Mar 02, 2016 News
Teachers of primary schools across Georgetown yesterday gathered in a single location, all with the common aim of creating aids to enhance the teaching-learning process. The venue for the interactive forum was North
Georgetown Primary on Woolford Avenue.
The all-day event, which was described as a relatively new feature, was coordinated by Mr. Adrian Elgin, District Education Officer for Georgetown. In fact, he disclosed “I have never heard of a workshop where we have teachers making teaching materials to take back to their schools to promote learning.”
The skills exhibited by the teachers, according to Algin, is a representation of what they would have learnt while at Training School – the Cyril Potter College of Education.
The initiative, however, was the brainchild of Algin’s supervisor Mr. Immanuel Bridgewater. Algin recalled that discussions in this regard were done last year, but moves were only made this year, under his watch, to have it executed.
A primary intent of the initiative is to stress the importance of ‘child friendly’ learning environments that foster a desire for learning. “They should want to learn more because of the conduciveness of the environment that is created,” said Algin.
The workshop yesterday saw the attendance of Grades Three and Four teachers. An earlier workshop in January catered to Grades One and Two teachers, and another planned for next month will see the attendance of Grades Five and Six teachers.
Supporting the coordination efforts of the District Education Officer yesterday was Mr. Lalchand Salik, a primary level teacher for a number of years, who is currently a part of the Ministry of Education’s Cadet programme. The 18-month-long programme is one that prepares teachers to become District Education Officers. Salik is tasked with working closely with Algin as part of his training and thus is involved in the creating of teaching aid initiative.
Also involved in yesterday’s forum were head teachers of Winfer Gardens Primary School, Ms. Nicole Agard, and Ms. Audrey Sue of Sophia Primary School.
Agard, who supported by giving guidance to the teachers in attendance yesterday, related yesterday that what has been observed for some time is that while in the classroom teachers are not afforded adequate time to create aids to support their teaching efforts. “Here they are away from the children they teach and they can seek guidance from their colleagues and be more creative. The teaching aids help in making sure that the children understand concepts and master what they are entitled to learn at their grade level,” asserted Agard. She is optimistic that since the participating teachers will be allowed to take back to their classrooms the aids created, such activities will be inculcated by other teachers.
With the increased use of aids, Sue is convinced that teachers will not merely embrace the notion of ‘chalk and talk’ as this has not been found to be especially effective. And creating the teaching aid saw the use of simple items such as card board, Styrofoam, colouring books from which shapes were extrapolated, paste, markers, crayons, all of which, Sue said, are affordable and accessible. “We are seeing a lot of talent coming from our teachers and they are indeed very creative I can say based on what I am seeing,” said Sue as she disclosed that the teachers were able to create aids to support the teaching of mainly literacy and numeracy. However, some teachers were able to integrate social studies with language. “I am very much pleased with what I am seeing,” said Sue as she pointed out that “some of the things they have created I have never seen or thought of before….”
And she is convinced that “they will go back to the classroom, I am certain, with the kind of enthusiasm we are seeing here today and share the knowledge and skills they would have gotten from their colleagues.”
She anticipates that by the end of the next school term, the teachers will be satisfied using the materials they have created in order to help their pupils’ performance to improve.
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