Regional

Teach the Teachers workshop under way in St Ann

Saturday, July 28, 2018

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EDUCATORS in Ocho Rios, St Ann, are learning new techniques to boost literacy rates in language arts and practising new strategies to positively motivate their students and hold them accountable.

The techniques are being delivered in Teach the Teachers workshop, which is being hosted by Great Shape! Inc and the Sandals Foundation.

A release from Sandals Foundation said Great Shape! Inc's Teach the Teachers project focuses on language arts, behavioural management, and computer training.

Teach the Teachers first launched in Jamaica in 2011 with computer classes for educators, the release said. The educators then requested additional training in language arts techniques and classroom management, it continued.

“It's so empowering to watch our volunteers encourage and guide the participants. It's just as beautiful to watch the volunteers blossom through their own experience,” Great Shape! Inc's Lucinda Kay is quoted as saying in the release.

The volunteers, who specialise in the areas covered in the workshop, are from around the world, but mostly from the United States, Canada and Jamaica, the release said.

For the past few years, Great Shape! Inc's Teach the Teachers worked from the Negril area, but now is working with schools in the Ocho Rios area.

Daniel Lee, a teacher from the Trelawny area, participated in the programme last year. The release said he credits the workshops for him earning the top grades in his final practicum.

“It's worth it! The strategies I learned last year are a game-changer. If you're going to be a good teacher you must make the time for Teach the Teachers. These workshops help you to become a great teacher,” said Lee, who didn't mind the three-hour ride to get to Ocho Rios High School for this year's workshop.

Sandals Foundation also had high praises for the project.

“We have partnered with Great Shape! Inc since 2003; we host their dental projects, eye care projects, student literacy projects, and Teach the Teachers. It's an amazing opportunity for us to collaborate on projects that are sustainable, provide the most contemporary training, and lift up the children of our island,” Sandals Foundation representative Heidi Clarke said.

The workshops, which see volunteers working with educators and principals who lead grade levels from basic to grade six, focus on: Methods to enrich reading and writing techniques with emphasis on comprehension, skill building, word recognition, and written expression; tools to provide motivation and rewards; methods to create a joyfully controlled classroom ;tips to manage staff; techniques to build self-esteem and effective communication; child-centred teaching practices; conflict resolution, effectively managing behaviours and consequences; and computer education from beginner to advanced, including hardware and troubleshooting, guiding teachers to improve their own computer skills and techniques to share computer learning with their own students.

The project began on July 23 and is expected to come to a close on August 3.

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