Stay on the cutting edge

The teachers divided into groups for an exercise.

Just like all other professionals, teachers must stay on the cutting edge, says Minister of Education Ronald Jones.

He was addressing more than 80 teachers at the opening of the inaugural two week special education workshop this morning at the Deighton Griffith Secondary School in Kingsland, Christ Church. Jones likened teaching to doctoring and said if a doctor had graduated from medical school in the 1960s and 40 years later had chosen not to upgraded his knowledge via any courses or workshops he would not go to him for treatment.

So he encouraged those present to seek continuous opportunities to reinforce their knowledge, skills and craft for the betterment of themselves, the students and the profession.

The workshop was hosted by the Barbados Union of Teachers in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. One of the four Canadians teachers on the island to assist in the programme, Cathy Cummings, said the aim of the programme was to help teachers and parents to work together to design a learning plan which would best serve the needs of the children.

She added it would also assist the children, whether gifted or those who had a learning disability, to learn and grow in the most effective way possible.

Executive member of the BTU, Anthony Alleyne advised the teachers to utilise the free certified course to the best of their ability as he too remarked that it was beneficial for teachers to constantly upgrade their skills.

“We at the union are very proud because for every teacher that grows professionally the union and education grows … and it benefits all schools, all teachers and all students.

“As a union we pledge to continue seeking, founding and forming alliances such as this, so that we can find opportunities for our members for years to come since we view education as a partnership and will always hold to the ideal that positive evaluation is a path at enhancing and improving the teaching profession,” he said.

Some of the topics to be covered over the two weeks are: learning disabilities, early childhood education, authentic assessment and the teaching of literacy and reading.

The partnership with the CTF to hold the summer special education workshop would be for three years, Alleyne said. (KC)

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