Hosting EduTweetOz this week is @smitheesusan

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Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?

Initially when I left high school I was a Youth Worker. There were a lot of  street kids who couldn’t read, write or do numeracy so I started teaching and assisting them in areas where I could. This led to getting a Bachelor of Primary Education and the rest is history. I have been teaching for 17 years now in support roles, as a classroom teacher and as Assistant Principal in which I led a number of successful whole school initiatives. I have worked in a range of schools but mainly high NESB. Currently I am an Assistant Principal Coach Mentor in Positive Behaviour for Learning Ultimo Directorate. In this role I get to work with an amazing team. We provide training for school teams in Positive Behaviour for Learning as well as coach and mentor  PBL school teams to assist with the implementation and sustainability after training. 
 

Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?

I am particularly passionate about student and teacher wellbeing. So being part of the  PBL team is wonderful.  When staff at a school , with big smiles on their faces, say how much behaviour has improved and teacher practise has changed for the better because of PBL, that is motivating and inspiring.
I’m also inspired by leaders who have turned students and teachers lives around with an importance on wellbeing  so learning can happen. Or when my students are so happy to be at school, want to learn and run up to me to say hi or how much they miss me, are excited by what you helped them achieve or that you care.
It is a great profession.

What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?

One of the biggest challenges I see for people working in  education today is the workload. So many people working very hard with very little rest.

The rewards for people in education is when you get to collaborate with an amazing team, when your student’s enthusiasm for  learning is ignited and they are so happy because they feel successful, when you know you have made a difference.
 

If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?

I would slow the changes down and give more financial support for schools so they could have time to innovate and collaborate to plan. Give teachers adequate planning time to be able to implement things properly.
 

What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?

I see EduTweetOZ as a wonderful way for educators to learn from each other and have informative discussions. I see it as a digital teachmeet that showcases what our wonderful educators are doing.
This week I will be looking at teacher and student wellbeing.
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