Saluting outstanding teachers
St Ann: Althea Green
Linking psychology to education success
After her fist teaching experience as a volunteer at the Special Education Unit at Ocho Rios Primary in 1994, Althea Green was convinced that teaching was her calling. Not long after that, she decided to complete studies in education to practise her trade. So, armed with a Bachelor of Education in Educational Administration from the University of the West Indies, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Connecticut State University, and an unconditional passion for children and teaching, Green is ready to take on any challenge to ensure that her students excel.
"At the time I was volunteering, the staff and other colleagues of Ocho Rios Primary took note of my aptitude for teaching and recommended that I explore it as a profession," Green shared.
After she completed her studies, Green went back to her roots at Ocho Rios Primary to help drive further development of the educational programmes at the institution. She believes that in order to maximise on the impact of teaching, the first contact should be done at a psychological level.
"Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, in his hierarchy of needs, states that if the psychological needs (basic needs) of children are not met, learning cannot take place. This is why I speak with them constantly to understand the level of attention they require and do my best to meet that requirement," she said.
Now the grade five coordinator at the school, Green is charged with finding ways to help students improve in core areas of education. This led her to readily accept teaching the Junior Achievement (JA) BizTown curriculum to her students as she saw it as an excellent aid to help them improve in several areas, especially mathematics.
"Students who were struggling have shown vast improvement in their end-of-term test results," she said. "They have developed a better understanding of the importance of calculating mathematical figures correctly."
Green said that each of her 11 years of teaching has been nothing short of "encouraging and satisfying".
St Andrew: Patricia Kinglocke-Findley
Innovation and service
Patricia Kinglocke-Findley believes that every child has the right to an education. It is this belief that has been motivating her to ensure that every child who enters her classroom is granted this right to the highest quality possible. This is evident in her commitment to find and implement innovative methods that allow students to enhance their learning skills using natural talents such as dramatisation, singing, and the incorporation of technological tools.
Now the acting principal at Cockburn Gardens Primary School, Kinglocke-Findley is certain that she is making a positive contribution to the lives of the students. The positive feedback and gratitude of her past students for all her 16 years of teaching are enough to convince her that she is making a difference in their lives.
Given her hands-on approach to learning, Kinglocke-Findley did not hesitate to accept the task of leading the Junior Achievement (JA) BizTown programme at Cockburn Gardens Primary in 2014. The JA BizTown programme provides grade five students with an experiential, hands-on approach to the roles they are required to play in an economy, the world of work, and how businesses operate. She indicated that the programme had added value to all the classes.
"Students are more informed about the operational construct of a business. They have improved knowledge of completing business forms for the Grade Six Achievement Test and have garnered a worthwhile experience that they will use for life," she said.
Kinglock-Findley is one of 14 teachers who will be recognised by Junior Achievement Jamaica for her outstanding work with students in her school and community. She noted that although she is overwhelmed with joy by the recognition, she knows that there is a lot more she needs to do to help develop the youth of Jamaica.
"There is a feeling of elation and humility. I had no idea that my excitement and enthusiasm about such a grand programme would have landed me this award. My vision was to have the students equally excited and enthused about participating in the programme. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I learned of their incessant talk about their experience the day after their visit to JA BizTown. [I could say] mission accomplished."
St Elizabeth: Tisha Patrick-Rowe
The engaging educator
As a child, Tisha Patrick-Rowe's mother encouraged her to consider teaching as a profession. After some contemplation, she decided to enroll in the Bethlehem Moravian College, where she completed a bachelor's degree in education. She noted that it was there that she fell even more in love with the profession and noted that one of her lecturers from the institution, Monica Buchanan Levy, continuously motivated her throughout her studies.
Having now invested over 16 years in educating children, Patrick-Rowe said that she still has a lot more to do and is wiling to do whatever it takes to ensure that her students excel.
"I invest a great deal of time and effort into tailoring my lessons to suit my students' capabilities," said Patrick-Rowe, who now teaches at the Fullerswood Primary School. "Also, I am constantly searching for new methods of stimulating their young minds."
Patrick-Rowe has consistently displayed excellence in her role as a teacher and is no stranger to accolades and recognition from parents, her colleagues, and even persons outside of her school. During 2014, the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) conducted inspections to assess the performance of primary and secondary schools. When the inspector visited one of her classes, he endorsed Patrick-Rowe, commenting: "I would watch you teach all day because of how engaging you are with your students."
"Receiving a compliment on my teaching skills by one of our nation's finest educators is truly my most rewarding experience as a teacher," Patrick-Rowe said.
Patrick-Rowe's motivation to go the extra mile to foster the holistic development of her students led to her to accepting the task from her principal to teach the Junior Achievement's More Than Money programme, sponsored by the National Commercial Bank.
"The programme taught my students how to save, spend, and share money. This is well-needed, especially in light of today's economic realities," she said.