This morning, several teachers from across Belize were awarded in the annual Outstanding School Teacher and Leader Awards ceremony held at the Bliss Institute. In this ninth such event, awards were given following submissions made by different school of their most competent teachers. Genie Garbutt Franklyn officer in charge of Teacher Education and development Services in the Ministry of Education, spoke about today’s event.
“Today we are recognizing those persons who have demonstrated excellence in teaching profession. We are looking at two categories, teachers and school leaders. It has been a very collaborative process that we’ve been through to be able to say that these persons are persons we really want to recognize because they’ve stood out in education. As part of its mandate the Ministry of Education is very concerned about the quality of teaching in our classrooms and for us this is an opportunity to showcase some of those good practices that have been happening in the class room. We know that school leaders and teachers are very critical to this process so for us this is an opportunity.”
With the awards divided into two sections, we spoke with Yvonne Howell, coordinator of teacher Education Development Services on the different areas awarded and criteria.
“Across the country this year we have 29 nominees. We have pre primary, primary, secondary, tertiary, technical vocational teachers, special education teachers and of course we have school leaders in two categories which are at the preprimary and primary level and at tertiary and secondary. We have a national selection committee which involves persons at the different levels of educations. We have a representative from the BTNU, the Early Childhood Department, representatives from the Association of General Managers, we have representatives from the Special Education Department and so forth. The process begins at the beginning of the school year where we would send out nomination packets and we would have school leaders, parents, community members that would want to nominate a particular teacher.”
Howell spoke about the importance of having such an initiative for teachers.
“You always hear the saying that teaching is not a job, it’s a vocation we must love teaching and as such we know how difficult it is to be a teacher, to be a school leader and to be in the education system on a whole and as such we believe that by awarding these teachers and school leaders, the recognition that their work is not overlooked or hidden will be good.”
The award ceremony was held at the Bliss Institute of Performing Arts.