Cayman’s public school teachers were on the other side of the classroom today being schooled on new and alternative methods of teaching.
They traded their free-time for class time to learn new skills and brush up on old ones. A move welcomed by Education Chief Officer Christen Suckoo.
“We do not want to invest in what we think will work we want to invest in what we know will work,” Mr Suckoo said.
The 600 plus teachers and public school staff participated in the 2017 National Education Conference at Clifton Hunter High School.
“We actually have a lot of the answers that we need in terms of where we want to go, in terms of progress we want in the system. The answers are here. What we doing here is sharing them with each other,” he said.
Numeracy, using animation and alternative methods to make mathematics appealing key focuses in sessions led by visiting educators Kara Imm and Dr Sue Gifford. Ministry numeracy specialist Frank Eade says new approaches are working in the schools.
“Instead of teaching the Maths and then you solve the problem actually you set the problems that help generate the Mathematics and the teachers are getting better and better at doing it. It’s a long journey, things like this does no happen overnight,” Mr Eade said.
Stress management and clay therapy can be used to help children who display behavioural problems pottery teacher Danswell Davidson said its an effective tool.
“Even if they do not know, doing it is bringing them to a disciplined mood and sometimes that is the greatest thing about,” Mr Davidson said.
Behavioural support teacher assistant Karen Linda Moneith enjoyed the session.
“This is another tool that I can also use to reach them too have avenues where they could take a deep breath and relax and focus on what is more important in their lives,” Ms Moneith said.
The all day sessions featured lessons in using social media to engage parents, STEM subjects and utilising the smart interactive whiteboards installed in classrooms.
Teachers were also briefed on strategies for dealing with special needs students, as well as, the Mental Health Law.