Pathlight International is a faith-based organization which has been operating in Belize since 2008. The organization provides scholarships for students as well as training for teachers. Consuelo Godfrey, the Associate Teacher Trainer Director spoke about this year’s teachers conference.
Consuelo Godfrey – Teacher Training Director, Pathlight International: “Teachers come to our conference for three reasons: one they, of course, get their professional development hours which is a part of the licensing process and renewal that they need to have had maintained their license at various levels: high school as well as primary and preschool. They come to our conference secondly because they get the kind of immediate take back to their classrooms: strategies, tools, techniques, and approaches that they can immediately apply come August in the upcoming year. Thirdly, another thing that they come to our conference for is because we provide them with mentorship and coaching after the conference. A lot of what we are going to do next year is going to be extended learning or extended training for what we do at the conference so the teachers have found Pathlight to be a very supportive organization to what they do in the classroom. They also have found that pedagogically what we offer to them they can apply immediately to their classroom setting.”
Johnelle Mckenzie: “Is it a one day conference?”
Consuelo Godfrey – Teacher Training Director, Pathlight International: “No, it is two days so Belize City it is July 8th and 9th at Holy Redeemer School. In Toledo, it is the 11th and 12th at the Toledo Community College and in Corozal, it is the 15th and 16th of July at Escuela Mexico. Registration starts at eight, the conference starts at nine. There is a general session that teachers will attend at the different levels and then in the afternoon of each day the teachers get to choose an elective that they want to enhance their skills and those electives are wide in terms of strategies, approaches, topics that teachers can access in two days they will be with us.”
Meanwhile, Paul Noralez, the Lead Teacher Trainer with Pathlight International said that by attending the conference teachers will get to learn how to interact with their students for best results.
Paul Noralez – Lead Teacher Trainer, Pathlight International: “This year I am looking at the Power of Communication. Last year I looked at the Mindfulness and I spoke to teachers about when looking at students and their emotions so this year I am building on that aspect where I am telling teachers: it is the way how we talk, it is the way we interact with our students that can get them into being different. We have to realize that our students are coming from various socioeconomic backgrounds where at home they may have different actions, they may see abuse, drugs or crime so when they walk into your classroom let’s give them a different environment. Let’s show them a new world and through the topic that I am looking at, the Power of communication, I will be talking to teachers about developing that type of healthy relationship with the child that it impacts the way how they feel, it impacts the way how they communicate with them and in turn impacts the way how they deal with in extension the country of Belize because we have to look at the big picture in developing the ideal Belizean citizen.”
The conference will take place on July 8 and July 9 in Belize City at Holy Redeemer Primary School, July 11 and July 12 at Toledo Community College in Punta Gorda Town, and July 15 and July 16 at the Escuela Mexico High School located in San Roman Village in the Corozal District. The cost to attend the two-day conference is ten dollars.