Two male primary school teachers, Henderson Carrington and Shamir Wickham, were the toast of their students, colleagues and principals on Tuesday.
Both teachers were also lauded by visiting representatives of The National Transformation Initiative (NTI), Coursera, Erdiston Teachers’ Training College (ETTC) and the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT), for completing the first phase of courses in the 21st Century Educators’ Hub, available online through the NTI Learning Management System.
Carrington, of Hillaby Turners Hall Primary School and Wickham, of Westbury Primary School, each earned all seven certificates for courses spanning digital teaching and pedagogy, socioemotional learning (SEL), inclusive leadership and hands-on projects.
The 21st Century Educators’ Hub, launched in May 2022, is a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), METVT, ETTC, NTI and Coursera. The hub aims to support educators in their professional development and sharpen their skill sets to enable innovation in the evolving educator sector of the future.
Carrington and Wickham were greeted with smiles, cheers and applause from their school family as they received their certificates from NTI Assistant Director, Coursera and Client Success, Marcelle Greenidge. Encouraging them to follow their teachers’ example, she explained to the students that their teachers were much like them as they, too, learn, do homework and complete courses on different subjects. This was a pleasant surprise to the students.
“The courses helped me to get different strategies, invest in the children’s needs and realise that everybody might have a different situation and a different learning experience. The programme was a guide on how I could meet those needs and how they could be successful, especially coming back into the face-to-face environment,” a visibly shocked Carrington noted.
In explaining the value of his learning experience on the hub, Wickham explained: “This journey has been very rewarding. It taught me a lot of new skills that I could implement in the classroom, especially the diversity course, because as you look around, there are children from different backgrounds and different races. The course helped me connect with them in the classroom, and that is one thing I really enjoyed.”
ETTC Deputy Principal, Francis Thompson, acknowledged the weight of their achievement as males in the profession: “I am really thrilled because we have a dearth of males, especially at the primary level but in education across the board, so you are a treasure… Continue to do what we as a nation could never repay you for, but we want you to know we recognise it and appreciate it.”
Principal Debbie-Ann Weekes, of Hillaby Turners Hall Primary School, also shared that pride for her teacher. She said: “I know it’s not an easy task to study and balance work. I enjoy having my teachers appreciated and Mr. Carrington is indeed a valuable member of our staff. I’m glad that he took advantage of this opportunity.”
Amid hugging her school’s honouree, Principal of the Westbury Primary School, Rosalind Gittens, said: “I’m very proud of Mr. Wickham. He’s always trying, he works well with the team, always giving support and always willing to learn.”
Congratulations and appreciation also came from Coursera Customer Success Manager – LATAM, Paola Bulgarelli Brenes, and METVT Education Officer Janelle Little.
The hub is currently available to teachers of public and private schools at all levels, including nursery, as well as those who homeschool. The courses are free, and the offerings will shortly be expanded to include new courses for professional development. (NTI)