The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) is paying specific attention to the professional development of teachers on the island this year.
That indication from its president Pedro Shepherd during the opening of a one-day professional development workshop, sponsored by Sagicor Life Inc., at Hilton Barbados this morning.
He told over 80 teachers that such sessions hosted by the American Federation of Teachers provided the educators with information to better manage situations in the classrooms and deliver a higher standard of service delivery.
“We don’t only want the teachers in this room today to benefit, we want all teachers across Barbados to benefit,” Shepherd said.
“We are going to use this today, as a train the trainer initiative. We want you to go back to your schools and we want you to expose all of those who cannot be here and share.
“This is something we want to encourage in the system where teachers share. There is not enough sharing of information, sharing of resources and that sharing doesn’t have to be within schools, it can be across schools, among schools and between schools if we are to move forward,” Shepherd added.
The BUT president revealed that throughout the year there would be a special focus on professionalism and standards.
“We want to move this profession to a level where it is the envy of all other professions and I’m calling on all teachers –– young or old –– to join the BUT in its fight to get standards in the system, to operationalize and have all schools functioning at their full capacity and on an even playing field.
“I want there to a situation where we don’t feel that there are older or newer secondary schools but we have all schools at the same level –– primary schools, small and large, we want them to function at the same level [and] we want all teachers to feel that they are equals in this business,” Shepherd said.
During the event, a presentation was made to the BUT by Sagicor Life Inc.’s vice-president of group insurance Patricia Brathwaite-Marshall, who told the teachers they had a critical job in educating the country’s youth and arming them with the tools necessary to succeed.