Being a former teacher and senior leader in a tough London secondary I started EQuis Consulting Ltd in 2001 to organise training events, provide expert consultants and import materials from New Zealand and the USA for the Education sector. As technology and school infrastructure improved, the company attracted several R & D organisations who saw us as development partners that could help them to introduce and implement their systems into the schools’ marketplace.
It was in 2009 that one of these systems stood out from the crowd, IRIS Connect. Back then it was a crude but relatively secure camera system adapted from CCTV technology aimed at enabling self-reflection and the sharing of classroom clips to improve the quality of professional discussions around teaching and learning. What particularly struck me about this company was the directors’ complete belief in their quest to change the oppressive ‘performance management’ of teachers into effective professional development based on the individual teacher’s own needs and ambitions. And they backed up this passion with serious investment in R & D. Today the system is the recognised go to collaboration platform for all things CPD – and EQuis remain committed to it’s successful implementation in schools to the extent that most of what we do is powered by IRIS Connect:
All our school improvement projects either involve the sharing of video and information through IRIS Connect’s secure ‘Trust Networks’ programmes, or the presentation of our training workshops through the platform’s ‘Groups’ pages and video conferencing tools.
You’ll see in these pages how the five full-time staff and our consultant partners are kept busy helping schools to embed important technology and provide outstanding skills training for adults working with young people.
After a successful many years as a retail manager and corporate trainer I joined EQuis in Education 8 years ago. EQuis in Education represented a new and exciting challenge for me and the idea that I could get to play my beloved football and cricket more at the weekends was irresistible. The job gave me the opportunity to develop new skills to add to the skills and attributes I’d built up over the years. I quickly developed a passion for technology and, more importantly, making it work effectively for schools. Helping to develop and present professional learning tools, resources & training programmes in schools, then supporting teachers, at every stage of their career, to improve their practice – and so the learning experiences of our young people – is hugely rewarding.
My main role has been to consult with schools on how they might implement the IRIS Connect video enabled professional learning platform to support their own professional learning vision. I’ve met some brilliant and dedicated educators in and around our customer school community, many of them inspirational to say the least.
When I’m not working I collect redundant wooden pallets and turn them into attractive garden furniture and plant containers (I’ve got a few spare if you’re interested!). Love my wife, love my kittens, love my family, love Croatia and love rib-eye steak (but with white wine which is a bit odd!). I have really enjoyed the last 8 years with EQuis, especially as I have witnessed real positive impact on teaching & learning and feel that in some small way, I have made a difference.
Having been a teacher and a leader for 12 years in one, two and three-form entry primary schools, I know exactly the challenges and pleasures that come with working in this sector and believe teachers are truly fantastic people who should be heard and supported to be creative individuals.
My leadership has centred around Maths mostly. I achieved the National Professional Qualification in Leadership and completed the Challenge Partners’ Getting Ahead programme a few years back.
I lived and worked for Universitat de Santiago de Compostella in Spain for 3 of 5 years using my English Degree and Linguistics qualifications from University of Manchester.
Now, I am delighted to be part of the Equis team of like-minded people and am responsible for developing their online programmes, working with influential experts in different fields to create transformational content. I also have the pleasure of working with Initial Teacher Training providers to effectively implement their trainees’ use of Iris Connect technology to develop reflective, collaborative teachers. I feel very lucky to be a part of Equis in Education as they are at the top of their game when it comes to training and developing educators and are very well-connected with key people in our world of education.
Jenny Geertsen is Dutch American from Austria living and working in London. She has been with us 7 years and is now Equis’s most experienced lead trainer and accomplished motivational speaker. Jenny’s passion for teaching is rooted in her love of dance and choreography. After finishing three different degrees her experiences in education, particularly that at a London SEND school, have made her very aware of the difficulties and pressures all teachers face. Jenny’s desire to make life easier for all those in education by spreading the word on effective techniques, programmes and technology is evident in the feedback we get from the hundreds of schools she engages with across the country. Her spare time is largely spent performing and choreographing and working with various dance companies – but is most alive on stage.
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