Louiza Hebhardt is this week’s guest Tweeter for Edutweetoz. Here she tells us a little about herself.
Please tell us a little about yourself. What is your current role and what does it involve?
I’ve been teaching in schools in the NT, UK and most recently Adelaide since 1996. My current role is as an education consultant providing counselling/coaching and training to school based staff to assist them in managing the emotional demands associated with working in the educational setting. I also host #teacherwellbeingchat most Sunday nights at 8:30 pm Sunday nights which has proven to be a really popular (sometimes even top-trending!) support network to teachers across the globe through Twitter.
What do you plan to talk about on Edutweetoz this week?
I have received a lot of queries about sleep in the past and as it came up again on #teacherwellbeingchat last Sunday I thought I’d focus on strategies for enhancing sleep. I commonly hear about school based staff experiencing sleep disturbance as a result of work or personal pressures so am creating a vlog series all about sleep which I’m hoping will give people some strategies to help them sleep better. We all know about the negative effects of not enough sleep and as sleep disturbance is a commonly associated with stress, I’m really hoping it will be a resource that people can use to their own benefit and which will ultimately have positive outcomes. Plus, it’s a little bit different, isn’t it?
Who are your teaching role models and why?
Not being based in any one school at the moment I would have to say that my role models are mostly those I observe through my PLN. I love their initiative and dexterity and look to so many of them as leaders in their fields. I also loved working with Julie Hayes and Katrina Sexton (Principal and Deputy) at my last site. Those women were a great support and inspiration to me.
What issues do you think are most pressing for teachers today?
STRESS! And it’s getting worse! I am increasingly seeing school based staff so stressed and burnt out that their mental and physical health is compromised. That’s why I decided to move out of schools and into my current role. As a result of completing my Masters in Social Sciences (in Counselling Studies) I am in a fortunate position of knowing how to recognise psychological distress and how to manage it productively and healthily. What I mainly see is that educators have very little idea about these hazards or how to manage them effectively so they resort to either unproductive coping strategies (which invariably cause more harm) or become so disillusioned that they leave the profession altogether.
What are your hopes for education in the next 10 years?
I hope that as a result of the work that I am doing in schools that teachers will have greater knowledge about how to manage their own wellbeing effectively and that the rate at which people are leaving the profession declines. I think schools are marvellous and exciting places in which to work and my hope is that they will become places where people want to stay working and inspiring future generations. I am hopeful that my new book (to be released later this year) will become a real game changer in the field and help to keep the wonderful educators we all know doing their thing whilst feeling their best and thriving professionally.