Work hard, and it pays off. If anyone knows this well, it is valedictorian of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Janine Pierre. On Monday night, Pierre was notified that not only had she topped her class, but she would be graduating at the top of
Pierre told Barbados TODAY yesterday that the feeling was still very surreal, especially since she was “not necessarily working for it”.
“When I found out it was a huge surprise. Throughout our programme we would have received our grades; and I knew I was doing well; [but] I know they were several other students who would have received distinctions as well. So to be the top of my programme and the top of the entire college feels great. It was something that I wanted to achieve, but wasn’t actually thinking about,” she said.
Pierre, a Spanish teacher at The Alexandra Secondary School, said she was glad to overcome the many challenges she had encountered while being a student.
“It was extremely difficult at times, because sometimes I would have taught all day, then have to leave Speightstown, drive all the way to Erdiston twice a week and study three hours per session. So it called for great time management. My group members, though, were great.
“We really supported each other through the entire process. Sometimes meeting deadlines seemed insurmountable, but
you have to do what you have to do,” she said proudly.
Pierre said she would recommend the programme to all teachers looking to propel their careers.
“I found the programme to be very informative. It was quite challenging at times and the journey seemed arduous, but I would definitely say it was worthwhile.”
For her success, she offered many thanks to her tutors.
“I would like to thank my tutor Lorraine Gittens (she was the part-time tutor for foreign languages) and Grace-Ann Crichlow (she was the full-time tutor for foreign languages) –– as well as all the other tutors who would have assisted us.”
And now she is ready to go back into Alexandra and apply all that she has learnt.
“I am ready to employ many of the strategies I would have learnt here at Erdiston. I find at Alexandra they have an appreciation for learning foreign language. When I would have taught at other schools, it was a bit more difficult. Some students didn’t see the necessity; some didn’t get the importance; but I don’t find that challenge at Alexandra. If you do find that problem, it’s the small minority.
“So I am ready to apply all I have learnt,” she added.
However, Pierre did not always want to be a teacher, but fell in love with the profession after she started. She says she cannot imagine herself doing anything else now.
“To be honest, when I was younger, being a teacher was very far from my mind. But after I started teaching I absolutely loved it; and I said, ‘Yes, this is what I will do for the rest of my life’.”
Since being a teacher, she stands firmly by the words by Henry Brooks Adams: “Teach the children today, so it will not be necessary to teach the adults tomorrow.”