Special teacher Mrs Babb
Just six years into the teaching system, Sandra Babb is already making a difference in the lives of those she comes into contact with. And as proof her work is positively affecting those she is around –– both young and old, she was recently voted Most Inspirational Teacher by her colleagues at the Roland Edwards Primary School.
Babb told Barbados TODAY the feeling was nothing short of amazing.
“I am blessed, humbled and truly honoured. It is a great accomplishment for God to use me as one of his instruments, where I can make a difference in someone else’s life,” she said.
And Babb, who always dreamt of becoming a teacher, definitely takes pride in touching the lives of the young she has been assigned to teach. She said the most gratifying moment for her was not the awards, but seeing the look on the children’s faces when they finally got something right or learned something new.
“My most gratifying moments are seeing the joy on my students’ faces after I have finished teaching a concept and they have grasped it. When completing an exercise and I am correcting the work, I usually would hear and see an elated student, with fist folded to the air and proudly saying, ‘Yes, I did it!’ –– which is my anthem for my students,” she added.
At present, Babb is a Class 1 teacher at the Roland Edwards Primary School in Speightstown, St Peter. Hers is the remedial class, which “extra challenge” she embraces, because she loves her job and loves to see the children progress.
Babb believes each child is special in his or her own way and has the ability to learn; and she thus tries her upmost to bring it out of each child.
“Seeing children move from point A to point B is an awesome feeling. I always aim to be true to them. I am always telling them to believe in their own ability to do something. I have several quotes posted up in my classroom to inspire them –– which we rely on from day to day, especially when the going gets tough. Quotes like If I Listen, I Will Learn, I Am Special, Sharing Is Caring, Yes, I Did It! and Can’t Is A Man That Never Tries,” Babb said.
Babb advises that teachers need to love what they are doing in order to positively impact their students.
“As a teacher you would leave home well and upbeat to do your job, but you never know which role you’re going to take on that day. Sometimes it will be a teacher, mother, friend, doctor, counsellor; but whatever it is, you have to be sincere, and love what you’re doing. Be there to make a difference.”
But why at 41 Babb is just six years into the teaching system? She proudly stated that she took the first part of her adult life to raise her four children Davandra, 22, Dominick, 19, Darrell, 17, and Daniel, 11, to ensure they had a good foundation from home. The same values she instils in her students, she first enforced at home.
“I always tell my children to go out there and be the best that they could be. I tell them to reach for the moon, if they miss, at least they will be among the stars; and whatever they do, be honest and true. Know that they are special and never allow another person to tell them that they can’t do something. Can’t is a man that never tries,” she explained.
Even now as a teacher, and part-time University of the West Indies student, she still finds the time for her husband and to assist her three boys with schoolwork, especially Daniel who is preparing for the Common Entrance Examination in May.
She admits some days are a challenge, but she is committed to what she is doing.
“I teach a remedial class, attend UWI, and still have to find time to check homework and be there for my own children. But God is good. Each day I ask God for grace, mercy and strength to get me through the day, and then I thank Him,” she said.
Babb, who stressed that she loved being a teacher, said none of what she had achieved so far would have been possible without God and the assistance from her family, colleagues and friends.
“I thank God every day for blessing me with the ability to teach and to understand children . . . My family, especially my husband and children who are patient with me, and usually say I bring home all of my work; my first principal Mrs Cicely King –– a wonderful woman of God; my current principal Mr Watson; all of my friends; past and present teachers who always find the time to lend a helping hand if I ask, or offer words of advice and sometimes even take time out to show me something.
“All are appreciated,” Babb said with a huge smile.