Talented Bournemouth – Mal CPD Education Consultancy & Coaching
Bournemouth is filled with talented entrepreneurs, artists and musicians, honestly, there’s loads of them! Once a month Lotus Photography dedicates a blog to highlight one of these amazing people.
I love learning. I hated it when I was younger and was stuck in school forced to stay inside when I longed to be outside free to roam wild. Even when I finished college, for a few years I would shudder at the idea of going back to the classroom. Now, I jump at the chance to learn new things, especially from coaches who are passionate about their subject (I have a list of photographers I desperately want to run courses). Never once though did I think about who teaches the teachers. I just assumed that they went to university, got a degree in something and went straight to teaching, that was it.
But with the demands on teachers constantly changing and new technology being developed, the need to coach teachers in new ways of approaching their subjects is growing.
This month, I got to meet Education Consultant, Mal, from Mal CPD Education Consultancy & Coaching, who travels the country teaching Leadership Development & Coaching in the education sector.
We were welcomed by The Cottonwood Boutique Hotel and settled down with our delicious coffees and shortbread in the hotel’s library to discuss Mal’s role and the importance of coaching.
So what is an Education Consultant?
I go into schools and I develop, train and mentor their Leaders [e.g. Heads of Department] to be more effective. Part of that is to teach them to be better coaches, so they are able to coach, empower and inspire their teams with the aim of up-skilling the teachers so they are more effective and ultimately the students get the benefit of that.
Is coaching just in High Schools?
It’s for all schools, even for schools with little ones can benefit.
How do you get people to see the benefits of continually learning?
That’s what I’m all about! The best teachers continuously learn.
The current system when assessing schools is that you are labelled ‘Good’ or ‘Bad‘ if you’re labelled good you might just stop there. Whilst if you have someone say “that part was really effective, but have you tried this?” it’s a whole different language and encourages people to talk and collaborate. By encouraging people to learn together it changes the whole culture of the school, if the teachers are learning it has a massive impact on the kids.
Tell us about a success story you’ve had.
I trained a third of the staff in one school to become coaches, I then paired them up with other teachers to try and upskill, support and develop within the school. It wasn’t that the other teachers were terrible, the idea was to change the culture and have teachers learn from one another rather than it being “Right, this is senior management observing you, you’re rubbish sort it out” which is how it can be in some schools. This was more about “Ok, this isn’t going too well, you’re struggling with doing questioning effectively, here’s another member of staff who does it really well, why don’t you meet up?”. It’s then on a peer level, you’re working together. The school is helping you improve rather than just saying here’s a target now do it.
When I introduced it, we had a new teacher who had so much potential but needed more structure in her lessons. I teamed her up with a teacher who was more structured and great at organisation. The next time I observed her, her lessons where phenomenal. Only a few months after that, Ofsted observed her and said she was one of the best teachers in the school!
It’s not about me going in to make a teacher better, but creating a culture where teachers talk and support each other to bring everyone up.
You’re also a Regional Leader of WomenEd
I’m so passionate about it. When I was on maternity leave, I was playing on Twitter and I came across WomenEd I thought ‘wow it looks fantastic’. I really believe in equality and a lot of the things they said sang to me.
In education the majority of teachers of are women, but the majority of senior leaders and head teachers are men. There are two reasons for this; unconscious bias and that many women don’t have the confidence to put themselves forward.
An example is that a man might look at a job description and think “I can do 6 out of 10 of those things, I’ll apply”, whilst a woman might look at a job description and think “I can’t do 4 out of those 10 things so I won’t apply”.
Also, with the gender pay gap, an example is that my husband and I were both applying for roles, when I got the phone call offering me the job I said “Yes!” and put the phone down. When he got offered the job, he started negotiating the pay straight away, he has a strong mindset of his self-worth and many women don’t have that.
My background is that I came from West Ham, the second poorest borough in the country. We got our clothes from jumble sales, I was afraid to ask my parents for new shoes not because I would get told off, but because at age 5 I was aware we couldn’t afford it. But I got through all those barriers, got my degree and got to a fantastic place in my career.
A lot of women struggle to get through their own barriers, to see their self-worth, I want my experiences to help and inspire.
Do you hold events?
I just held one in March for Women’s International Day, it was called “Enablers & Barriers to Successful Leadership” and we had fantastic speakers. We’re holding another event in July down the beach for women to network.
How does photography influence your job?
It’s important as I am my brand. Photography is important to show who I am, that I am professional, that I am friendly and I have the balance between the two.
What’s your life motto?
Be 10% braver. It’s always been my motto to go for it, you might have the haters, the barriers, but do it anyway.
Mal is incredibly passionate about education and equality and is a fantastic speaker, we spent over an hour discussing a huge variety of topics, to write it all would make this an incredibly long article. Instead, follow Mal on Facebook and on her website, she regularly posts amazing articles and insights that are well worth a read.
Looking for a venue for a meeting or conference? Take a look at the conference and event packages available at The Cottonwood Boutique Hotel.
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