"Because of you, this is me - these are the six words that sum up the true awesomeness of teachers."
One minute you are a literacy consultant with a specialism in phonics, the next everyone is talking about you and you are being feted as the ‘British Oprah’.
All it takes is a sudden and unplanned moment of extreme bravery and frankness when, on a stage in front of a packed audience and with the cameras rolling, you open up about your childhood of abuse, cruelty, loneliness and despair – and how your life was saved by five teachers.
This was how the amazing Jaz Ampaw-Farr came to our attention - not to mention her memorable for all the wrong reasons appearances on The Apprentice and Blind Date - and why she is so much in demand currently not only across the UK but globally too.
It is hard work to hear Jaz’ story about growing up on an impoverished inner-city estate in the East Midlands in the 80s and subject to the most appalling abuse by the very people who should have been there to offer love and security. As committed educators and caring human beings, it is difficult to listen without anger to the way in which she and her siblings were not only abused at home but also let down by so many of the professionals and institutions who should have been there to protect her.
But throughout the story there is hope, a hope embodied by the five teachers who saved Jaz’s life, educators who went the extra mile and took the time to care. As she writes in her incredible 2018 autobiographical book Because Of You, This Is Me, when so many teachers were simply prepared to give her a good talking to or give up on her completely, what she really needed was ‘a good listening to’. These five teachers, stretching from her primary school through to her time at teacher training college, gave her what she needed when she needed, often without even being aware of just how life-saving their role really was.
The presentation from Jaz Ampaw Farr was genuinely moving and made me think about children's lived experience and the power of hope
Jaz Ampaw-Farr is the British Oprah
Hard messages were delivered well. Memorable with a true connection to the audience. The impact is immeasurable
Thank you so much for reminding us all of the real difference teachers make to children’s futures. We could have listened to you all day
YOU are a hero to have shared your story. The emotions, the laughs, but, most of all, the honesty
I just need you to know that your impact is far wider than you can ever imagine, and that you change lives. Thank you for being the catalyst
More Jaz Ampaw-Farr - a fantastic woman and a true beacon for hope
It is this awesome power that all teachers have – to save lives simply by caring enough about the children and young people in their care to see past their behaviours to the wonderful human being that has been there all along – that Jaz highlights in the work she is doing with teachers and school leaders nationally and internationally.
And as a speaker of world-class calibre who makes you laugh as much as she makes you cry as much as she makes you angry as much as she makes you determined never to let a child like Jaz pass you by ever again, it is easy to see why Jaz is so much in demand currently.
With the importance of child welfare and emotional health coming evermore to the fore – and rightly so – we need more people like Jaz with the courage to share their story without rancour and do so in a way that empowers all those working with young people to use the power they have to literally save lives.
And she does great talks on literacy and phonics too.
NB Trigger Warning - Jaz covers some traumatic and harrowing experiences from her life in her talks which some delegates may find distressing.
Jaz has been with Independent Thinking since February 2018
Ask us about Jaz's prices and current availability and for details on how to save money when you book, click here.
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Our office in lovely West Wales will then get in touch before you can say 'meddylwyr annibynnol'.