Happy World Teachers' Day

Friday, October 05, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I use this opportunity to wish you, the teachers of Jamaica, a very Happy World Teachers' Day.

As we celebrate this special day under the theme 'The Right to Education means the Right to a Qualified Teacher', which is quite timely and relevant, it brings to the fore inspiring words articulated by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that even the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street-sweeper who did his job well.' ”

Education is a public good and as such public education must seek to provide equitable opportunities for all learners. It is within this context as teachers we must continue to become lifelong learners who will ensure that we are on the cutting edge of research and developments in education.

In our case, we have been called to be teachers; teachers who know the importance of excellent pedagogical skills, teachers who will live on through the knowledge we facilitate in engaging our students, teachers who strive to be a beacon of hope and inspiration to our nation, teachers who continue to reflect on the vision of our forefathers for “maintenance of high professional, ethical and moral standards among all our membership.

A qualified teacher, as noted in the theme for this year, is not limited to our paper qualification — as important as that is — but must be seen on a broader scale to include the passion, sense of care and feel of community, positive values, attitudes and the nurturing spirit that the teacher must radiate.

I acknowledge with deep gratitude the critical role you play, as well as the steadfast service and dedicated commitment you continue to demonstrate as professionals in executing your duties. One of the hallmarks of professionalism is not to settle for mediocre performance; hence, we continue to do more than simply teach students, but rather engage their creative talents so that undoubtedly, they will becoming critical thinkers who will be revered as globally competitive citizens.

On this your day, may you continue to be inspired to serve so that at the end of your teaching careers, so great should have been your contribution to the youth of this nation that the hosts of heaven and Earth will say, “Here lived a great teacher who did his/her job well!”

May God continue to bless us as we continue to unite and serve.

Garth Anderson


Jamaica Teachers Association


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