Teaching requires so much more than showing up on Monday morning with a lesson plan and a smile. When it comes to positively impacting students’ learning, some of the most important lessons have very little to do with teaching the designated curriculum. In The Empowered Teacher: Proven Tips for Classroom Success (Brown Books Publishing Group), Susie Wolbe, Ed.D., provides school administrators, teachers and parents with a wealth of practical tips based on years of personal experience as a parent, teacher, principal, certified Academic Language Therapist and Mindful Schools instructor.
The Empowered Teacher pushes past the curriculum and provides essential strategies that enable teachers to lower the stress level in the classroom, minimize the time spent on procedural minutia, and increase the attention given to students, which is exactly where their focus needs to be.
“It’s not about the curriculum. It’s about establishing positive, appropriate relationships, taking care of yourself, and growing both personally and professionally,” says Wolbe. “Every school has its mandated curriculum, but the schools and the teachers who go beyond the content are the ones who get to the heart of the matter and the spirit of their students.”
Wolbe believes the key to classroom success is the ability to establish a habit of self-care, and that by participating in daily mindfulness practices, the emotional state, physical health and mental abilities of teachers and students alike will be profoundly improved.
“It took me a long time to realize the importance of taking care of myself and to understand that there was nothing selfish about it,” she says. “As the stewardess on the airplane says, ‘put the oxygen mask on yourself before placing it on the person for whom you are responsible.’ After all, if I don’t put on my oxygen mask, I’ll pass out … and be of no help to anyone.”
Wolbe provides a collection of practical tips that educators can put to use immediately, including: trusting in the intuition of the teacher’s “inner voice,” mindfulness exercises to reduce stress and discourage negativity, a five-step process to conflict resolution, careful observation to improve relationships and communication, and much more. The Empowered Teacher is based on years of classroom experience and contemporary educational research and emphasizes the importance of communication skills and self-care strategies as essential for providing a positive classroom environment from which students will benefit.
Learn more about Susie Wolbe, Ed.D., and her book, The Empowered Teacher, at www.DrSusieWolbe.com.
Susie Wolbe, Ed.D., has spent 30+ years as an educator in public and private schools, in addition to offering private tutoring or therapy beyond the school day. She taught multiple grade levels in elementary and middle school in both public and private schools before serving as K-8 principal in a private school for 14 years. She has a B.S. and M.S. in elementary education, holds an Ed.D. in educational supervision with a concentration in curriculum and instruction, and is certified as an Academic Language Therapist and as a Mindful Schools instructor.
Her background in public and private schools education, along with advanced degrees and additional educational accreditations, forms the basis for her current work. She teaches academic language therapy and mindfulness to children and adults, along with other topics focusing on brain research, study and organizational skills, and balanced lifestyles for the professional at work or at home. She offers educator and parent education, as well as sessions with children in both individual and group settings. Through these programs, she is determined to help students, parents and educators lead a more well-adjusted life with attention given to their personal needs. She wants students to become independent, motivated thinkers who display a positive self-image, resiliency, and integrity, and who possess critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Making use of mindfulness strategies has helped her learn how to manage life’s (sometimes) overwhelming demands, and she is now committed to helping others do the same, especially as it applies to students, educators and parents. She is also a continuing education provider for the state of Texas; beyond the classroom, Dr. Wolbe has manufactured children’s clothing and holds a real estate broker’s license. She and her husband have five children and seven grandchildren.