Feature
Principal of Porus Infant School, Mr. Everton Tyndale
Photo: Contributed

Story Highlights

  • Educator and graduate of the Aspiring Principals’ Programme (APP), an initiative of the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), for 2019, Mr. Everton Tyndale, is calling for early childhood educational institutions to increase play time for their students.
  • “I realised that children are not allowed to go outside and play as much when compared to previous years. Play time has been reduced to a general ‘sit and eat in quiet’ session in some schools and where play is somewhat encouraged, the children seem to be more focused on their electronic devices because the space for play is not appealing enough,” says Mr. Tyndale in a recent JIS interview.
  • His conviction regarding the value of playtime led him to propose the construction of a new play area and perimeter fencing at the Meadow Gray Basic School where he is the board chairman.

Educator and graduate of the Aspiring Principals’ Programme (APP), an initiative of the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), for 2019, Mr. Everton Tyndale, is calling for early childhood educational institutions to increase play time for their students.

“I realised that children are not allowed to go outside and play as much when compared to previous years. Play time has been reduced to a general ‘sit and eat in quiet’ session in some schools and where play is somewhat encouraged, the children seem to be more focused on their electronic devices because the space for play is not appealing enough,” says Mr. Tyndale in a recent JIS interview.

His conviction regarding the value of playtime led him to propose the construction of a new play area and perimeter fencing at the Meadow Gray Basic School where he is the board chairman.

He says research conducted for the field experience aspect of the programme reveals that play contributes to social, emotional and cognitive development.

“I have come across countless reports that say an increased number of children are becoming overweight and obese due to lack of proper diet and reduced levels of exercise. I wholeheartedly believe that drastically reduced play times at school is a major factor to blame,” Mr. Tyndale says.

I wanted to demonstrate that I was more than just a good classroom teacher with the potential to be appointed as a principal. Promoting play time through a newly designated play area allowed me to do that” says Mr. Tyndale.

The new play area that includes swings, slides, a sandbox and monkey bars is approximately 80% complete. He indicates that students have begun using it.

Students of the Meadow Gray Basic School in Manchester enjoying the swings in their new play area.

 

The investment which is valued at two hundred and fifty thousand Jamaican dollars (JMD$250,000) is expected to be 100% completed by the end of the academic year.

As an educator of over 13 years, Mr. Tyndale credits the teachers he had as a child for igniting a passion for the teaching and learning dynamic. He shares that opportunities to learn and play contributed to him being a more-rounded person.

“When I was a child, my friends and I were allowed to play during allotted times in the school day. We got the chance to be physically active and enjoy the outdoors. I want to afford my students the same luxuries,” Mr. Tyndale says in a recent JIS interview.

The almost complete play area in progress at the Meadow Gray Basic School in Manchester

 

The play area project, received support from Counsellor Donovan Mitchell, the Mayor of Mandeville and businesses in the Mandeville area. The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) provided guidance for the placement of the infrastructure ensuring that it complies with the regulations.

In May, two months before graduating from the APP, Mr. Tyndale was appointed principal at the Porus Infant School.

“Upon my appointment as the principal for Porus Infant, I saw an opportunity to revamp the play area for my students. Steps have been taken to complete a proposal and make contact with the relevant oganisations to assist with upgrading the swings, slides and monkey bars,” he says.

“I have chosen to continue the work I started through my NCEL field experience and focus on allowing children the opportunity to play freely and comfortably at school,” Mr. Tyndale tells JIS News.

With roughly seven months as an appointed principal, Mr. Tyndale credits his lecturers and his classmates at NCEL for encouraging leadership and allowing him the opportunity to grow and positively impact the lives of his students and colleagues.

“Every day I go to school, I take the lessons learned during the APP with me and I try to impart it to my staff and students in ways that they can relate. The APP is not just for those who desire principalship but for those who really love teaching,” says Mr. Tyndale.

Referencing a quote frequently used in the programme, “Leadership is about bringing people up and not to beat them down,” Mr. Tyndale says “I relate to that statement as I know I am not here to bully or badger people. Yes, I need to be stern but I should be able to bring those I encounter to another level and help them to realise their full potential. That is how I practice leadership,” he says.

The Aspiring Principals’ Programme was designed to adequately prepare individuals for the task of principalship prior to being appointed. The objective of the APP is to attract talent, identify high quality applicants and ensure a ready supply of well-trained professionals.

The programme is delivered in partnership with the University of the West Indies.

Participants receive the Professional Qualification for Principalship certification once they successfully complete the modules and their field experience.

The programme is grounded in four modules: Transformational Leadership, Instructional Leadership, Community Leadership and Organisational Leadership.

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