Saluting our teachers
Lakeena Brown - Worth the impact
Lakeena Brown describes teaching as "the most important job in the entire world". Having recently entered the profession, in 2014, the St Joseph's Teachers' College graduate considers each day as an opportunity "to make a positive impact on students".
"It is a great and fulfilling challenge to play an active role in stimulating the minds of leaders of the next generation," she said proudly. "I can't think of any job as important to society as teaching."
Brown believes in fervently guiding and grooming her students in becoming young professionals. This, she said, was the main reason she decided to lead in the Junior Achievement (JA) BizTown programme at her school. JA BizTown involves grade-five students learning about the world of work and being exposed to essentials of the economy. They are given a practical experience of how businesses operate by a hands-on experience at a simulated business district located at Caenwood Centre in Kingston.
"JA BizTown brings a real-world experience to the classroom," she said. "My students have demonstrated increased confidence in themselves and their ability to analyse information and manage their finances, and they know how to apply their problem-solving skills to entrepreneurial endeavours."
Brown's favourite aspect of the JA BizTown programme was the hands-on, opportunity her students got when they visited the JA BizTown facility where they got to play a professional role in one of 11 unique businesses and a government office.
The students at the Scott's Hall Primary, where she now teaches, love her dearly. She considers it worth her time getting up every day to teach them.
"I have rewarding experiences every single day. When I set achievable goals and I get them, it is very satisfying."
Ray Howell - Multitalented mathematician
Ray Howell developed a love for mathematics while attending Sunbury All-Age School. This passion led him to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Primary Education and Mathematics at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education. Now the mathematics coordinator at White Horses Primary School, Howell is grateful for the opportunity to remain close to his first love.
He said that his decision to become a teacher was predominantly out of patriotism.
"I see it as one of the best avenues in which I could make a great contribution to my country," he said. "I also saw the need for more male teachers, especially at the primary level, so that I could assist in moulding children's lives."
Howell's patriotic conviction acts as a motivation for the extended hours and individualised attention he offers to his students. He believes his multi-faceted approach to executing lessons is the reason his students grasp concepts more readily.
The Spalding High graduate relies heavily on applying lessons taught with real-life experiences when teaching his students. As a result of this, Howell was happy to use the opportunity to deliver the JA BizTown Programme to the grade-five cohort at his school.
Howell believes that there is a direct relationship between the lack of financial education and a poor economy.
"I always felt that most people in Jamaica are not business minded, which is one of the reasons Jamaica has a weak economy," he said. "I think teaching students from an early age about how a business works can improve the state of the economy in the future."
Howell also prides himself on being multitalented and uses his gifts to help uplift his school and community. Some of the activities he is involved in include writing songs and poems, playing cricket and tennis, and singing.