A Day in the Life of a Working Mom- Cecile Forbes
Think about all the work required to care for three children at home, plus several others occasionally. Now, think about all the work required to teach a significant number of students whose learning abilities are slightly slower, with added tasks from academic pursuits and posts at church.
Overwhelming though it may be, Cecile Forbes does it all - and effortlessly. As a teacher for more than 24 years, her passion for helping others reach their full potential makes it all worth it.
"Back in my younger years, my aspiration was to become a nurse, but somehow, along the way, I found myself in teaching and I have never left. It has now been 24 years and six months with absolutely no regrets."
Forbes, who completed her bachelor's degree in primary education with emphasis in reading, and more recently, her master's degree in education administration, says time management and the support of her family was crucial during these times.
"When I was studying for my bachelor's degree, I already had all my children and was teaching as well. So I had to learn how to balance my time and ensure that every aspect of my life got the right attention. It was a challenge, though. I remember a particular day at school during group work, I had my last daughter across my lap sleeping."
She continued, "But my husband helped me a lot through that period. He would pick up the children from school when he left work, take them home, get them settled, start dinner, tend to his farm, and then meet me. It really made the weight a little lighter."
Though two of her children are grown and living away, there is never a time Forbes believes that her house has been 'empty'.
house full of girls
"I have my nieces and my grandson living with me and it has been like this ever since I can remember. I have always had my nieces at my house ... . It's always been a house filled with girls," Forbes expressed with a laugh.
Having taught hundreds of children from grades one through to grade eight for the past 10 years, Forbes has been teaching grade three remedial (at risk) students at the May Pen Primary School.
"Patience is key when dealing with my students. Sometimes I get a lot of students with disabilities, hearing impairment, speech impairment, and they can't retain anything. You have to be finding new ways of doing the same thing over and over so they will grasp the concept, and you can't show frustration. You just have to motivate them and continue to work them," she explained.
But what gives her the drive to continue?
"My inspiration is seeing my students excel and move up to the regular streams. I have had students moving two streams up in a matter of months and, when you see students being the best they can be, it is more than satisfying - it is amazing," she said.
Forbes, who is also the clerk and the Women's Ministries director at her church, says she is only able to carry out her tasks by the grace of God.
"At the end of the day, had it not been for God, I don't see how I could cope or manage. He has given me the necessary tools and resources to be efficient in my service, and all I can do is be grateful and give Him the praise," she concluded.