Sometimes you have to stoop to conquer.
These were the simple words of encouragement this morning from Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, to 157 teachers who participated in the Erdiston College Teachers’ Introductory Programme for 2012.
Jones told the teachers packed in the hall at the college at Erdiston, St. Michael that they were all humans and as they taught their students they should not try to be “all perfect” and “God-like” because insincerity is easily detected.
He advised them however, that they just needed to “manifest the humanity that was part and parcel of every one” when they dealt with the youngsters.
“You must know yourself and what you stand for, what you would tolerate or won’t tolerate, how you treat people and how people will treat you. And in many instances it is how you treat people that people would treat you. If you treat people badly, if you treat people harshly, if you are a hypocrite, that will be the key and that will be known.
“The best persons who gauge you are not adults, but the children; children read adults better than adults read adults. Their consciousness is not as tainted as adults therefore they are ideal in a deep and profound way and when they speak to you or when they avoid you, you will know [that] what you portrayed to them is not necessarily what they perceived of you.
“We can claim that we are teachers, that we are educators, and lecturers, and tutors, and professors and ministers but that comes to nothing when we try to reach out to those who we have under our authority and they don’t reach back to us,” he said.
Against the suggestion that the key to better schools was better teachers, the four-week programme was designed to improve the skills of the classroom practitioners. A total of 44 males and 113 females, 43 from secondary schools and 114 from primary participated in the workshop. Some of the components enhanced were: Physical Education, Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, Health and Family Life Education, Information Technology, Language, Modern Arts, matters relating to the service and Music.
At the end of the closing ceremony some of the music participants delighted Jones, the panel and fellow members with a calypso written, produced and directed by tutor Pernell Farley called Assign Me. Teacher Simon Alleyne, who also played the role of a calypsonian, told Barbados TODAY the piece was just a comical reminder to the minister of education that at least 10 per cent of the teachers present were still awaiting assignment to schools. (KC)