As we end 2016, let's take a minute to reflect on how the year went and think ahead into 2017.  ITEN invites feedback and discussion from you about what you believe teachers need across the Caribbean.  

-Do Caribbean teachers need teacher training in areas like promoting critical thinking in the classroom, teaching to accommodate different learning styles, building lesson plans, exploring regional curricula, etc.?

-Or, do Caribbean teachers need more access to resources, physical and/or virtual?

-Is it that Caribbean teachers are in need of career related support and/or direction?  Are there sound possibilities for career growth in the teaching profession in the Caribbean?

Please share your thoughts as we work to address the needs of teachers across the region.  

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Kerry-Ann, 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight.  You guys are all on the ball. ITEN is very much in support of making Critical Thinking training available.  We are also very aware of the need for teacher development options linked to differentiating teaching styles to meet the needs of learners.  

As for tackling the issue of resources, physical and virtual, I think that is something that we need to start to collaborate on and look into accross the Caribbean.  The Technical exchange missions that ITEN coordinates may be an avenue in support of this, but let's keep in touch and try to work to find partnerships in this regard. 

Thank you so much for bringing up this issue.  Also if you've not done an introduction in the meet and greet discussion, please do so. 

See you soon.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)


Kerry-Ann King said:

I agree with Chantal that we need training in promoting critical thinking in the classroom.

I further agree with Shurleen that we also need training differentiating instruction. 

I also believe that we can truly benefit from access to both physical and virtual resources. In my own experience, many schools are lacking the necessary resources to demonstrate many laboratory exercises in Science simply because they do not have the necessary resources. Greater access to these resources be it physical or virtual would be truly beneficial.  

Fatima, 

You make some very good points.  We will definitely be continuing our push in support of critical thinking and I think its a really good thing you brought up about Caribbean teachers getting more access to each other in the Caribbean and to outside of the Caribbean.  In fact, this is a big part of the goal of this virtual Community, where teachers can exchange and access resources after making connections.  We should start a group for that (Resource sharing) so look out for it.  And for career related support , we will also start a group so please join as we try to pull together to see to our needs. 

Thanks a lot for your ideas and input.  If you have not done an introduction in the meet and greet discussion, please do so. 

See you soon.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)



Fatima Korisha Ali Shah Hosein said:

Dear ITEN Members

A continuation a present my thoughts about the Caribbean Teachers.

-Do Caribbean teachers need teacher training in areas like promoting critical thinking in the classroom, teaching to accommodate different learning styles, building lesson plans, exploring regional curricula, etc.?

Answer: The Caribbean Teachers have a great amount of knowledge, but as the teachers in every other country promote the critical thinking it is not an easy work, that it’s why every training in areas like promoting critical thinking in the classroom are very important for the Caribbean Teachers and every Teacher.

-Or, do Caribbean teachers need more access to resources, physical and/or virtual?

Answer: The Caribbean Teachers do need to have access to more information from the Caribbean and out of the Caribbean that information needs to be in every possible format (physical and/or virtual).

-Is it that Caribbean teachers are in need of career related support and/or direction? Are there sound possibilities for career growth in the teaching profession in the Caribbean?

Answer: a.- Yes, the Caribbean Teachers need a career related support and/or direction to help them to continue the work and continue advanced.
b.- Yes, there are many possibilities for career growth in the teaching profession in the Caribbean.

Best Regards
Fatima K. Hosein

Yupp, you are right Lronard.  All of the above.  So as we move into 2017 look out for and join the Teacher career support group and the teacher resource exchange group. 

 Also if you've not done an introduction in the meet and greet discussion, please do so. 

See you in the groups soon.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)



Leonard Robinson said:

All of the above!

I was a teacher or technically still am a teacher in the Caribbean. Teachers in the Caribbean are doing the best they can with what they have. They are smart but I think what is lacking is information being circulated to all corners. Best practices to promote critical thinking, accommodate different learning styles, building lesson plans etc are all needed.

Resources in all forms are a dire need. Yes, we do have more virtual resources in certain areas but because of the lack of internet or in some instances electricity it is impossible to use.

Definitely more career related support and/or direction is needed. Teachers need to be able to know that they can move forward and grow as an educator.

Robert, 

You certainly gave Team ITEN a lot of food for thought.  we appreciate that very much.  We will be promoting and highlighting training opportunities in critical thinking and accommodating various learning styles.  we are also pulling together resource capabilities to provide tools for lesson plan building, curricula exploration for the region and supporting professional development. 

You raised some good points about resource sharing and ideas on gaining access to support and the resources already housed in the region with entities like CARIRI and the RCERC and others.  so as we move forward, collaboration and networking will be key.  

Please join the upcoming  resource sharing group  and the teacher career support group.

Thanks you so much for your input.  Also if you've not done an introduction in the meet and greet discussion, please do so. 

See you soon.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)



Robert Geofroy said:

From what I have been able to gather about teaching across the Caribbean, I would say that most certainly teacher training in critical thinking in the classroom, teaching to accommodate different learning styles, building lesson plans, exploring regional curricula, etc. would be most beneficial for most teachers. Teachers in the Caribbean lack opportunities for Professional Development and all of these areas would no doubt help.

I noticed that the Government of Guyana had sent RFPs for a system in which teachers could share resources and while ITEN and the Caribbean Educators Network are already connecting teachers, much more has to be done in trems of developing repositories for resources in the Caribbean. As one who has been through the mill so to speak in terms of teaching Physics and Mathematics in the Caribbean, I would say that many words are spoken by officials but little is done in terms of actually providing the resources in real terms. I myself was a disciple of University of Cambridge's philosophy of improvising apparatus in a spirit of urgency and self-reliance to teach concepts thatwere treated in the syllabus. In a sense it is a pity that we lost access to the Cambridge "A" level Physics as I used to look forward to the apparatus list and the experiments that were used to test science skills in those papers. The best of Cambridge research used to come through in the questions set and while I realise that CXC are trying their best, a connection to that high level of resaerch in the physical sciences in real terms cannot be exchanged for any book knowledge for who in the Caribbean is doing that sort of research and applying it to education?  CARIRI was trying to do some of this but what was done was not sufficient to sustain the current of resaerch in Phytsics that Cambridge offered. Having said that, I imagine that the cambridge papers are still available but then teachers would not be moved or even ptovide with the resources to devote to material which is not on the syllabus. The advent of the Internet has made it easy for access to resources such as MATA, the Mathematics development Forum or even Learn Electronics but the problem is that many teachers do not have access to the Internet or much more a decent computer to access the Internet and again many authorities in order to limit the activities of the students also cramp the style of the teachers as a by product of their administrative actions. We are truly caught in a web!

Finally, I agree that Caribbean teachers are in need of career related support and/or direction.  There are possibilities for career growth in the teaching profession in the Caribbean. The University of the West Indies have recently introduced some Ed D programmes in Education which could provide for upward mobility but again in terms of the actually hands on knowledge and teaching practice the courses do not offer much in this area. Teachers colleges need to fill that gap and offer PD courses in Speciality areas for techers and these courses must add up on the professional profile and be converted into tangible remuneration or advancement in terms of some sort of points system for promotion of those who do opt for this. The tradition of seniority has to give way to teachers who have opted for preparation and advancement.

I hope my thoughts make some sense but I have always tried to give students that hands on experience coupled of course by the sound theoretical foundation to support this. I used to have an Astronomy club in College and have always taken up the opportunity to handle equipment. We can teach a lot of mathematics through activities like sailing wher the vector components of wind force on the sails turns into real experience. So we need to have these opportunities for our students. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

I currently am involved more in computing, mathematics and electronics so I miss some of the excitement of the world of Physics although one of my nephews in involved in Nuclear Physics and Cosmology and so I have been envouraging him to get to France to work on the ITER fusion reactor in France. It is just a dream but we need dreams too!

While not wishing to sound critical of Trinidad I wish to draw a reference to institutional support for teachers. CARIRI is interested in promoting scientific resaerch but they are really an inductrial resaerch facility within the university. The Rudrinanth Capildeo Educational Resource Centre and the National Science centre (NIHERST) in Trinidad are charged with furthering science in the community and would be particularly useful as resources for teachers.

As an illustration of where we are I did a Google search for the Rudranath Capildeo Education Resource centre in Carapichaima and I could only come up with the Facebook page.

We need to be further ahead in the Caribbean and it is time to get a fuller web presence for our educational institutions and to use the technology available to get our teachers up to speed in this 21st century else we will find that our students are bored and not interested as we have nothing to offer them. The RCERC can be commissioned to provide some of these services which this forum is suggesting. Also, the  National Science Centre in Trinidad could be another agency charged to promote some of these activities.

Thank you Jacqueline.  You are absolutely right.  In fact ITEN has been in support of models that incorporate community life needs with that of developing teaching strategies.  There are some training videos available so I will look into pulling together a structured series on this topic.  It really is important for teachers to understand the needs of their students and those students' communities.  

Remember to do your introduction in the meet and greet discussion forum. 

Thanks again for your ideas.

See you soon.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)



jacqueline alvarez santa cruz said:

I think the Caribbean teachers need teachers involve with the necessity of their students, the teacher need of their requeriments, emotions and feelings,the teachers need to know their region´s problems. The teachers should support all diferent kinds of learning because the students are different, the teacher should be more creative and dynamic, they should do different strategies in classrooms to include the community as parents and relatives. The teacher should make several projects to find envirommental problems. I think the identity with your country and costumes is very important for the teacher and the students.

Thank you so much for this idea Gladys.  Mentoring opportunities really make a difference.  We can even try to promote a mentoring program through the virtual community.  I know that there are already some mentoring groups for specific subjects like maths and science, but that's definitely an area for us to promote in 2017 and beyond.  

Remember to put you introduction in the meet and greet discussion forum.

See you soon.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)



Gladys Yvette Paredez said:

Many of our teachers in Belize need training in all of the aspects mentioned above. What I have observed also is that most young teachers need a mentoring programme in which they are consistently supervised and evaluated to take this noble profession seriously. We normally offer support initially but once left alone the quality of delivery is poor.

Thank you Miranda.  Please tell us a little more about your school and invite other teachers to join the community.  We will be running a critical thinking video series training very soon and we will be looking into training on accommodating various learning styles as well so let's stay in touch in the groups to get as many teachers trained and supported as we can.  

Remember to put you introduction in the meet and greet discussion, and tell us about your school so that we can try to collaborate more directly and try to meet your local needs more specifically in addition to sharing and exchanging knowledge.

Thanks so much for your input.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)



Miranda Boodie said:

I believe that there are sound possibilities for career growth in the teaching profession in the Caribbean.
This can be achieved through the continued workshops and training sessions provided by ITEN.
Critical thinking is a topic that has been coming up quite often, lately, in my school. Training in promoting critical thinking in the classroom as well as training to accommodate different learning styles would be a necessary step in developing career growth in the teaching profession in the Caribbean.

Joyceline, 

I'm glad that you too are in support of critical thinking training.  The multimedia section of the virtual community will be running a video series supported by discussion very soon.  we are also looking into trainings on literacy including reading comprehension.  do invite your fellow teachers to join the community and participate.  I'll be sending out some info on a critical thinking toolkit training as well.  

Remember to put your introduction and tell us about your school in the meet and greet introductions discussion forum.

see you soon 

Paula L. (Team ITEN)

Joyceline Altagracia said:

Caribbean teachers do need trining in developing critical thinking in the classroom. Additionally, there is also a need for the development of reading comprehension skills.

Garrette,

Your input is greatly appreciated.  In fact you bring up an issue that ITEN hopes to try to help with more directly in the near future.  We are looking into ways for serving 'least commonly served' areas across the region.  The idea is to first identify these areas and schools and then to start understanding their needs and then to work to provide teacher development and other related support.  I believe that in the first quarter of 2017, we will still be gathering data and then towards the end of that first quarter, we can start to take steps towards collaborating with various entities, agencies, stakeholders etc to start to advance teacher professional development, networking, knowledge sharing, etc in these areas. 

Please continue to share your thoughts about this area of need and invite your fallow teachers to join the community. 

do post your introduction in the Meet and greet forum and follow us on twitter #ITEN_OAS (https://twitter.com/ITEN_RIED) and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iten.oas/?ref=page_internal)

See you soon.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)


 
Garrette Carson Sutherland said:

I was a teacher or technically still am a teacher in the Caribbean. Teachers in the Caribbean are doing the best they can with what they have. They are smart but I think what is lacking is information being circulated to all corners. Best practices to promote critical thinking, accommodate different learning styles, building lesson plans etc are all needed.

Resources in all forms are a dire need. Yes, we do have more virtual resources in certain areas but because of the lack of internet or in some instances electricity it is impossible to use.

Definitely more career related support and/or direction is needed. Teachers need to be able to know that they can move forward and grow as an educator.


Dear Paula L.

Thanks very much.
I will be happy to participate in those forums and I will proceed to submit an introduction in the Meet and greet forum.

Best Regards
Fatima K. Hosein

ITEN said:

Fatima, 

You make some very good points.  We will definitely be continuing our push in support of critical thinking and I think its a really good thing you brought up about Caribbean teachers getting more access to each other in the Caribbean and to outside of the Caribbean.  In fact, this is a big part of the goal of this virtual Community, where teachers can exchange and access resources after making connections.  We should start a group for that (Resource sharing) so look out for it.  And for career related support , we will also start a group so please join as we try to pull together to see to our needs. 

Thanks a lot for your ideas and input.  If you have not done an introduction in the meet and greet discussion, please do so. 

See you soon.

Paula L. (Team ITEN)



Fatima Korisha Ali Shah Hosein said:

Dear ITEN Members

A continuation a present my thoughts about the Caribbean Teachers.

-Do Caribbean teachers need teacher training in areas like promoting critical thinking in the classroom, teaching to accommodate different learning styles, building lesson plans, exploring regional curricula, etc.?

Answer: The Caribbean Teachers have a great amount of knowledge, but as the teachers in every other country promote the critical thinking it is not an easy work, that it’s why every training in areas like promoting critical thinking in the classroom are very important for the Caribbean Teachers and every Teacher.

-Or, do Caribbean teachers need more access to resources, physical and/or virtual?

Answer: The Caribbean Teachers do need to have access to more information from the Caribbean and out of the Caribbean that information needs to be in every possible format (physical and/or virtual).

-Is it that Caribbean teachers are in need of career related support and/or direction? Are there sound possibilities for career growth in the teaching profession in the Caribbean?

Answer: a.- Yes, the Caribbean Teachers need a career related support and/or direction to help them to continue the work and continue advanced.
b.- Yes, there are many possibilities for career growth in the teaching profession in the Caribbean.

Best Regards
Fatima K. Hosein

Caribbean teachers need more avenues for them to advance themselves professionally. They need more readily available scholarships and a broader scope for training. Caribbean teachers also need more available resources and material to make classrooms more conducive for learning. Caribbean teachers need smaller classroom numbers and larger classroom spaces. Caribbean teachers need to know that their work is appreciated by the Ministry of Education. They need better incentives and means of being upgraded on a yearly basis. Caribbean teachers need to feel safe in the teaching environment. Finally, Caribbean teachers need a higher pay... the salary should reflect all the hard work and long hours that Caribbean teachers are subjected to.

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