Island teachers attend valuable education workshop

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Being a teacher is a very important profession that requires much effort and dedication. Parents entrust their children in the hands of teachers for education that will help them become model citizens. The education, moral and values instilled in children by teachers last a lifetime. On March 12th and 13th teachers from all schools in San Pedro were invited to attend seminars on several issues that children are facing in our modern society. Instructors from The University of Mississippi in the USA traveled to Ambergris Caye to present the seminars. The workshops were held at the Holy Cross Anglican School after school hours.

Teachers-Workshop-Ole-Miss-2Topics that were discussed at the seminars varied from child neglect to suicide. The teachers were taught ways in which to identify whether a child is suffering mental, emotional or psychological abuse and neglect. Teachers were provided with useful handouts and pamphlets on how to deal with these problems that the children may be facing. It is important for teachers to learn how to detect bullying; some ways include children making fun of another child’s clothing, hygiene or social status. At many times teachers believe that these kinds of abuse and neglect stem from home, but it can also start in the school. When it comes to any form of abuse, teachers are responsible to address the problem if noted and inform the relevant authorities in order to safeguard the student.

Another serious topic that was discussed in the seminar was depression and suicide. This topic was presented by Madison Loden and Dr. Kim Shackelford. Both instructors explained the gravity of this problem and how early detection and counseling can easily solve the problem. Dr. Shackleford explained how serious depression is and how negatively it can affect a child’s life. Teachers were shown ways in which to offer support to students facing depression or having suicidal thoughts. Both instructors also stressed the importance of having a counselor at school to address the issues the students are facing.

Teachers-Workshop-Ole-Miss-1Instructor Kimberly Rivers focused on learning disabilities. It is important for teachers to be able to adjust their teaching methods to the child’s speed. No two children are the same; therefore no two children have the same learning ability. “I hope that they get a feeling on different ways to present information and get a greater grasp on how each individual works and is capable of learning. So if the students learn by the teacher speaking that’s great because the teacher is already standing before the class, but if the student happens to be a visual learner, using picture aids or graphs are instrumental in helping the other student learn the same material,” explained Rivers.There are many disorders and other problems that can slow a child’s learning capacity. In order for a teacher to educate the children, teachers have to ensure they understand and know how to handle these problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Dyslexia. Of key importance is the acceptance that these issues do exist in the Belizean classroom, and they must be addressed.

The workshop’s purpose is to better educate the staff of San Pedro’s schools in order to provide the best service for the children. It is very important that our teachers are properly equipped and knowledgeable in the issues that our children are facing. It is only with proper understanding that these problems can be solved.

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