Hi my name is Jo Buckingham. I am a Learning Development Officer at Geevor. I have been working here since September 2006, but have just taken 10 months off to have a baby. I return, ready and raring to go, helping all types of learners do all types of learning, inspired by Geevor.
I was born and brought up in Penzance, Cornwall. Although not conventionally academic, I achieved a degree from Leicester University in Science (main subject Geology).
I put this to good use by spending the next 7 years of my life working on boats, specifically traditional tall ships. One of the ships I worked on had a training program and I became involved with that. I loved the pace and motivation of learning on board a ship and strongly felt that if all learning could be delivered in a similar hands-on direct way, then many of us could get a lot more out of our education. It really backed up my theory that we are all geniuses, we all just need to find the right way to tap into the power in our brains.
All this interest in learning encouraged me to swallow the anchor (as they say) and settle down in my old home town of Penzance. I Joined a PGCE (in the post compulsory sector) course in St Austell College. I hoped that by teaching in the post compulsory sector I could facilitate learning without being constricted by the curriculum and other constraints of Primary and Secondary school teaching. I wanted to reach students that did not learn in a conventional way, much like myself.
During the year of my PGCE, I taught Numeracy to adults with special needs as well as teaching a Watersports NVQ . I also taught English to foreign language students age 13-19 as well as showing them around all the exciting points of Cornwall (including Geevor of course).
I enjoyed it all hugely, but finally found my true calling at Geevor, which much like a ship, allows learning to be fun and active. It never fails to achieve strong outcomes for all types of learners; however they like to do it. I could not believe it when I saw the job description for learning development officer for Geevor; it was as if the job was written for me.
I particularly enjoy designing new learning experiences and being stopped in the street by kids that say “Hey aren’t you Jo from Geevor?”.