Meet the Grow Your Mindset Team!
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.
JENNY ARTLEY - Grow Your Mindset Associate
From the age of 16, Jenny worked as a children’s party entertainer, spending her weekends dressing up as a princess or superhero and mastering the art of doing the Cha Cha Slide in reverse
Although she always knew that she wanted to pursue a career working with children, Jenny wasn’t sure what form this would take and so at 18 she began her degree in English Language and Sociolinguistics at Lancaster University, spent summer breaks working as an au pair in Madrid, undertook research into the teaching of Literacy in Primary schools before completing her PGCE at Manchester Metropolitan University, Didsbury. This was when she first met Liz, who was her mentor for her first teaching placement (and a fabulous mentor she was)!
After starting her career at Dowson Primary School in Hyde, followed by a short career gap, touring the Outback and East Coast of Australia, Jenny secured a maternity leave cover at Greenhill Primary School, Bury and gained a permanent contract for the following September. She taught at Greenhill for a total of five and a half years, where she became the maths coordinator and discovered a passion for mixed ability teaching and the mastery approach to maths.
As the Year 6 teacher, Jenny felt that mindset was a barrier to learning for some of her pupils and so, eight years after they had first met, contacted Liz to come and deliver the Mindset Motivation sessions in her classroom. These had a huge impact upon her class but also upon Jenny herself!
At the end of the 2020 academic year, Jenny decided to take on a new challenge and retrain in order to set up her own business as a pre and post-natal fitness instructor, running mum and baby/ toddler exercise sessions. However, having seen first-hand the impact of working with the Grow Your Mindset girls, her passion for all things mindset had been ignited and she was thrilled to be asked to join the Grow Your Mindset team and help other children and teachers with their mindset journey!
JENNY WILLIAMSON - Grow Your Mindset Associate
Jenny’s adaptations to living in ‘the countryside’ have included a rogue pumpkin patch which had taken over the entire garden on return from a holiday and the experience of 2 cockerels and 2 hens living in the utility room – noisy and messy!!
Jenny grew up wanting to be a teacher much to the distress of her siblings and cousins who had to endure hours of ‘school’ at the weekends! She has a passion for history and gained a degree in History and Literature from The University of Central Lancashire, Preston before completing a PGCE at The University of Manchester.
For her first teaching post, Jenny returned to her childhood school. She spent 9 fantastic years at St. Bede’s Junior School in Widnes teaching alongside her childhood teachers and always refusing to call them by their first names – it felt odd! She even got to travel to Jordan with the British Teaching Council to explore learning in different contexts! It was at St. Bede’s that Jenny’s passion for nurture and wellbeing really began to shine along with an interest in SEN.
After having 4 babies, getting married and relocating, Jenny took a short break from teaching. During this time, she immersed herself in Early Years, founding a play based learning group for little learners and their parents. However, the call of the classroom was too strong and Jenny now teaches at Moorfield Primary School in Widnes. It was through teacher training at Moorfield that Jenny met Gemma and Liz. Jenny was blown away by the impact that adopting GyM strategies was having on her learners and wanted to know more!
SIDDHARTH NOTANI - Grow Your Mindset Technical Consultant
Siddharth can speak 4 languages fluently. He is a whizz with Spanish, English, Hindi and Urdu, making him super handy to take with you on holiday.
Siddharth has always been a self-motivated and goal-driven person, who has enjoyed teaching and working with children. He has worked as a Spanish and Maths Tutor for 4 years and has been a Programming Teaching Assistant at Lancaster University for 2 years.
He has always enjoyed the world of technology and entrepreneurship. After graduating with a Software Engineering degree at Lancaster University, he is now pursuing a Data Science Masters degree. He has worked in several places as a Software Developer and Data Scientist.
His love from entrepreneurship and building things encouraged him to develop himself and grow his mindset. He has worked on himself through self-development books and by surrounding himself with people who will help him learn and grow.
He thinks Grow Your Mindset is the best opportunity to not only apply his technical skills for the platform, but also grow and learn from the experienced team that Grow Your Mindset has formed.
JESSICA MCEVOY - Grow Your Mindset Marketing and Graphics Assistant
Jessica is an avid musical theatre and Disney lover. She could tell you a song title and the film/show it’s from within the first 10 seconds of it playing. She can also spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious like the back of her hand but don’t ask her to say it backwards, that’s only for Mary Poppins herself.
After graduating in 2019 with a degree in graphic design from Manchester’s School of Art, Jess spent the following year covering a maternity position in the Art department at Holy cross college, where she had previously studied. There she assisted all art subjects, monitoring stock, supporting students and staff in there studies.
She was lucky enough to gather opportunities to support the Upper 6th collective group, which worked in the college's in-house studio, allowing students to design for a variety of subjects around the setting
Due the the pandemic, there was no external end of year show, so she was tasked with producing a catalogue featuring all upper 6th work, that would be sent out to all staff and art students. This catalogue celebrated all the achievements the students had gained, throughout their years at Holy Cross College.
Outside of work, Jess helps on multiple amateur dramatic societies. Producing artwork, marketing material, programmes. Theatre is a passion of Jess’s and it would be the ultimate dream of hers to some day work in theatre.
For now she is in charge of marketing and graphics for the Grow Your Mindset team as part of the government's Kickstart scheme, where she hopes to develop a wide range of different skills for her future and of course, help the team grow!