Hundreds of Teachers Attend Conference Hosted by JTA

More than 300 teachers participated in a conference hosted by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay from April 11 to 13. The conference, held under the theme – ‘Teaching for Success: Reaching every Learner’ – was aimed at motivating and empowering the teachers. President of the JTA, Hopeton Henry, described the conference as very successful, adding that it had taken place at a time when the Jamaican education system was seeking to make several paradigm shifts in the process of teaching and learning.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Henry explained that the aim of the conference was to introduce to teachers, strategies that could assist them in the changing landscape of today’s classroom. He said that all the participants left the conference much more empowered.
“We have to recognize that the landscape of our classroom is changing completely as it relates to the problem of violence and the whole social conditions in the country, and it is much more challenging for teachers to be able to get across whatever they intend to present. But at the conference here, we were able to get together a set of practitioners and presenters, who were able to provide the necessary strategies to our teachers, in sharpening their skills,” he pointed out.
Over the three-day period, presentations were made by several professionals on topics such as, ‘Early Childhood Learning/Teaching Strategies’, ‘The E-Learning Approach’, ‘Accommodating students with disabilities in the regular classroom’, ‘Scientific-based strategies to learning’, ‘The Teacher as a Learner’, and ‘Understanding the Gifted and Talented’.
Mr. Henry pointed out that apart from being involved in the process for the three days, all the participants were provided with packages containing copies of all the presentations. He added that every effort would be made to secure feedback on all the staff development seminars that took place during the conference, with a view to assisting in the planning for future events of a similar nature.
“We are going to ensure that the results and the strategies that come out of the conference over the past three days are thoroughly disseminated and this will help,” he said.
The President said that the conference should mark a new beginning for the JTA under his leadership.
“We intend to influence the direction as it relates to the kind of strategies that will be coming out as of now, because we have to make a difference. This has to be a turning point as it relates to our get to every child,” he said.
Special educator from Lyssons Primary School in St. Thomas, Dionne Ramsay told JIS News that she found the conference very informative, adding that information gathered by her would be of great help when she returns to the classroom next week.
Senior Vice-Principal of Norman Manley High School in Kingston, Harry Clarke, described the conference as “a wonderful event,” adding that events of that nature should be held more often.
Diana Thompson, a teacher at Paul Bogle High School in St. Thomas, said she was impressed with the conference, and that the information she obtained would be of great help to her in the classroom.

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