The entire month of May is being dedicated to various aspects of education ranging from competitions to festival or arts to media presentations and community service by the Ministry of Education and teachers. The profession of being an educator is not one that is highlighted however as there is no set program where teachers can express themselves and explain the challenges they endure in the classrooms. With an interest in hearing from them, we met up with some of them at the Bird’s Isle Court today.
“A few challenges I face as a teacher is just the basic behavior of children in the class room but for the most part I do enjoy this profession. I have a passion for children, a passion for teaching so I face my challenges every day head on, I don’t complain much about them.”
“The students that come to us now are coming with a whole heap of problems that we have to tackle and I think that we have to find new ways to deal with the new problems that we are facing. One of the things that we have to understand is that kids will be kids and they are going to give trouble or get into problems so we have procedures that we would have to follow before we bring disciplinary measures onto the students.”
“Over time it has mainly been the attitudes from the children being one of the major obstacles. Sometimes there is a disparity between the parents and what the young people want to show themselves as. The interesting thing is to get a good working relationship with the students whereby they don’t see me as a friend, they still respect me as a teacher but they understand that I want to work them to help them to pass. They don’t like to be spoken down to, they don’t like to be criticized even though they push your buttons but to still let them understand that I see them as human beings and I respect them that I could just garner that respect back, that has been the greatest challenge because I believe that once the student is comfortable with the teacher and knowing that the teacher is out for his good that they will work together with the teacher and then excel because once we have the student’s attention then we have their minds engaged and then they will excel.”
Both on and off camera, the teachers have cited the students’ behaviour as a major point of concern and so with that being observed, these educators had a message to send to the parents.
“To our parents we would really like to encourage them to ensure that their children leave home ready to come to learn, that they have the materials, the mindset that education is important. I believe that in some homes this is not something that is pushed because some parents have fallen short while growing up and it’s something that we as teachers try to instill in them that they receive an education. It’s only that way we can move Belize forward and ensure that the children look forward to a brighter future.”
“The parents definitely have to support the teachers, they have to be there for their kids and one of the problems is that parents are nowhere to be found. Some of them leave home before their child goes to school.”
“You have to keep on speaking to your children. You have to bring them up the right way. Some people might say that it’s old fashioned but basic things like manners will never go out of style. Sometimes you have to tell them every day but you have to keep on repeating it and saying because if you give up and don’t give them the values then we will definitely lose the values.”
Friday, May 13 is Teachers Day and the BNTU has planned a big rally which we will tell you more about later on in our newscast.