So much of school, work and life requires you to please other people. Measuring up to other people’s standards—even if you don’t have attention, learning and organizational challenges—can feel miserable and erode the desire to achieve. With a history of underachieving, you may feel anxious or not know how to try differently. Other people’s expectations can feel like a huge weight. All you want is relief, but that urge for relief may lead you to avoid work, to use energy to argue instead of getting started, or to seek pleasurable distractions. Whether you struggle in school, at work or in life, I am here to help.
I teach across the age span, from kindergarten through graduate school, in 1-1 sessions and in groups, both live and online. I have clients on six continents. Everything I provide is personalized, whether you need academic skills for reading, writing and math, or ones for task efficiency, comprehension and organization. Some of your strengths are currently invisible to you. I can help you learn to spot and appreciate those strengths, and leverage them so that your future is not just a dream. This is the first step to unleashing your potential.
Embedded in the practical approaches you will learn is the POS-EDGE®, a set of research-based well-being tools that help you know what you really want—not just what other people want for you. You will develop self-determination, and how to bounce back when things do not go as planned. You will acquire skills to lower the volume on the “I Will Never Measure Up” playlist. Most importantly, you will learn to make adjustments that keep you committed to your own goals, even if they change along the way. I am a learning specialist—an expert to help you become more competent and independent by personalizing the way you use the strengths you already own. I also believe in your potential to become happier, resilient and successful. I have studied the social-emotional basis of success for years: I am a graduate of the first University of Pennsylvania Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) class and thus the first learning specialist in the world to have earned this degree. It is my privilege to be a student and colleague of the top researchers and practitioners in this field. I am also a mom, dog-lover, gardener and travel/hiking/photography fan.
As a learning specialist and Positive Education expert, I empower bright students of all ages—in particular those who have learning and performance challenges—to unleash their potential. In my international private practice, I provide personalized success strategies to high-potential clients who struggle with procrastination and underperform despite their abilities. When students learn how to identify and leverage strengths, and identify success patterns, they grow both academically and emotionally, and flourish at school, home, and in their careers.
Students/Parents: My personalized Positive Education approach teaches you research-based soft skills of self-regulation and well-being alongside the skills of learning. Your individualized success strategies will promote both academic, career and social-emotional growth. You will embed and unleash your customized “What Works” tools in school, work and life.
“I have never met a learning specialist/educator with so much knowledge, compassion and drive for doing what is right for students. Sherri is loving and clear at a time when many parents are fraught with anxiety, denial or anger. Parents feel that she understands their student and they trust her to guide them through a potentially daunting experience of referrals, testing and follow through.” — P.W., teacher
“Although our children have had excellent teachers, no one but Sherri has so quickly and accurately understood their needs, both educationally and emotionally. She consistently surprises us by exquisitely articulating their sources of difficulty and having a seemingly inexhaustible set of positive interventions.”
— J.T. and E.T., parents
“Sherri was able to create an alliance with our son, with us, and with his teachers that bridged the gap between his school’s holistic teaching style and his need for linear, sequential and structured learning. We maintained a relationship with Sherri throughout his schooling and he now has earned his PhD in physics.” — B.R., Parent
“I made it to college only to end up on academic probation. Learning how to use my powers for good when I have always felt that I was barely getting by—that is the secret sauce of life for people like me who struggled for years in school. I’m so glad I met you, Sherri. Belief in myself happened in little steps at a time. But you always believed. I am so grateful for that.”
— S.R., Student
I coach well-being leaders in community-wide initiatives and teach future business owners how to design a business that can both do well and do good in the world.
Community wellbeing Initiatives and research: I am a founding collaborator and coach in Maroondah, VIC, Australia’s Communities of Wellbeing project, an initiative at the nexus of education, business, government, and social services. The project uses my book, Positive Edge Journal, commissioned by the Oceania National Olympic Committee/Oceania Australia Foundation. The Journal is included in professional development programs at the Geelong Grammar School Positive Education Institute, for teachers in “Plus-10 Schools”, and in athlete groups at Monash University and throughout Oceania.
Solopreneurs/early-stage entrepreneurs: I am a co-founder of a virtual incubator and can help you incubate an idea into a livelihood. I’ve been a business owner for 35 years and would love to help fast track your dream. We use design thinking for your idea, and coach you to incubate your early stage business.
“Sherri could give a stone confidence. As a member of her incubator group, she helped me transform a lot of ideas into clear action steps to start my business. Most important, she taught me to embrace failure as a discernible feedback guide to show me the path to true success.” — L.R. Business Owner
“Before I met Sherri, I had spent 10 years refining and redefining my business idea. I smoothed it and updated it. I never launched it, though. I always found it lacking something. Then I learned the five questions to ask future customers. It was like getting the answers before the test! Who wouldn’t want that? I went from stuck in my fear of failure to making my first product.” — M.T., Educator, Entrepreneur
“Sherri is blessed to have an Ivy League education with a Main Street presence that makes her one of a handful of people that are able to coach, teach, guide and help others flourish with synergistic meaningful engagement. Her advice and shared passion for “making the world a better place” has been a priceless asset, both to me personally, and to our nonprofit.” — K.R., Entrepreneur, Non-Profit Director
I am a speaker and workshop leader in higher education, at live and virtual professional conferences, and in the community. Some of the places I have spoken are: University of Pennsylvania Imagination Institute; VIA Institute on Character; Universidad Iberoamericana/Mexico City Positive Psychology Program; Canadian Positive Psychology Association; International Positive Psychology Association; UN World Day of Happiness; and the International Positive Education Network.
“The models you mention, especially POS-EDGE, will be a great help in my work with adults with ADHD, who often struggle with a lifetime of failures.“
“We always want to be heard—put in our two cents—but it’s so amazing to ask questions instead of making statements. Thanks for that reminder! A lot of the time, questions are statements and are judgmental. Thanks so much for teaching me about the importance of language.“
“It was a thrill to see you in action. You have a confidence, grace and conversational, compelling style. It was a pleasure to learn what you were teaching.“
Unleash Your Epic Self is a dynamic 36-week book-journal-workbook. It incorporates the most powerful personal change research from the exciting science of Positive Psychology and makes it easy to understand and implement. Besides being an excellent read, uYES is a place to learn and reflect, and a brilliant resource for parents, teens, and education professionals to grow their well-being skills by living them daily. Gain a deeper understanding of what gives you a sense of satisfaction and joy. Imagine and create your best future. Harness your strengths, manage procrastination and strengthen people connections. Rig your everyday decisions for greatness. Every activity is student and educator tested! Full-color experience. Edgy graphics. Lots of space to make it your own!
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.
Appreciate, explore and expand your use of character strengths! An all-star cast of 30+ Positive Psychology writers and editors, plus original illustrations.
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.