Give me the teaching job!

Friday, March 16, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I am a bit disheartened by the battle between the teachers and the Government of Jamaica over wage negotiations. I am perturbed to see so many teachers on strike when I have been pleading for a teaching job over eight years now.

I graduated teachers' college in 2009 with honours and also as one of the top performers in my class and in the entire college. I was also placed at a prominent boys' school in Kingston where I did an excellent job on my teaching practice exercise as well; so it was an indubitable fact that I was one of the best student teachers that year. However, I was just not able to get a job.

Truth is, I stopped searching for a while because I was offered a permanent position at a call centre in Kingston, where I was able to work flexible hours and go back to school at The University of the West Indies full time. It was very difficult for me, and after a year I was unable to return due to financial reasons.

I say, give me the teaching job, because I am willing to do this for “the love and not for the likes”.

I am young, vibrant, passionate about teaching, and full of ideas which I believe will help to improve student-centred and cooperative learning in the classroom. This is not to say that I am against the teachers' decision to go on strike. But the reality is that there are many young teachers like myself who are willing to work without that raise, just to help ourselves and our families. All we need is an opportunity to show that we too are passionate, can make a difference, and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that students learn.

Yes, educators have every right to stand up for what they believe is deserving for the hard work that they put in day and night, especially to help those students who are slow learners, those who learn differently from others, those lessons you need to plan to meet the needs of the majority of the class, etc. Teaching is not easy, but I'm just saying the Government needs to give more young teachers an opportunity to make a difference. We all had to start from somewhere; if every time we go on an interview they say we have no experience, how will we get it then?

After eight years I've decided that this is what I want to do, so I am currently doing some voluntary work at a high school to gain some experience, despite the financial constraints. After all, I'm doing this for the “love not for the likes”. All I need is for the Government to give me the teaching job.



St Catherine

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