JIS News

While some schools got off to a delayed start for the official start of the 2008/09 school year, because of Tropical Storm Gustav, for teachers and students at the Church Teachers’ College Early Childhood Demonstration School in Manchester, things were fairly normal.
Even as the air was pierced with the cries of some anxious students, teachers and parents did all in their power to assist them in making the necessary adjustment.
For some it was simply a return to an old setting with teachers and friends they were already familiar with. For the 72 new students, however, it appeared to be a somewhat ‘traumatic’ experience. These youngsters, most of them just three years old, found formal school to be an entirely new experience, and one which called for prolonged fussing.
Joel Johnson, one of the teachers responsible for teaching the new students told JIS that this year was no different from preceding years.
“Each year, we have a mixed set of students coming in. Some find it easier to adjust while some will fuss for the entire month of September. I enjoy what I do, though, and every year I gain more experience in dealing with children. It serves to motivate me to take on greater challenges and aspire to greater success,” she said.
Sheryl Marshall, teacher with responsibility for a set of five-year old students expressed some dismay at the fact that the school year had been pushed back by a few days.
“I love what I do. I love to teach. Besides singing, teaching is my second love. I was so excited particularly this morning; actually wanted school to open from Monday. But I was so excited to come in the morning. I needed this, its like therapy for me. I love my job. I love my children very much,” she asserted.
The students’ differing backgrounds and socialization, along with the difference in their capabilities also means that the teachers are called on to address each child’s needs, individually. This, Mrs. Marshall emphasised, did not daunt her, but instead allowed her to “dig deep into herself” to facilitate them.
“As I always say,” she declared, “you photocopy yourself because you have to meet everybody’s needs”.
“It is going to be a great year,” she continued. “I always plan for a good year. It is going to be a good year. It does not matter the problems, the obstacles, the hindrances, because I know that I am going to turn out a set of brilliant, aware learners who can reason. I am going to have a good year planning and strategising and learning, because I do learn from them (my students),” she told JIS News.