Thursday, December 17, 2015

CXC English A Teachers learn new strategies at iTeach

2014/15 LASCO Ministry of Education (MoE) Principal and Teacher of the Year punctuated the end of their reign with the inaugural staging of the iTeach Outreach Professional development Series on November 20 at Shortwood Teachers College. The joint initiative by Mrs. Heather Murray, outgoing LASCO MoE Principal of the Year and Ms. Anieta Bailey, outgoing LASCO MoE Teacher of the Year seeks to bring new teaching strategies to secondary school teachers across the island.

"One of the downfalls, over and over again, we hear at the CXC level, is that the writing skills are so poor," shared Mrs. Heather Murray, LASCO MoE Principal of the Year. "Through iTeach inspired by iCool, we are hoping we can rekindle the fire and the passion for the teaching of English so that the teachers in attendance today can go back and get the students excited about writing."

The now annual series, focused on English Language for the over 90 secondary school teachers in attendance. They were challenged to learn and execute the "Six Traits" writing methodology in a dynamic workshop that had attendees completing written assignments, engaging in discussion as well as role play. The first three traits were explained by Tamla King of Hampton High School, and after lunch, Dr. Harold McDermott of The University of Technology focused on the last three traits.

2014-15 LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher of the Year Anieta Bailey and Guest Presenter, Tamla King of Hampton High School are all smiles at the inaugural iTeach Professional Development Series sponsored by LASCO Distributors Ltd. and the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) on Friday November 20, 2015 at Shortwood Teacher's College.  The seminar was organized for English Language teachers at the secondary level.

According to LASCO MoE Teacher of the Year, Ms. Anieta Bailey, the teachers would also be walking away with a refreshed view of how to get their students to write well. "We are using a fundamental approach. We are taking them from the basics and getting them to get the students to do bigger things. So we want to refresh what they have, we want them to walk away with some good strategies that they can use to improve their lessons, and the presenters have even brought unit plans to assist them. Above all we hope to inspire teachers and empower students."

The educational and motivational workshop, sponsored by LASCO Distributors Ltd. and the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC), stemmed from not only a great experience at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Professional Development Conference in Houston, Texas for the outgoing LASCO MoE Principal and Teacher of the Year but from their similar passion for English and strong belief in collaboration.

"The motivation to collaborate on the iTeach project was born out of a need to see teachers working together more, stated Ms. Bailey. "Personally, and I think I speak for Mrs. Murray as well, Principal of the Year, I am very passionate, and I see the need for teacher collaboration if the education system in Jamaica is supposed to move forward. Because we are moving forward but we're not moving as fast as we should. And we can't achieve that if teachers do not collaborate."

LASCO and the Ministry of Education have saluted teachers since 1997, recognizing teachers for outstanding performance and impact on education in Jamaica, as well as for displaying exceptional contributions to the school community. The 2015/16 LASCO MoE Principal and Teacher of the Year were announced on November 24 at the Jamaica Pegasus. The winners were Mrs. Kandi-Lee cCrooks-Smith, Principal of Allman Town Primary School and Ms. Nickashie Hardware, a teacher of English at York Castle High School.

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