Sharon Bidder - Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) Program
I am the coordinator of the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) Program at CIT. I have worked at CIT since 2009. I have taught English as a second language (ESL) for over 15 years, in both Australia and the UK.
There are two streams to the SEE Program* - the ESL stream and the literacy stream. The program aims to give students the skills to participate fully in Australian society and hopefully move on to further education or into the workplace.
What's really important in the program is building the confidence of the students and encouraging them to have a go and take risks with their learning.
Our students are all at different levels - some come with fairly good skills and some are illiterate in their own language - so we cater to a whole range of abilities.
A lot of our students come from difficult backgrounds or have had fairly negative educational experiences. I find it incredibly rewarding to see students blossom. Not just in their language skills, but also socially. We really try to create an environment where students feel safe and where they will take a chance.
I always feel incredibly proud seeing students come out the other end of the program. We have a great team of very dedicated teachers, who all have at their core a desire to see students succeed.
As well as teaching inside the classroom, we help a lot of students with other issues such as housing or getting a job. The team and I are always able to put the students in touch with people who can help them, and we often liaise with outside agencies. The amount of effort and work that the team puts in both inside and outside the classroom is amazing.
All of this combines to create this fabulous environment that students can be a part of.
*The Skills for Education and Emplopyment (SEE) Program is funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Department of Innovation.