Sun | Oct 13, 2019

Educators expo to close technical skills gap for online teaching

Published:Tuesday | April 16, 2019 | 12:17 AM

Pointing to a deficit in the number of teachers who are competent to take up online teaching opportunities, due to limited technological skills, Venice Irving, chief executive officer of Happy Teachers Jamaica, decided to create a platform through which educators can build their skills and make money outside of the classroom.

This led to the creation of the Caribbean Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Expo, which will be held on Wednesday at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.

Irving shared that a technical skills gap, has been prevalent among teachers, especially those who are more seasoned. She noted that some companies in the region are struggling to find qualified teachers who are skilled in information technology to take on online jobs.

“The lack of certified TESOL teachers has been a problem in the Caribbean. Teachers who are not certified from an accredited institute are ill-equipped to teach non-native English students. The expo will close this gap by featuring presentations on work and earn online, building your online school and teaching English for tourism, among other things,” she said.

“The aim of the expo is to teach attendees how they can position themselves as a catalyst for innovation by leveraging opportunity in an ever-expanding digital world. It is Happy Teachers’ mandate to equip our professionals with the tools while scaling up effective models of vocational guidance, training, and job-placement opportunities.”

She said that on the flip side, there are teachers who are qualified, but are unaware of opportunities to utilise their skills.

“I have been working as an online teacher for the past five years, and during that time, I found that teachers in Jamaica and the Caribbean were always seeking opportunities to use their skills to earn extra income at home. As such, I decided to create an event that would not only educate the masses on trends in the TESOL industry, but to also equip them to earn a living outside of the brick-and-mortar classroom,” she said.

The conference intends to target local and international teachers, trainers and facilitators; undergrad and graduate students; and corporate workers interested in earning a second income online.