Newly installed Future Teachers reciting the “Cadet Pledge” at the installation ceremony held at St Joseph Fellowship Hall on Wednesday November 4th 2015…
New Providence, Bahamas – 4th November, 2015. Assistant Director of Education, Mrs. Keyshan Bastian addressed 49 students from cohorts in public and independent schools throughout New Providence, who were installed in the Future Teachers programme on November 4th during a ceremony at St. Joseph Fellowship Hall. The students received pins and certificates signifying their induction in the programme, also known as the Teacher Cadets.
In her charge to the students, Mrs. Bastian commented on the changing role of the teacher. She encouraged the group of future teachers to “reach [their] students with methods other than ‘chalk and talk'” and to be “innovative and educational,” as the theme suggested. Mrs. Bastian also congratulated the students for their decision to enroll in the programme and eventually join the “best profession in the world.”
In order to ensure that the programme meets the needs of the students, it has undergone four major changes this year. The programme has been moved to a central location at the Mable Walker Professional Development Institute. According to the programme coordinator, Mrs. Demetria Rolle, “At the institute, students will be able to get the kind of focused attention necessary to mentor students in key areas.”
Students from the twelfth grade have been allowed to join the programme for the first time this year. The reason for this change, according to Mrs. Rolle, is because the Ministry of Education “recognizes that oftentimes students make up their mind a little later as to what their choice of career will be.” “In years gone by we would have turned away a twelfth grader who wanted to join the programme; this year we did not want to do that” she indicated.
Another new facet of the programme is that students will be able to receive enrichment classes in math and English, starting in the tenth grade, which according to Mrs. Rolle, will help students secure the required grades to receive the Teacher Education Grant. Mrs. Rolle indicated that one of her goals is for “all students in the programme to receive the grant in 2018.”
In order to give students an even greater chance for success, Future Teachers will also be implementing a SOAR Study Skills Programme, which will focus on teaching students how to study more effectively. This new element of the Future Teachers programme is one of the “biggest changes” to the programme, according to Mrs. Rolle.
One of the primary goals of the programme is to have all Future Teacher Cadets enroll at the School of Education at the College of The Bahamas in 2018 or to matriculate to a college or university abroad to major in education. Mrs. Rolle was happy to report that seventy percent of last year’s Future Teacher graduates were accepted at The College of The Bahamas in 2015, as education majors.
The three-year Future Teachers programme was introduced in 1995 to expose students to the theoretical and practical aspects of the teaching profession. Approximately 2,800 students have passed through the programme since its inception. Currently there are 213 Teacher Cadets in the programme nationwide.