Although the last school year was full of ups and downs, highs and lows and successes and disappointments, many teachers across the country are hopeful that things will be better this new academic year. This is what some teachers had to say when asked how their last school year was and what they are most hopeful for this new school year.

Kavel Wilson-Farquharson

Academy PSVE

Despite our many challenges, my students and I made it through with improved results in the subject area. I have a good student-teacher relationship with them and we were all excited to learn in our own way. For the new school year, I am hopeful for the new students who will impact my life and the reconnections I will make with my current students. I look forward to another exciting year where students feel safe, are heard, and engage in in-class activities. I am constantly in search of new and diverse materials we can use to make learning meaningful and fun. My students keep me current and honest – that's the beauty of teaching.

Daniella Arrindell

St. Dominic High

My first year working at St. Dominic High School (during the last academic year) was a success. I felt welcomed by the management team and all staff members. Moreover, I felt welcomed by the students who showed enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and succeed. As a result, I was challenged to evolve as a more rounded teacher. My enthusiasm encouraged me to take part in many extra-curricular activities. Encountering a balance of academics and extra-curricular activities made the 2018-2019 school-year a success for me. I hope 2019-2020 will bring academic success to all my students. As a teacher, I hope to bring creativity to the classroom through interactive lessons through the use of technology. I also look forward to working closely with my colleagues.

Januaria Leonard

Oranje School

This past school year, amidst all the chaos of grading papers, parent-teacher conferences and school related events, etc., I simply survived. However, the integration of technology in my classroom went beyond my expectations as a leader change-agent for the first year. Students were able to create eBooks on book creator and research information online for projects and assignments, complete homework assignments and upload it to Seesaw (student-driven digital portfolio) just to name a few. My hope for this upcoming school year is to continue with the integration of technology in the classroom, assist my colleagues in doing the same, and, as always, try and make a difference in the lives of each student.

Norma Rombley

Sundial / MPC

As a teacher, every year I am always learning as well. That's the shared journey that connects me with my students. So each school year, I always walk away with something new that helps me grow as an educator. By June, I’m usually tired both mentally and physically because of grading and the different committees I’m in, but it’s always rewarding to see everything come together nicely at the end. Last school year was challenging, but I always welcome a challenge, especially when I see a silver lining ahead. This upcoming school year, I’m energized and rejuvenated after a needed vacation. I’m ready for the many hiccups that come with teaching. On the other hand, I’m also looking forward to those moments that make me love my profession. To my students and colleagues, I wish you an awesome academic year.

Kenneth Cook

Maarten Academy (Academic)

I felt good about the last school year at St. Maarten Academy, even though our school had some challenges. I felt good about the fact that although we were on a shift system, Academy was still able to have a hundred percent passing rate at the CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) exams. I also felt good that despite dealing with the shift system, teachers still tried their best to cope with the challenges of working from 12:30 to 6:30pm. I hope that for this school year, we will be in our former building.

Michavera Illidge

Prins Willem Alexander School for Special Education

The last school year started off exciting. Teachers all over the world usually get excited at the start of the school year to decorate their classrooms and do it in a way that fosters learning. As a new teacher, I wanted my classroom to be perfect so I decided to paint it in two tones and decorate it in a comfortable manner so that my students could feel as though they were right at home.

All of this was done with my personal resources, but it wasn’t an issue for me because education is my passion. The past year was a bit challenging, but I made it through. One of the most interesting things is having a group of eight pupils with eight different personalities, all of whom have their own strengths and weaknesses.

During the first month, I tried to figure out my students so that they could trust me and lean on me for support when they needed to. I have had students who climbed the ladder and continued climbing during the school year and some who were stuck due to health reasons. This makes you feel down as a teacher. Although the past school year had its challenges, I could have smiled at the end and say that I had reached my goals.

I have many plans and hopes for the coming school year and I am hoping it can be a better year for me. My hope is that all of my students are able to read, not only words, but read a book at their grade level. It can be the benchmark book, it doesn’t matter, but I want my students to be able to read. I also want them to be able to spell and understand the concept of writing a sentence, adding and subtracting numbers and knowing the difference amongst the (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) signs. I also want them to interact and engage more with other students to improve their learning.

My hope is for parents to be more involved in their children’s education and progress. I attempted to achieve this during the last school year and I will continue this year. There is need for more involvement of parents in the lives of their children. Everyone should also work together as a team, teachers can do their part, but if parents do not also do their part at home, there won’t be much of a difference in that child’s life.

The involvement of parents can make a huge difference. Persons from within the community coming into the classroom, whether it is to tell a story or share their own experiences of how they made it, can also make a huge difference in the life of a child. I am hopeful that our school continues to work as a team so that we can continue to conquer, excel and have fun while our students learn.

Stacyann Smith- Fairclough

CBA

The past school year started off as a brand-new experience for me –my first year at Charlotte Brookson Academy for the Performance Arts – and what a tremendous experience it was! I was met with new challenges, but my love and passion for teaching saw me through to the end of the school year. My students and I (shout out to CBA's 1B) gave it all that we had and were victorious. I am hopeful that the new school-year will be another chance to meet new and of course returning students, who are serious about learning and having a well-rounded year. I also hope this year, too, will be a successful one.