A strong plea made for more male teachers

MORE MEN NEEDED- Senior Education Officer Gaylene Pinder, pictured, made a plea recently for young men to join the teaching profession and make a positive contribution in the lives of students from the primary to senior high school level, in similar manner to that of renowned educators Urban Gibbs, Donald McCartney, Cecil Thompson, Hezekiah Dean and Archbishop Rev. Dr. Drexel Gomez.

A call has gone out to the male population in the country.

“Join the teaching profession!”

Making the plea recently, was Ministry of Education, Science & Technology Senior Education Officer Gaylene Pinder. She issued the “clarion” request “for more men to join this noble vocation.”

She referred to a quote by world famous German Physicist Albert Einstein which states: “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

Pinder said it is imperative for men to step up to the chalkboard, become teachers and use their God-given influence to inspire, motivate, instill a love of learning and wisdom in students and ultimately help to positively change the world.

“Firstly, I must advise that any individual desirous of joining the teaching profession is required to enter therein with the right motive and attitude, which undoubtedly would be the driving force that encourages them to remain faithful, honest and true right to the end.

“Teaching is not for the faint of heart. It takes dedication, hard work, discernment and enduring love because one would soon discover that while it may not be a vocation that is as financially rewarding as one might hope, the benefits of it are made manifest in many ways both directly and indirectly.

“Whenever a teacher comes into contact with a student who has gotten a good grip on life and doing well in the community and (the wider) society, a feeling of unmatched pride swells in the heart, knowing that one has helped to not only mold and shape minds academically, but also steered students along a path of success, touched students in such a way that there was the profound desire to make something of themselves.

“Good teachers discern and see the underlying potential in a student and every day they strive, realizing that their influence on a student helps them to grow and thrive. Teaching affects the entire community in ways that tend to go under-appreciated, but truth be told, every profession needs a teacher whether or not a student becomes a doctor, lawyer, plumber, chef, clerk, carpenter, artist, police officer, counselor, fisherman, farmer, etc. one must be taught,” Pinder declared.

Teachers of the ilk of Urban Gibbs, Donald McCartney, Cecil Thompson, Hezekiah Dean, Norris Carroll, Rev. Drexel Gomez, Ross Smith, E.J. Bowe, Philip Nairn, Stanley Bethel, Joseph Darville and others are gravely needed, according to Pinder.

She noted that presently, while there are quality teachers like Darrin Rolle, Albert Jones, Ivan Butler, Oron McPhee, Marvin Rolle, Herbert Marshall, Norris Bain, Rev. Edward Buchanan, Jarvis Barr, Rev. Charles Sweeting, Jason Thompson, John Wildgoose, Jay Philippe, Fr. David Cooper, Reynold Robinson and current Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd, who carry on this noble work, far too many possessing the influence of late greats such as Walter Parker, Bishop Michael Eldon and Hugh Campbell, have moved on to pursue other passions, are retired or have simply been forgotten.

Pinder said once good male teachers leave the system, society has to contend with a deep-seated void and as such the question of “whose going to fill their shoes” arises.

“It can be opined that many of these teachers are some of the best role models The Bahamas has ever seen and while there has been a notable few that have moved on from time to eternity, like Dencil Jones, O.P. Rolle, Edward Dunkley, Frederick Bastian and others, it is important that young men take up the mantle they all have left behind.

“There are some who come into the teaching profession and leave after a five-year period, as they realized it was not for them. However, there are those who stick with it because they are intent on making a positive contribution and I must applaud them.

“Again, teaching is a very noble profession and only persons who are dedicated to the fulfillment of educating our nation’s children, understand its importance.

“It is an irrefutable fact that we need more men to join the teaching profession and we need more male educators, particularly at the primary school level.

“Students who come from single parent homes need that positive male influence and undoubtedly good male teachers greatly assist in doing just that.

“Oftentimes students who do not have a father present in their homes or lives, rely on a pastor and I believe if more men enter the teaching profession, they too can have a positive influence over our students.

“Furthermore, they can help to steer at-risk youth from negative influences, bad company and assist them in making good decisions. Therefore, I am encouraging young men who have talent, love children, care about their well-being academically, to come into the teaching profession and make a good contribution to our society,” stated Pinder.
She said nevertheless, that there should be an awareness that money should not be the motivation, but the fact that men are badly needed within the school teaching system.

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