Gloria John-McKnee retires
September 25, 2009
Gloria John-McKnee retires

Soon-to-be retiree Gloria John-McKnee is one outstanding teacher who has earned herself rare affection and admiration from her peers and members of the public.{{more}}

For about 40 years, John-McKnee taught at the Belmont Primary School, Calder Primary School, Lodge Village Government School, and Questelles Government School.

She is one of the country’s long-standing educators.

John-McKnee recalled her first teaching stint in 1969 as a Pupil Teacher at the Belmont Primary School. She was only14 and taught Class Two. In 1983, she was transferred to the Calder Primary School, where she taught until 1992. Her ensuing years were spent at the Lodge Village Government School (1992-2006) and Questelles Government School (2006-2009).

During those years, John-McKnee said she tried to ensure every child who crossed her path was able to read.

“All children can learn unless something is drastically wrong with their brain. Just going into teaching for the sake of teaching is just not going to work. It’s not about the money. We are not among the highest paid bracket. So you have to love what you are doing and you have to love children,” said John-McKnee.

With regard to her own professional development, she said she pursued her O’level subjects during evenings before pursuing studies at the Teachers’ College, where she successfully completed the requirements for Qualified Assistant Teacher status.

On the issue of corporal punishment in schools, John-McKnee, the daughter of Ezekiel and Beryl John Edwards, said: “I think if you have to use the strap, it should be a last resort and you should use it with extreme care or you end up abusing children.” She also encouraged parents to cooperate with teachers to bring out the best in their children.

She advised that persons who pursue careers as teachers should manage their finances well and set their priorities straight to avoid wasting their money.

Looking back at her career, John-McKnee, who entered pre-retirement in July and will retire in December 2009, said she has no regrets about pursuing a career in teaching. She said if she had not become a teacher, she would have pursued a career in the field of Library Studies.

And now, as she prepares for the sunset of her days, John-McKnee, a Senior Qualified Assistant Teacher, looks for a new challenge.

And high on the list of options is the possibility she would do ministerial work for God.

“I find I haven’t done enough for The Lord. So I want to concentrate on that. I think God has something for me to do,” said John-McKnee

Looking back at her long career, John admits it has not been an easy road, taking into account her health challenges over the years.

Still determined to scale greater heights, the mother of three daughters and two grandchildren said she would spend the next few months deciding what she wants to do with the rest of her life. (HN)