Jenny Griffiths

“Raising awareness of environmental issues and the importance of our ocean is vital to the future of the human race. Stick with what you love and if you’re not happy, change it.”

As Education Officer, I design and run the Cool Seas Education Programme. This involves designing projects and resources which schools and children’s groups, like Scouts and Brownies use to learn about the ocean, as well as visiting schools to run workshops and creating online resources as well.

Did you always want to be in this role

When I was younger, I wanted to work in an office, wear a suit and be a business woman. At about 17 I decided this would be really boring and wouldn’t keep me interested for long. At that point I decided that I wanted to work with children – there’s nothing boring about that!

How did you get into this role?

I went to Uni to study Teaching and became a Primary School teacher. I worked as a class teacher for a few years and then worked my way up to being a member of the senior management team – I wanted to make learning fun for children and teachers. After nearly 15 years in schools, I decided that I didn’t want to become a head mistress and wanted to get away from the stress and hassles of working in schools so set my sights on becoming an education officer – we get all the fun bits of teaching without the less fun bits, like report writing and OFSTED inspections!

What would you say was your biggest challenge getting to where you are?

Leaving a school environment and learning to work in an office was challenging to begin with – after years of working in schools and knowing how things work, becoming a rookie again was tricky…but so worth it!

What’s the best bit about your job?

These days the topics I teach about are all hugely important. It’s not like when you teach in schools where you find yourself thinking, ‘Why is this important for children to learn?!’ Raising awareness of environmental issues and the importance of our ocean is vital to the future of the human race. You can’t really get more important than that! I also get to spend time on the beach with children, having fun and encouraging them to connect with the ocean. Who doesn’t enjoy a day at the beach?!

What bit of advice would you give your younger self?

Stick with what you love and if you’re not happy, change it. It’s a mantra I’ve followed and it’s worked pretty well.

What’s your favourite sea creature?

I love Puffins – little birds that nest in burrows in the ground. That’s an animal that thinks outside the box.

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