Carlong Publishers honours teachers
One hundred exceptional Jamaican teachers were celebrated at Carlong Publishers’ biennial Teachers’ Appreciation Luncheon and Awards held recently at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
This year, in partnership with the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC), 100 teachers were selected from six regions across all parishes and treated to an afternoon of fine dining and entertainment in recognition of their work with educational stakeholders in the encouragement and empowerment of the nation’s children.
Organised under the theme ‘Teachers are students’ role models’, the speakers at the event included Owen Speid, president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA); Kasan Troupe, acting chief education officer at the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information; and Winsome Gordon, director of the JTC.
In his remarks, Speid reinforced the attributes of an excellent teacher and their significance in serving as a suitable role model for students. He encouraged the teachers to practise and display punctuality, humility, generosity, and patience in the classroom and to inculcate these traits in their students. “We have to be the role models for our children … I mean every single child across Jamaica. When I agitate [for the teachers], I am an educator at heart, and that is the difference between my stewardship and others,” he said.
While a good education is beneficial, a good teacher has the power to inspire lifelong transformation. This was echoed by Troupe, who recounted the importance of the endearing relationship she shared with a former teacher and the value of that teacher’s opinions in her current professional life. “She offered wise counsel. That’s the power of a teacher … it’s really a joy to have you [teachers] in the Ministry of Education’s family,” she remarked. In light of recently circulated videos on social media of teachers in classroom conflict, Dr Troupe’s encouragement of teachers to serve as students’ role models was timely.
Tishana Lee, an awardee and teacher at Mannings Hill Primary, said that teachers who believe in and love what they do while empowering children and fostering their skills will garner respect from their students. “In my classroom, I allow them [students] to express themselves … and allow them to grow. Create relationships with them … provide them with the necessary tools. I realise that love is the most powerful tool that I have. Empower them [students] to be agents of change,” she said.
Referring to digital integration in the classrooms, Gordon encouraged teachers to champion transformation of the classroom to meet the technological demands of this generation. Gordon also recommended that teachers inform their students of the adverse implications of social media. “We must meet the digital natives, and we must take them further into the digital age. We have to teach them the characteristics to cope and ethics as well. They have to know the risks … and social challenges,” she urged.