From education to employment

Passionate counselling skills teacher receives prestigious Gold Teaching Innovation Award

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Tracey Cohen, a dedicated counsellor with over two decades of experience, has been honoured with the prestigious Gold Teaching Innovation Award for her outstanding contribution to teaching and inspiring her learners at the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA).

Tracey’s journey with WEA began during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. She took on the responsibility of a Level 2 counselling course that was facing difficulties after the departure of the previous tutor. Undeterred, Tracey turned the situation around, leading her learners to success and earning their appreciation.

The learners, whose lives were positively impacted by Tracey’s teaching, nominated her for the Gold Teaching Innovation Award. In their nomination, they praised her resilience and innovation in handling a complex and fractured group. 

They highlighted her incredible ingenuity, transformative skills practice, and the way she elevated their counselling skills to new heights.

One learner expressed, “Tracey should be commended for her actions, brave teaching style, and encouraging us to grow and thrive as students.” 

Delighted with the recognition, Tracey expressed her love for teaching with WEA, stating,

“I think the WEA is probably one of the best places I’ve worked. They’ve been lovely. I’ve worked at a lot of colleges over 20 years, but there’s just something about the WEA; I feel like I belong here.”

As Tracey prepares to teach her third group of WEA learners, she reflects on the fulfilment she finds in her work.

“I can just see all these people who are coming with hope, you know, they hope that they can get a job and that they can move forward towards becoming a counsellor.”

Tracey’s teaching extends beyond the classroom, as she imparts valuable lessons on balancing a counselling career with family commitments. She teaches online from her home in Leeds, adapting her teaching styles to cater to the diverse needs of her learners.

Offering Level 2 and 3 Counselling Skills, Tracey guides learners towards employment opportunities. Her passion for teaching and dedication to her learners shine through as she witnesses them flourish and develop throughout the course.

Simon Parkinson, chief executive of the WEA said:

“Tracey encapsulates the magic of education, where encouragement, confidence-building, and shared learning create a transformative experience for both the tutor and learners.

“Reading the wonderful comments made by Tracey’s learners show just how deeply she has impacted them and how much they have valued having her to support them through a very difficult course.

“All of this she has done online, proving that hybrid model of teaching is important for any modern education provider. Congratulations once again to Tracey.”

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