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Why did you choose to become a teacher?
“The word “Destiny” comes to mind with teaching. Funny enough, the “dream job” was to become a veterinarian. However, growing up I’ve always been told by individuals that they see me as a teacher. It so happened that during my time in sixth form, I started to teach CSEC Mathematics at a church to adults for free. Overtime I must admit, it was a great experience. Another case was that I had an ex-girlfriend who failed CSEC Mathematics and I helped her along the way to get a grade 2. There was my mother, who prayed that I would be a teacher – she was basically campaigning for me to be a teacher. After sixth form, I applied to UTECH and they said there was no more space, so staring at me was that girl called “Teaching”. I hesitated at first, but then I went ahead and applied to the greatest teaching institution of them all: The Mico University College. Years ago, someone said to me, “A man often meets his destiny on the very road he took to avoid it”…that, in a synopsis, is how I became a teacher.”
Which subjects do you prefer teaching, and why?
“Geography and Caribbean Studies. Geography is like my first love; the passion I exhibit when teaching the subject is unimaginable. I love teaching Geography because there are so many things around us that can be related to the subject, and students can relate what they learn to what they see in the environment. The level of practicality with Geography is one very few subjects can offer, and it’s the only subject that highlights man and his interaction with the environment. Caribbean Studies I would consider my “side girl”. This subject can show how informed you are about not only your country, but the region. It fosters a wide range of conversations on various topical issues, from social justice to the influence of mass media. However, you cannot be a boring person when teaching Caribbean Studies.”
Do you find teachers to be respected by society?
“Sadly, teachers are not respected. We’re seen as glorified baby-sitters who tend to children who, in all honesty, parents don’t want to keep at home. Keep in mind, dealing with classes of 40 odd students is no small feat. When you attend PTA meetings and you listen to the remarks of parents, you realize that the general consensus is that “we nah do nothing”. Plus, we have the disrespect given out by the student (which I could write an epistle on), and then we have the lack of respect shown to teachers by various administrations and “great” government. Reality is, if you’re mentally weak or have a weak character, teaching will erode you quicker than how carbonic acid erodes limestone.”
In your experience, would you say that students are interested in learning?
“Hell no!!!!!!!! We have realized that for years, our society has fostered the thought that education is not important. The reality is, education is a long journey to attain success or financial stability AND MOST STUDENTS NOWADAYS HATE READING. When students can see that persons sell drugs, scam, become musicians or in the case of females, use their looks and bodies to elevate themselves, then why on earth are they going to stress about book work? Often times, you hear the masses comment that teachers are boring and need to change their methods. I can tell you that educators are out there trying to reach many of these students, but what we’re seeing is a lack of zeal on the part of the students. People must understand that the school children don’t think with reasoning (some of them). When you attend classes, study hard, do assignments, abstain from sex, say no to drugs and do not have a bf or gf, you’re seen as not “cool” or “dem lame”. But flip the switch and do the opposite and “yah real G” or “yuh well popular”. I teach from grades 7-13 and I can tell you that the main things on students’ minds are: money, clothes, hairstyles, and most importantly – SEX. This generation of kids is driven by sex, “everybody waan bang”.
Are there any teachers that impacted you?
“Quite a few, shoutouts to:
Ms. T. Brown
Ms. S. Clarke
Mrs. D. McCarthy
Mr. C. Gordon
Mr. D. Williams
– very passionate individuals who were very influential.”
Blessings in abundance!