finding the positives in their assignment may be the only bright part of their school day.”
Because Jay works in healthcare, he has a unique perspective on why the skills writing coaches help students develop are important. In his job, he is constantly communicating with others both verbally and through writing, and it is of the utmost importance that he is understood correctly. Misunderstandings can have patient care, reimbursement, and legal implications. Additionally, Jay points out, “[E]xceptional healthcare requires much more than regurgitation of information; it is the ability to make decisions to help people using all the information available to you. This involves critical thinking skills.”
Jay feels strongly that writing coaches contribute to students developing skills that are necessary for life regardless of what career path they choose. He says, “Being able to effectively communicate is an essential aspect of life. Professions, relationships, and citizenship all require the ability to communicate.” He enjoys that coaching allows him to meet students where they are at and engage with them in a way that is beneficial for them specifically. “Each student has a unique take on writing, thinking and communication. I learn a great deal from every one of them,” Jay says.
Although Jay has selflessly dedicated a portion of his time to bettering the lives of Flathead students over the past two years, he claims that he is a pretty typical Whitefish resident. He enjoys the winter and loves reading and baking. He has a large dog named Tobie and recently welcomed a new puppy into his household.
Flathead students are fortunate to work with such an understanding and kind coach. WCM is so glad that our volunteer community consists of wonderful citizens like Jay.