Meet the Grow Your Mindset Team!
Check us out on our recent GyM Social event
LIZ CRONSHAW - Co-Founder and Owner of Grow Your Mindset
Liz loves history and was super excited to visit Clacton-On-Sea and the Victorian style pier. In her excitement (and yes she was in 40s) she rushed up the Helter Skelter only to realise half way down, when stuck she'd forgotten her mat.
Thank you to the guy who rescued her!
Before embarking on her teaching career Liz worked for 14 years in corporate business with a focus on life, pensions and investments. Her daily trip to and from Manchester gave her time to think about her life's journey. So it was in 2004 she took an about turn and became a 'mature student' beginning a 4 year BA Hons in Primary Education at MMU, Didsbury. In 2008 she returned to her very first placement school and became a Year 1/2 classroom teacher at Greenmount Primary.
Her love for technology and ICT, meant she explored the use of apps, augmented reality (A.R), gaming and blogging to engage children in their learning. She also secured lottery funding to develop a school radio (GPS1) and along with her 50+ media club reporters became one of the top 10 radio sites in the UK through Makewav.es. It was through working together at media club that Liz and Gemma realised their similar vision for creativity, their passion for Kagan (through Gemma's influence), Growth Mindset and their wicked sense of humour.
Even though Gemma left Greenmount Primary in 2017 to further her career in Lancashire, Liz continued to develop her knowledge of Growth Mindset, meeting regularly with Gemma and embedding the principles and ideas within her own classroom and therefore sowing a seed for Grow Your Mindset.
GEMMA SANCHEZ - Co-Founder and Owner of Grow Your Mindset
For a lesson observation, for a new job role, Gemma dressed up as a penguin. Needless to say she got the job!
Gemma always wanted to work with children. From a very young age, she had decided to take a career in teaching and everything she did from high school and beyond, ensured that she fulfilled that goal.
She worked her way through the ranks in the Guides, completed a pre teaching course at college, gained her NVQ 3 in Childcare before embarking on a 3 year course at St Martins University College in Cumbria.
Her teaching career began in 2003 working in the Bury Authority and was poached from her NQT year school to join Heaton Park Primary, where she spent the next 9 years of her teaching career. She worked across Key Stage 2 and became SENCo for the department in 2006, building a strong SEN intervention team, highly praised in the school Ofsted report.
It was here that Gemma fell in love with creative learning and then Kagan co-operative strategies. As circumstances changed, Gemma decided she also needed a change and so began working at Greenmount Primary, as Curriculum Innovator, in 2013. It was here that she met Liz and the idea for Grow Your Mindset was born.
In 2017 she moved closer to home, following her passion of Kagan and Growth Mindset, to a school in the Lancashire authority, Broadway Primary., but the pull to have a greater impact on children's lives was too strong. Education had changed and Gemma now wanted to change it for the better, so in July 2018, she left the classroom to develop Grow Your Mindset with her friend and colleague, Liz.
SIMON HUNT - Grow Your Mindset Pupil Workshop Associate
Simon the author of the delightful book ‘Delilah Rose the Bogey Princes’ based on his nose picking daughter. He decided to write the book because he was challenged to do so by his class!
Simon is a teacher, author, vlogger and education consultant and has been teaching in the Primary setting since 2009. He has taught Reception, Year 6 and he now teaches in a mixed year 3/4 class working part time at Tottington Primary School.
Simon has presented at shows such as BETT, the leading event for education technology, SETT, Scandinavia’s largest trade fair and conference for modern and innovative learning and various other educational conferences across the globe.
In 2018, Simon was named ‘Inspirational Teacher of the Year’ and the recipient of the Curriculum Improvement Award in 2021. He has also appeared on the BBC, BBC iPlayer and on multiple educational podcasts.
Simon vlogs about his own teaching experiences as Mr Hunt from the Front, bringing fun and creativity into the classroom, across his social media platforms.
DONNA LANGSHAW - Grow Your Mindset Pupil Workshop Associate
Donna once climbed a mountain and realised two hours later she'd walked the wrong way. She decided to climb back down the mountain a different way and ended up in the fields with the sheep. The sheep did not seem impressed to see us invading their home!
Donna started her education career back in 2007 when as she was training to be a teaching assistant. She was poached for a TA role in a local primary school. Her true love for working with children began at this point and she developed a huge interest in how they learn. Eager to know more, she went on to study ‘Child learning, development and support’ at Liverpool John Moores University and finished with a BA Honours in 2013.
She continued in her role as a TA at Yew Tree Primary Academy in Knowsley, but quickly realised that she wanted to become a teacher to enable her to use her expertise to its full potential with children that she worked with. In 2014 she went on to study full time at Liverpool Hope University & Merseyborough Initial Teacher Training and achieved her PGCE with QTS in 2015. She then started her career as a teacher back at Yew Tree Primary, teaching in year 2 and 3. She currently teaches Year 2.
Mindset has been of interest to Donna since she started her educational studies but a true understanding of it’s importance and impact came when she was approached by a head teacher (from another setting) visiting her classroom who asked ‘what is the magic’? This is when she realised that the magic was allowing the children to understand and grow their mindsets and how this impacted on their learning.
From then on, Donna was asked to become the grow your mindset lead at her setting and the journey began. It was during this journey that she met with Gemma and Liz who came to support her school. From the first session of teacher training workshops, she was in awe of Grow Your Mindset's work and fully shared their passion on developing the mindsets of all.
During her teaching career Donna has also developed a love and deep understanding for outdoor learning and has since become a forest school leader.
WENDY CARSON - Grow Your Mindset Pupil Workshop Associate
Wendy once fell off the side of a mountain whilst learning to ski, she hadn’t quite mastered the ability to stop, fortunately she landed in the top of a tree with only her pride damaged as the rest of her ski class stood on laughing. Strangely enough no one has wanted to join her on a ski trip since.
Wendy has worked with children, young people and their families since the aged of 16.
Working in numerous settings, from, nursery, afterschool, playgroups and schools. To working with Trafford and Bolton Early years and development teams, as an early year’s advisor, her career has been linked to working with children and their families, including managing three children’s centres in Bolton.
Wendy’s previous role was working in partnership with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, one of the leading children’s hospitals in Europe. She spent 7 years here as CEO at Ronald McDonald House Alder Hey, working with the families of seriously sick children, and supporting them during this most difficult time.
Like a lot of people, the Covid pandemic led the to a re-evaluation of life and priorities, Growth Mindset has become a passion for Wendy, and going back to her roots of working directly with children, giving them the life skills to reach their full potential is a dream come true.