Joan Henderson, Education Mentor

Joan Henderson lives in Co Antrim with her miniature schnauzer. Her daughter Laura is a solicitor is now married and living in Northern Ireland.  Joan was delighted to welcome her first grandchild 22 months ago. Her son Jamie lives and works in Canada as a skiing instructor.  Joan lost her husband to leukaemia two years ago, his diagnosis becoming the catalyst for major transformation in her life and career.
Joan has over 35 years of experience in education as a teacher, principal, university lecturer and school inspector. She developed her passion for working with and supporting others in setting up her new business Joan Henderson Education Mentor, utilising her skills and experience to provide tailored solutions to meet school needs and requirements. This would provide Joan with a better work-life balance for herself and in caring for her husband.
Joan offers a development programme which focuses on guiding and encouraging middle and senior management staff in the process of change and sustained process and practice improvements, alongside the planning and delivery of workshops focusing on important aspects of early education. Joan has always been passionate about self-awareness, development and personal resilience since losing both her parents by the age of seven. She developed her skills and expertise through achieving an MEd in Guidance and Counselling in 1998, and is recognised as being authentic, inspiring, and motivating in her approach and as a keynote speaker.
 ‘Joan is an expert in getting you to realise your potential and giving you the courage, confidence and skills to rise to any challenge. She helps you to tap into your inner-belief and become the best you can be. A coach and mentor like no other.’ Lisa Brown - Principal
Joan quickly realised that during her workshops she increasingly met and had discussions with many individuals particularly women who were facing challenges in relation to their career development and at times conflicting with increasing responsibilities within their personal lives. She found that increasingly she was receiving requests for support and conversations as a mentor and coach to support personal development. Her work with Women in Business as a mentor has expanded her coaching experience and expertise with women from corporate and commercial backgrounds. Women have to juggle so much more in their lives with caring responsibilities at home alongside progressing their careers. Joan is developing a new pathway for her business during the last challenging year, while enriching her dedication for and passion in supporting women to achieve their potential. Mentoring and coaching has become such a fulfilling job at a time when mental health and well-being has become a priority in everyone’s life.
‘As part of the sessions Joan and I have discussed a range of professional situations where I have felt the need to develop. I have learnt coping mechanisms and various ways of interpreting conversations to ensure I can present, respond and communicate in a more positive way. Joan has provided me with a range of skills to help me review and reflect on my development. I have developed resilience and coping mechanisms that are relevant to my job and my listening skills have improved immensely’ - Cathy Wilson Work Related Learning Development Officer (Arts Humanities and Social Service), Queens University Belfast
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