Education and Parenting Consultant
I have worked in Education for over 40 years, starting out as a reception teacher in an Infant School in Barking, Essex. I then went on to train as a specialist teacher for teaching children who were learning English as an additional language and was then employed in Tower Hamlets, where I lived and worked happily for many years. I had several jobs whilst working for the EAL service including Advisory Teacher and it was there that I first started training teachers. I loved to design new materials and games for the children and was seconded for a year to develop materials and train staff to make and use mine as well as develop their own.
In the1980s, as well as teaching full time, I trained for 7 years with a national charity to lead workshops for people living with HIV/Aids around living powerfully and creatively in the face of a terminal diagnosis , eventually leading workshops throughout the UK for 10 years.
Somewhere in between beginning that training and committing to lead workshops I had a period of travel, my very own gap year, where I went around the world by myself to see what I was capable of and what I wanted to do with my life. I returned and began working as Health Education Co-ordinator for Richmond upon Thames bringing together my two passions, Education and Wellbeing, and my role was eventually expanded to include Kingston upon Thames. My training work with schools was so popular I extended my remit to include parents and now as a freelance consultant since 2002, I runs dozens of parent workshops and talks in schools, the media and local venues as well as continuing to provide training for staff. I took a PGC course at The Tavistock for a year before taking on the new role of working directly with families and I now have a growing list of clients for my parent and family consultation work.
I am the co-author of 3 (soon to be 4) bestselling books for parents with my writing partner Alison Baverstock. We met when her children were of school age in Kingston after she attended some of my workshops.
Like most older adults I have had plenty of time to think about who I am, what I am trying to achieve with my work and what I believe are theguiding principles in everything I do.
I consider my work to be primarily about helping and supporting children to grow into responsible, independent and caring adults who live their lives by a set of values. I don't push my values onto them - I try to help them develop their own.
I endeavour to help adults manage and relate to children in ways that encourage the develoment of lifelong values.
I know that children do not think, learn or operate the same way as adults - their brains are different. Treating children and young people as small adults is neither helpful not correct and modern trends are robbing children of the right to be children. I treat children and young people with respect and always as equals - but not as adults. I help them see and use practical solutions rather than complex logic and I teach, encourage and instruct parents and other adults in the best ways of doing so too.
I believe children need to grow and learn in the real world rather than the virtual one. In the last 15 years there has been a marked decrease in social skills and an increase in anxiety amongst children and young people. Gadgets have their place, I'm a fan, but children need to be curious and interested in the things about them and to relate to real people first.
Working with parents, children and young people in their homes, their schools and other informal settings.
Providing advice and support through training, one to one and group work and best selling publications.
Focus on anxiety
New workshop titles
Workshops for children
Workshops for parents and children together
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