March 26, 2010
Granny Rose – Over 50 years of teaching

Mrs. Germaine Rose, or Granny Rose as she is affectionately called, has been involved in teaching children for over 50 years. Although she did not initially begin her teaching career in Early Childhood Education, her contribution is no less significant.{{more}}

As she recollects her years in the educational arena, Granny Rose established a rapport with children from an early age. She shares, “I started teaching at age 14 for a small pittance. I opened a private school at Long Wall until I got married.” She mentions that she often got into trouble with her father for “crowding up the house with children”, even when it was not school time and “sharing away things from their own household” with the children she taught. That was the relationship that existed then between teachers and students.

Later she began teaching at the Kingstown Anglican School and accessed numerous courses in education in order to improve her skills. She visited New York and England and observed their teaching practices and strategies which she implemented into her own teaching methods when she returned home to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Granny Rose discloses: “That is where I understand the whole importance of play. I turned my mistakes into learning experiences.”

Although she is unable to remember the exact year when she became involved in Early Childhood, Granny Rose is clear that her involvement stemmed from the various activities of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA). She recalls the YWCA Preschool and Nursery started close to 30 years ago in a little building that was housed on what is now the C.W. Prescod Primary School. She was an active member in the Preschool Services Committee, now known as the National Association of Early Childhood Education (NAECE), where she met with a number of stalwarts in Early Childhood Education and planned zonal and other activities for Child Month. She lauds the Government for acceding to her wishes for a school environment away from the noisy traffic where the teachers could involve children in a number of outdoor activities. The new building is in an excellent location, spacious and conducive for working with children in their early years.

Granny Rose contrasts those early years of teaching as “strict and formalized with not much freedom”, as compared to the new approach to learning which involves the “child’s interest and incorporating play as a part of learning”. At the age of 81, Granny Rose still goes to the YWCA every day. “What am I going to stay home to do?” she queries. “It’s a joy just being with the children … to see them running towards me every morning”. She still enjoys reading, but is not happy about the cycle of teenage pregnancy where most of the girls she has nurtured at the YWCA are now bringing their own children. She proffers this advice: “There is future in getting an education. You can progress if you are educated”.

Once again, we are proud to salute another Vincentian stalwart who has touched the lives of many men and women in our society.