World Teachers’ Day

| 03/10/2014

"Invest in the Future, invest in Teachers” is the 2014 theme for World Teachers’ Day, which has been celebrated annually on October 5th since 1994.  This day is observed globally with the support of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), as well as Education International (EI), organisations whose core values for education are streamlined with our own.

I am pleased to note that this theme is in line with the focus of the Ministry of Education as we are currently reviewing ways to better improve and more diligently invest in the public education system in our islands.  As leaders in education, it is our duty to ensure that our young minds are given every chance to succeed, not only in the classroom, but in their future careers and lives.

The foundation for that success is what is offered to them in our classrooms today, and directly reflects the time, energy and monetary support invested by our government, our parents and guardians, and specifically, our teachers.

In order to maximise these outcomes, the Ministry of Education has increased our investment in terms of support for our teachers.  For example, Professional Development (PD) opportunities for teachers are of the highest importance to us.  Some of the PD opportunities planned for this year include:

  • The facilitation of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) online training courses, that support their specific school improvement goals
  • Improving teaching and learning in Maths
  • Teaching Assistant Training
  • The New Educators Support and Training (NEST) programme, to support the development of new teachers
  • Linda-mood Bell Training, for Special Education Needs (SEN) support

Providing teachers with the means to have their voices and concerns heard has also been a priority.  Avenues such as the Principal’s Consultative Council and the Teachers’ Forum are ongoing opportunities for teachers to have a greater input in policy development and decision-making within our education systems.

Implemented this year was also a new Student Code of Conduct for high schools, calling for strict and clear-cut guidelines for students on how to conduct themselves while on campus.  This initiative was put forward to empower our teachers to be able to exercise full authority in their classrooms, and I urge all students and parents/guardians to abide carefully by this new code.  Giving our teachers the power and support they require to successfully lead their classes is another way that the Government demonstrates its investment in our educators.

The long term goal of the Ministry is to support an education system that is among the best in the world, and we are committed to doing so.  By empowering our teachers both inside and independent of their classrooms, we are creating a culture that not only treasures its educators, but is constantly improving and therefore raising the standard for education, all while simultaneously addressing the critical needs within our system.

I would like to encourage you all to consider that the return on investment of education is not simply whether students perform in their classrooms, but their long-term commitment to learning, and their ability to contribute meaningfully to our society as adults.  As Greek writer and philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis said, “True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”

On behalf of the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services, I wholeheartedly thank every teacher in the Cayman Islands for your daily investment in the future of our country.  We as a nation are grateful for you on your special day, and every day. 

Happy World Teacher’s Day!

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Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Tara is keeping consistency going in schools, something there has been little of lately. Small tweaks at a time. This is intelligent. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right.  Small tweats is what is needed not the wholesale privatisation of the education system to a system that is faulty at best.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tara. A waste of space.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Your quaint custom of personal attacks on your  own isnot attractive.  Attack the policies, inte tions etc but please not the person.

      • Anonymous says:

        The original comment captured the prevailing assessment of her policies, intention and personality.

  3. Anonymous says:

          I do not believe that these negative comments are being posted by actual teachers, but by individuals with their own political or personal agenda.Why all the hating on Tara? Where is the proof that the schools WILL be privatized or that any attempts are being made to do so?Stop the hate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont take us for fools.  There is a belief by C4C that the problems in our schools can be fixed by turning schools into academies or something other than what they or some are.  Lets do something novel, stick with what we have and work non stop to make is fit for purpose.  There have been many improvements in the last few years.  So just lets keep the ship steady.

      • Anonymous says:

        17:10   At present C4C is not the ruling party and is not running the Government.Whether or not that happens in the future will be decided by the voters ,but until that time, what C4C believes is just that a belief. I do however agree with your suggestion that we make haste slowly.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yes we are so valued you are trying to privatize us.

    • Anonymous says:

      I certainly do hope you are not a teacher, if you cannot spell "privatise" the way it should be spelt in a British territory.

      • Anonymous says:

        Isn't ""privatize"" the British spelling??

        • Anonymous says:

          No, "privatise" in incorrect in my book.

          • Anonymous says:

            then your book is incorrect, privatise is english, whereas privatize is American-english, the same difference occurs in many words such as prioritise, rationalise, realised, etc. DId you knwo it is also proper english to have per cent as 2 words, while the Americans spell it percent. As it derives from the Latin "per centum"you can see why it should be 2 words.

            • Anonymous says:

              The book I use is the Oxford English Dictionary which has the letters "US" after "privatize" which is an abbreviation of "useless".

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure, that's how you realise the value!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Actions speak louder than words.  Words, words, words, words…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Minister Rivers, if you want us teachers to feel valued then treat us respectfully. When we come to your country do not hire us dishonestly, allow us to speak our minds without fear of reprisals especially not having our contracts renewed even when we are good at our jobs, sort out the factionalism in schools between one set of expats and another versus locals.  I have never felt so disempowered in my teaching life.  But well done on the maths cps, its wonderful.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tara – You're not valuing educators when you're planning to sell them off to EY's friends and anyone else with cash in the form of 'academies'. No, I don't believe that C$C and the CoC have my children's best interest at heart above their pocket books.

    • Anon. says:

      Is what we have now working?

      • Anonymous says:

        "Is what we have now working".  It certainly was not a few years back but things are changing for the better.  There may be a long road to travel but we are on track.  Why would anyone want to jeopardise that for a system that research suggests is devisive and unproven.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This statement is an excellent use of valuable ministerial time.

  9. Outside the Box Thinking says:

    Does anyone else smell the kaka emanating from the highest offices in the Cayman Islands?