"Creativity, curiosity and compassion - that's the winning formula for any classroom."
Education is a world of very special people but you will meet few as extra special as Nina ‘Ninja’ Jackson.
Her work in the area of mental health and well-being has had an overwhelming impact on children, teachers and parents alike. She has rescued many who were on the brink of despair and given teachers the motivation to carry on when they nearly walked away from their careers.
When you hear her own personal story and all the amazing strategies she has employed to overcome the very worst experiences in life, you’ll then understand how she has managed to help so many people and why she is known as ‘The Ninja, who moves in mysterious ways’.
With a background in mainstream and special needs education and many years’ experience in schools as a pedagogical and pastoral champion, Nina has a breath-taking grasp of what makes classrooms - and all the people in them - tick.
She is a highly creative educator and, whilst her first book explored her research on how music can improve learning and motivation in all classrooms, her latest best-selling book, Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons: A Compendium of Careful Advice for Teachers, is helping put the ‘fizz’ back into classrooms for thousands of teachers.
For Nina, it’s all about the sherbet lemons. Classrooms need to have the ‘hard stuff’ in place - rigour, systems, expectations and a professionally inclusive approach to the achievement of all children. But there also needs to be the ‘fizz’ – the magic, the excitement, the emotional engagement, the sense of wonder, the passion for teaching and learning, that special energy that Nina personifies when you hear her speak.
Absolutely honoured to listen to Nina Jackson talk about her mental health this afternoon. She brought us smiles and tears, what an inspiration
Phenomenal words from Nina Jackson at the conference today. Mental health matters. Check in, check out and never forget unconditional positive regards for students. Nina - you blew me away
You are inspirational - staff were in awe of the power of your message
Just wanted to say what an inspiration you are! I have never listened to a presentation so brilliantly pitched and from the heart. So many things to take away I wish my whole school could've heard it!
Thank you soooo much for yesterday – staff are raving about you!! It’s the most inspirational training we have ever had!
The most powerful, emotional, thought provoking and inspirational talk that I have ever had the pleasure to see....definitely got me thinking about myself and the patients that we nurse...thank you Nina for sharing your story
Your positivity, passion and enthusiasm is truly infectious and has made a real impact on our children
It was such a great pleasure and honour meeting you and you touched the hearts and minds of all
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.... thank you for reminding me about that amazing fizzy feeling, the happiness and extra fizz I get when the learners in my care, light up with awe and wonder
We are immensely grateful for your very inspirational presentation and will need to hear more
Nina was absolutely fantastic as always and went above and beyond to make our event a special day for our staff
She is a truly exceptional lady and we love having her at our events
Thank you especially to Nina for sharing your story. Remarkable woman promoting the importance of well-being for all
She was the first speaker who had devised new workshops for primary and secondary delegates. I would recommend her highly
Nina you are just amazing
The feedback from all staff was really positive, with lots of people commenting on how "thought provoking" and "uplifting" your session was. Thank you so much for this
This has been the best lockdown CPD. Thank you so much!
I think our teachers have found the sessions incredibly useful and many are experimenting with the resources you have showcased.
The Head of School was in touch straight after the event, having received emails from his staff about how much they enjoyed the session and how motivating and engaging the session was for an end of day CPD event
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for yesterday – what an uplifting session, and some great feedback from the members
Just wanted to say a huge thank you. So inspiring! Been on many CPD courses over many, many years and usually disengage mid-way but definitely not the case this morning. I'm all fired up to brace new challenges next academic year!
What’s more, as an Apple Teacher and Book Creator Ambassador she works globally to help teachers embrace learning technologies in a way that actually makes a difference. Sharing simple strategies and accessible hardware and software, Nina shows how simple it is to build technology into great lessons to bring the best out of all children, including those who might otherwise have trouble accessing the curriculum fully.
Yet it is her work as an international emotional health and well-being ‘ambassador’ for which she is currently most in demand. With ongoing rise of high-stakes testing and market-driven education, the impact of these so-called school improvement approaches are taking their toll on young people and adults alike. Speaking with compassion and drawing on experience and expertise drawn from across the UK as well as from her time in challenging classrooms as far apart as as Chile, Ghana and China, Nina shows schools a way forward to ensure everyone can actually thrive in this toxic climate.
Whether it’s receiving standing ovations from audiences of school leaders, running whole-school INSET days and twilights or working directly with children in their classrooms, Nina brings warmth, humanity, honesty, humour and fun to every environment, making a truly lasting impression wherever she goes.
For a speaker who moves in mysterious ways, you know where to look.
NB Trigger Warning - Nina covers some traumatic and harrowing experiences from her life in her talks on mental health and emotional well-being which some delegates may find distressing.
- Nina has been with Independent Thinking for over 20 years and is an Associate Director
- You'll find her in our Teaching and Learning, Leadership and Well-Being topic areas
- You can watch Nina in conversation with Ian Gilbert in 2020 here
- You might also want to consider Jaz Ampaw-Farr or Ian Gilbert
- She is available for an On-Demand Conference in partnership with Julie Rees
- Ask us about Nina's prices and current availability and for details on how to save money when you book, click here.
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