As 80 of 99 senior teachers received their appointment letters this morning, one of the deputy education chiefs noted that principals should soon be reporting their staff complements to the ministry and notifying temporary staff of their positions.
Deputy Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, told teachers that temporary staff had to be catered for in the system and furthermore those teachers had to be given guidance when they entered the institutions.
Against a background where public service reports were surfacing of temporary contracts not being renewed, Senior Education Officer Joy Adamson further confirmed that temporary staff would be notified of their placements once principals had done their own assessment of staffing needs.
Addressing the 80 teachers who turned up at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed to receive their papers this morning, Best offered congratulations and thanked them for their service so far, telling them that the journey ahead would be “very exciting”.
But she warned: “[T]hings are not going to be the same. The role of senior teacher is not only … to deputise for the principal in his or her absence — it does not stop there. Your role is going to be one where you have to think, where you have to look at doing things differently, where you have to motivate your staff, where mentorship of new teachers.
“We have a changing face of the teaching profession. In the next couple of hours the education officers are required to provide me with information to provide the PS with the number of temporary teachers we have in the system and the reason is that we have to cater for those. We cannot have temporary teachers or untrained teachers in our system and you the senior teacher along with the principal just say to them, your class is 1 Major, go in 1 Major and try to become the best teacher you can. It doesn’t work that way, and with the type of child that we have, it will not work.”
Therefore, she told them their role would be extremely important and she expected that they would avail themselves of all the opportunities provided by the Ministry.
While several of them had exposure and experience in the position or to take on their new roles, Best said they should also feel free to call on the Ministry for any assistance needed.
“I know this is only the start for some of you because we have another rung on the ladder and I hope you attempt to climb it,” she told them.
There would be an all-day training session for the 99 newly appointed senior teachers next Thursday, she said. (LB)