I am generally known as the "keep-it-real" teacher who specialises in Positive Psychology, conducting professional development for teachers across Australia (www.teacher-wellbeing.com.au). After 20+ years of teaching in primary, secondary and tertiary education in Australia, I have seen it all. From teachers who are thriving to those who are bullies and blamers. Parents who are supportive and those who are a hinderance to their own child's development, and of course, students who are angelic and those who push our buttons. What I have learnt through my time as a teacher, is that teaching is both rewarding and tough. In fact, teachers have become the most stressed profession in the world (Stoeber, 2008). Through my own experiences and love of learning I now specialize in helping teachers be more resilient, better manage expectations, and offer strategies to help them thrive through the science of positive psychology and coaching psychology.
Have you ever been in a shopping center when you hear a voice behind you that calls out "Miss" or "Sir"? You cringe because you know it is an ex-student you have taught but you will have forgotten their name. You smile politely and excitedly ask how they have been since leaving school. They begin to recount a story where you made a lasting impression on them that has stayed with them until this day. You taught them a 'hard-life' lesson in responsibility by embarrassing them in front of the peers.... not your finest hour. Of course this was not your intention, but the reality was that you were tired, stressed and were simply doing the best you could at the time. Thankfully, your intentions were pure so they gained some positive learning's from it. You don't remember the specific incident but you acknowledge it as something that does sound like you. You wish them well and walk away feeling thankful they have been able to take a positive learning from a time you were actually stressed and overwhelmed. It leaves you wondering, how can I be more of my best possible self, to be a better role model for others, a positive role model for others? To still teach powerful lessons, but do so in a more pro-active and conscious manner? How can I better manage my own emotions and stress, so be a better teacher fro my students? Wellbeing is the right of everyone in a school, including the teachers that make learning happen.
I was recently voted by pre-service teachers as Lecturer of the Year (2014) at Western Sydney University in the School of Education. I was both humbled and grateful to not only be recognized as someone who is able to make valuable contributions to beginning teachers as their prepare to enter the profession, but someone who is able to practice what they preach.
I have completed a Masters in Education (Leadership). Before that I completed a Bachelor of Education (Physical & Health Education), a Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Education, a Life Coaching Certificate (Life Coaching Academy) and I am a Master Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner. After teaching in both government and independent schools for over 20 years, I now lecture at Western Sydney University, am a Senior Associate for Dr Suzy Green & the Positivity Institute, and am a senior facilitator at Teacher Training Australia. I have been the NSW Manager for the Outdoor Education Group, program developer for International College of Wellness Coaches and am a member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation).
I am passionate about teachings and committed to helping teachers feel more respected, valued and worthy. Teachers do such an incredible job giving to others and sometimes forget how to give back to themselves. Through the science of positively psychology, my vision is build teacher wellbeing across the globe.