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 elemen- tary 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 su- pervision 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 school 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.
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.”
Learn more at her website: DRSUSIEWOLBE.COM
Q&A WITH DR. WOLBE
How can students, parents and teachers benefit from your book of professional advice?
While this book was designed with the teacher in mind, I do believe it is fair to say that both teachers and parents would benefit from the book. Students, especially older children, could certainly gain much from the information provided. Creating a home study area, learning how to be organized at school, establishing a habit of self-care, and developing positive, appropriate relationships are topics that are beneficial across the board.
How do you think The Empowered Teacher will make a difference in the lives of educators, students and their families?
Everything I learned throughout my teaching career was amazing and exciting to me: seeing a child master a new skill, knowing how to help a child become more confident in his or her abilities, and learning about brain science and how it could be used to help kids learn more quickly with less stress and more success. How wonderful is that? I think it’s incredible!The Empowered Teacher has the potential to help any teacher (or at least those who are willing to try something new) see things through a different lens and experience more positives in their profession. And they’ll get to witness those feelings and experiences through their students.
How can the teaching strategies and approaches in your book help both new teachers and veteran educators?
It goes without saying that those new to the profession can use all the help they can get. Not every school has a mentoring program, and, even for those that do, the program is only as good as the school’s veteran teacher. If that veteran teacher hasn’t taken the initiative to keep current with educational advances, or is not open to new strategies, then that mentoring program won’t really be doing much good in the long run. Plus, some people just make better mentors than others. There’s a difference between a teacher who has taught for 20 years, and a teacher who has taught one year 20 different times. It’s the difference between someone who modifies and works to improve strategies, and someone who pulls out that same old tired folder every year and repeats the same information over and over again. If you’re studying the names of states in the U.S., you might be OK. But if you’re studying crops, climates, technology or economy about those states, you need to update every year; there’s always something new to learn or something changing in the world around us.