Don't let colleagues kill your passion, Jarrett tells new teachers

Sunday, December 09, 2018

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Jamaica National Group CEO Earl Jarrett has urged pre-service teachers to position themselves as transformational leaders and not allow their enthusiasm to be crushed by some who are currently in the teaching profession.

Speaking last weekend at the annual graduation ceremony for The Mico University College in St Andrew, at which he was conferred with an honorary doctorate in education along with Sylvester Tulloch, CEO, Kemtek Development and Planning, Jarrett told the educators to become vanguards of values, which support a strong sense of identity and self-worth; as well as the values that will reshape Jamaica.

“As you leave this college, you are going to enter a world of broken people and negative energy. Your colleagues, who have been in the education system for a while, will try to crush your enthusiasm. You will hear: 'It is the students' fault' or 'the parents' fault; or 'the government's fault'; or, 'the big man's fault',” he said.

He, therefore, encouraged graduates : “Resist those voices and join the group of people who believe in you, the possibilities for our citizens, and the possibilities for Jamaica.”

Declaring that “We must be transformational”, the JN Group CEO highlighted the dynamic history of The Mico University from its establishment in 1835, through the goodwill of Lady Jane Mico, the support of Sir Thomas Buxton, and, subsequently, the post-abolition funding from the British Government.

Using the concept in Chaos Theory called the 'Butterfly Effect', as coined by Edward Lorenz, to underline his message, Jarrett noted that the small but intentional effort of each graduate could result in a much bigger and impactful movement.

He said that to achieve that effect, graduates must first understand their purpose for entering the field of teaching; develop networks and a mindset that allows them to think beyond their classrooms and Jamaica, as well as join global conversations about education and training.

“Join the global debate on education as it relates to black people who are underperforming in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Join the global debate on climate change or the emergence of populism in nation states,” he told graduates.

“We must have a global view. Jamaica is a small country with a relatively small population. However, we have the ability to collaborate with persons from around the world to solve important problems. Today, we are connected to the rest of the world on a daily basis. It is not good enough to only browse Facebook and Instagram,” he said.

Calling for the reinstitution of a values and attitudes initiative, the JN Group CEO stressed the need for graduates to develop a strong sense of identity and pride. He said mediocrity and indiscipline have become norms in Jamaica, and Jamaicans have lost a sense of who they are.

He also argued that several of the current problems in our country can be blamed on the lack of personal identity, pride and mores, which are essential to developing the road map for the nation's social and economic development.

“Jamaica is famous for knocking you down and ascribing negative descriptions to the majority. I can tell you that we are good; and, in some areas, better than you can find anywhere in the world,” Jarrett declared.

“Identify successful Jamaicans, study them and adopt their values and attitudes,” he advised the graduates.

“Be the educators who will acknowledge that their mission is to inspire, awaken and stimulate interest in learning. Create the 'Butterfly Effect', which will be transformational… be global in your outlook… be unafraid to make your voices heard; and, most of all, be solid in your sense of personal identity and values. You are the change we need,” Jarrett told the graduates.

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