December 4, 2009
Journey now start says minister

Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel has indicated that the challenges faced by student teachers during their tenure at the Division of Teacher Education of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, is just the beginning.{{more}}

Miguel was speaking to more than 80 teachers who graduated from the institution two weeks ago, at the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall.

Drawing from the graduating class’s theme: ‘Amidst challenges we achieve success,’ Miguel highlighted some of the challenges that they are expected to face as they enter the profession’s frontlines: the various classrooms in schools across the nation.

“A teacher’s job is to elicit a passion for learning from the student; to create a learning environment that promotes active learning, critical thinking, collaboration and knowledge creation.”

“Everything else is secondary to this responsibility,” the Minister stressed.

The former educator also noted that the teachers will be challenged to accept the diversity that they will encounter in their classrooms, citing that the students are made up of interests, abilities, skills and knowledge and come from diverse cultural, religious and geographic backgrounds.

“Also, you will be required to know the intricacies of each student and work towards meeting their needs.”

“I know that the teacher development programme at the college has prepared you to embrace diversity and to be respectful of all contending views.”

“It is incumbent on you, the teacher, to keep the communication lines open between yourself and the parents. It is a well known fact that children learn much more effectively when there is effective communication between school and homes.”

Minister Miguel said that while these challenges and others could be stressful, these difficulties are not insurmountable.

“A teacher who learns to effectively channel his or her own stresses and frustrations into creatively finding opportunities to move ahead of adversities, will be far better equipped to thrive in the profession for longer than those who enter it with the misguided expectation that it is an easy job with a lot of vacation time.”

She told the graduating class, that being a teacher means that they directly affect the quality of lives of people of all ages and that in order to make a successful career of teaching, they must become a stakeholder with parents and administrators in the all round development of their students.(JJ)