Every school-aged, adolescent or young adult with learning, attention or executive function challenges has strengths that school and college do not measure, leverage or develop. Uncovering and developing those student and family strengths is my specialty.
In my work with thousands of clients, I have found that it is not because students aren’t trying hard enough or consistently enough, even though that’s what report card comments may say. Low effort and inconsistency are symptoms of struggle. Solving the underlying problems needs more than reminders, criticism, and consequences.
Most academic support focuses on “accessing the curriculum” by getting students to do their schoolwork and improve grades. Instead, for students with learning, attention or executive function struggles, the “more effort“ approach can mask strengths and belief in their own abilities, decrease their love of learning, and lead to anxiety through the fear of not measuring up.
I’m Sherri Fisher, and I have spent over 30 years helping to unleash the true potential of bright clients of all ages, especially those who have learning, attention and executive function challenges. My unique background blends specialized teaching and learning skills with research-based, emotionally sound motivational approaches.
Yes, I have taught in schools and founded programs to support struggling learners. However, I am truly energized by uncovering individual clients’ hidden strengths and coaching them to unleash those abilities. These strengths are wellsprings of their future happiness, engagement and success, in school, work and life. My clients go on to higher education, graduate and professional schools. They experience life and career success. You or your child can, too.
Why work with me? Everyone’s non-academic strengths, personal processing style, and ability to continue to learn for a lifetime can be developed. Together they have value far beyond school subjects. That’s priceless, since about 80% of your lifetime is spent outside of formal education!
Teaching was supposed to be my temporary career. Early on I worked in a boarding school. There I met bright kids, some of whom had made it to high school with limited basic skills despite solid intelligence. They inspired me with their resilience and wowed me with their creativity.
The school offered customized academic solutions, but more importantly, I knew there were social-emotional strengths that also led to their flourishing. Later, when there was a field–Positive Psychology–that researches how people are able to flourish even though life can offer up so many challenges, I applied to be part of the first class.
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of what helps people to thrive in relationships, life and work. That includes school for kids and parenting for adults. In my books and practice I call this the POS-EDGE®:
P ositivity (Happiness)
O ptimism and Resilience (Accurate Thinking)
S trengths (Character)
E motional Intelligence (Self-awareness; Relationships)
D ecision-Making and Change (Self-regulation; Habits)
G oal-setting, Grit and Growth Mindset (Self-regulation and Self-belief)
E ngagement and Exercise (Embodied Thriving; Mindfulness)
I knew very early in my “temporary” career that I was called to help students and families thrive. I became not only a learning specialist but also the first one to apply Positive Psychology social-emotional research for challenged learners and their families.
I earned my Master’s Degree in Positive Psychology (MAPP) at the University of Pennsylvania, where I studied with the founders and other pioneering practitioners of the field. I went on to author or co-author several books and 50+ articles. I became a speaker to varied audiences and also volunteered over five hundred hours as the coach to an Australian trailblazer in community-based positive education. My live and virtual clients have spanned five continents.
Recently I have returned to my roots–student and family education private practice. I offer you and your family my unparalleled ability to uncover, imagine, and design a completely individualized strengths-based approach to school, work, and life.
Whether you choose student, parenting, or combined coaching; college and career planning; or special education advocacy, my personalized approach integrates the latest research-based soft skills of self-regulation and well-being with the best practice learning and skills development I have learned over my expansive career. I also have an outstanding network of professionals to support our work together, and we can work together live or virtually.
I am a speaker and workshop leader at live and virtual professional conferences, in higher education, and in the community. I have been invited to speak at numerous university and professional events, including: University of Pennsylvania Imagination Institute; University of Pennsylvania; VIA Institute on Character; Communities of Wellbeing/Maroondah Vic AU; Universidad Iberoamericana/Mexico City Positive Psychology Program; Canadian Positive Psychology Association; International Positive Psychology Association; UN World Day of Happiness; Universidad TecMilenio/Monterrey; International Positive Education Network World Congress on Positive Education; Unleash Your Kid’s Genius Masterclass, and The Motivated Child Summit.
Are you a well-meaning parent who tries to motivate your child by reassuring them that they just need to try harder?
Do you believe that gritty effort is the key to their success? If so, you may believe in the false promises of the effort myth.
Of course, effort is necessary for work to be done successfully. However, trying harder is not sufficient by itself. That’s because it’s not how hard you try that leads to success; it’s how you try hard.
Sherri Fisher weaves her decades of experience teaching and coaching thousands of students and parents like you into The Effort Myth: How to Give Your Child the Three Gifts of Motivation.
This book and its 40-plus pages of bonus content will guide you to:
• Participate more effectively in the education of your children
• Know when you need to step in and when you need to let your children figure it out themselves
• Help in ways that will enable your children to grow in ability, resilience and Independence
“Sherri Fisher knows from decades of direct experience that we all work differently, and often the key is not “just work harder” but learn how you work, why you strive, and how to bring out the best each of us can offer. While this book is intended for parents about children it’s really about all of us, how we learn to explore and absorb the world, and practices to bring out the best in what makes learning possible for us all.”Buy the book
Learning to manage well-being and work habits is as fundamental to life success as knowing how to read, write, and solve problems. To make improvements, of course, some effort is necessary. However, trying harder can become exhausting and discouraging. Here is a better way!
Did you know that it’s not how hard you try that leads to success?
It’s HOW you try harder that matters most.
Based on decades of well-being and productivity research, this newly updated workbook edition of Unleash Your Epic Self helps adolescents and young adults establish resilience and self-direction skills while also nurturing strengths, relationships, and habits to support school, work, and life goals.
Inside you’ll find seven well-being and productivity sections. Each one guides you through five easy-to-accomplish weekly practices—35 in all. Use the practices alone or with a group. Each section also has space to reflect on and extend your learning.
Start boosting your focus and busting the effort myth today.
Unleash Your Epic Self workbook teaches success science in small bites. Based on Martin E.P. Seligman’s PERMA theory of wellbeing, this full-color spiral-bound volume contains a foundational curriculum for harnessing your strengths, managing procrastination, building gritty perseverance, and strengthening self-advocacy skills. For school counselors, psychologists, health teachers, homeschoolers, parents, students. 242 pp. Ages 14 and up.
*Contact Learn & Flourish directly for bulk and international orders.
Buy the book
Sherri is co-author of this popular positive education book. Transform your home and school with the SMART Strengths approach. Grade-leveled appendix of activities.Buy the book
Appreciate, explore and expand your use of character strengths! An all-star cast of 30+ Positive Psychology writers and editors, plus original illustrations.Buy the book
Some people are challenged by life events and and become stronger, more grateful and more successful in their lives. What can we learn from them that can make your life better? This collection answers these questions and more.Buy the book
Explore the benefits and practices of gratitude! Sixteen authors from three continents bring practical suggestions based on the latest research.Buy the book
Sherri Fisher is the principal author and architect of Positive Edge Journal: A Year of Flourishing. Look inside for 52 bite-sized, research-based, positive, personalized lessons. Learn, Grow, Flourish, and Reflect on your life’s adventures for a happier, more resilient, and measurably more successful you. Designed for individuals/Most powerful in groups.Buy the book