- Since 1975 when she first entered the classroom, Dr. Mullings’ mission has been to change lives through education.
- Dr. Mullings recalls her dream of becoming a nurse, until an encounter with a student changed her life.
- Although, Dr. Mullings wears many hats, she says teaching is her first love.
When Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful, which can be used to change the world”, perhaps he was referring to the life and work of Dr. Pauline Mullings.
Since 1975 when she first entered the classroom, as a National Youth Service (NYS) trainee teacher, Dr. Mullings’ mission has been to change lives through education.
Thirty-eight years later, this educator extraordinaire, continues to effect positive changes, not only as a teacher but also as a child advocate, confidante, pastor, a counsellor, a consultant, just to name a few of the hats she currently wears.
Dr. Mullings recalls her dream of becoming a nurse, until an encounter with a student changed her life.
“In 1975, as a NYS trainee teacher, fresh out of high school, an encounter with a particular student at the Gregory Park Primary School changed all that. This little boy gave no ends of trouble so one day when I hugged him and asked why, he replied ‘Miss this is how mi get attention’.
“I went home and told my Aunt Deloris that I am going to be a teacher because there is a need for more Christian teachers,” says Dr. Mullings, who has been a Christian all her adult life.
Her Curriculum Vitae lists her professional experiences as: Minister of Religion, Director of Counselling Ministry; Executive Coordinator for Youth Club Ministries; Director of Counselling; Youth Sunday School and New Converts Sunday School Teacher; Chairperson of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC); Family Life Consultant at the Pentab High School; Staff Advisor and member of the Management Committee of Wilbert Stewart Basic School; Committee member of the Jamaica Foundation for Children; and Vice President of the Wolmers High School for Girls Parent Teacher’s Association.
Although, Dr. Mullings wears many hats, she says teaching is her first love. “Teaching is my passion. My experiences in the classroom have been wonderful and fulfilling because I love to impart knowledge. Even though some children can make the job challenging, I tell you that my best friends at various schools, in terms of students, are some of those whom I have had an encounter with in a negative way. By just taking them aside and talking to them has brought us closer,” Dr. Mullings says.
She recalls that one of her most memorable experiences as a teacher involved a girl, “who took me to task because I was very young at the time and so she would not come to my class because according to her ‘this teacher looks like I can manage her’.”
“Whenever she would be missing from my class, I would go searching for her in the bathroom and bring her in. She resisted, was very rude, was not settling down with her work. I applied some pressure and she would tell me off, saying how much I hated her and was picking on her. But years after this student left school and I met up with her and her family, her husband said: ‘Miss Mullings your name is a household name in our home. Although we have never met you until now, everyday my wife calls your name. Had it not been for you, she does not know where she would have been and I just want to thank you’,” she tells JIS News.
Dr. Mullings also worked with HEART/NTA as a part-time instructor in Hospitality Skills for 16 years and on numerous occasions was recognised as the most outstanding instructor. In addition, she served as a member of the Board of Education at the Jamaica Apostolic Bible Institute, where she also tutored.
A teacher at the Kingston High School, formerly Kingston Senior School for over 33 years, Dr. Mullings’ involvement with the nation’s children is not only limited to the classroom.
She has given selflessly to the NCMC where she has served as a member for over 27 years, eight of which were spent as chair, and as an Officer in the Girls Brigade of Jamaica, and founder of the Seventh Kingston Company of the Brigade. She was also instrumental in having the Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, declare the third Friday in May each year as National Children’s Day.
According to Principal of the Wilbert Stewart Basic School, Marcia Palmer, “Dr. Mullings is dedicated and disciplined and her drive for excellence has guided many young people on their career paths.”
Dr. Mullings, who holds a PhD in Christian Counselling from the Andersonville Baptist Seminary in the United States, offers school-based counselling for both general and special education populations, adolescents, individuals, and groups.
She is also highly skilled in conducting marriage seminars, family life programmes, crisis intervention, conflict resolution and mediation sessions.
A devoted member of the Pentecostal Gospel Temple, located at 111 Windward Road for over 41 years, she attributes her accomplishments as a teacher to the guidance and encouragement she received from her Pastor Rev. Carmen Stewart former Custos of St. Andrew; her friend Rose Thompson, and Aunt Deloris.
“Teaching is a rewarding job, but it also has its challenges. I would encourage any young person, who may be thinking of becoming a teacher to go for it it. There is at least one person whose life is going to be different because of you, so you must continue to see teaching as something that you want to do regardless of the challenges. Teachers mould lives and shape lives,” Dr. Mullings says.
As she goes on retirement in December, Dr. Mullings says she feels fulfilled. “I feel I have done my best, feel that I have achieved, I feel satisfied and I am feeling proud of those lives that I am still moulding and shaping and those that I will continue to mould even when I exit the formal classroom,” she tells JIS News.
Dr. Mullings is an outstanding public servant and volunteer, who has made a sterling contribution to the training and development of children and youth in Jamaica. She was recognised for her contribution recently at the annual National Honours and Awards ceremony with the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service to Education.