Math teacher of the year
Oneal McLeod, teacher at Godfrey Stewart High School in Westmoreland, is the 2016 Mathematics Teacher of the Year. He was named as the winner of the coveted award during the National Mathematics Forum at the Jamaica Conference Centre on March 8.
"Words can't explain how I am feeling right now," said an elated McLeod following the award ceremony. "I really love teaching. I love helping students, and this will serve as a motivation for me as a teacher going forward. So right now, I feel really overwhelmed," he added.
He said that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information-led competition served as an opportunity for teachers to highlight their strengths while sharing best practices. He vowed to continue being an inspiration to his students.
McLeod was selected as the winner from five national finalists. A total of 107 primary and secondary school teachers from across the six education regions were nominated. Prizes include a one-year membership to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), which is the world's largest organisation concerned with mathematics education, as well as a trip to San Francisco for the NCTM 2016 Conference.
The contestants were observed teaching mathematics lessons by members of regional and national mathematics teams as well as education officers.
They were also interviewed by a panel of judges on mathematics teaching and learning, they discussed effective strategies to address the needs of struggling learners. Individuals were scored based on these interactions.
Permanent secretary in the ministry Dr Maurice Smith urged the finalists to offer mentorship and guidance to other teachers.
The Mathematics Teacher of the Year Award is in its third year and is sponsored by the Jamaica National Building Society.