A teacher’s perspective

| 06/08/2018 | 87 Comments

Cayman News ServiceTeacha 2 writes: I worked in several government schools for many years. For the most part, I saw many hard-working teachers, whether local or expat, do their best to try to help their students achieve. I met many parents as well, good people who also did their best. The challenges that teachers and students face on these islands are the following (in no particular order):

1. Successive governments, consultants, and people within the Education Department and Ministry of Education who keep changing the curriculum, support materials, etc. for little reason other than to justify their jobs and to say that they’re improving education in the Cayman Islands. Teachers and students have little to no time to get acquainted with something new, before everything is turned upside down and changed again.

2. Schools spend too much time showcasing their “learning”, instead of spending the time to do real work. This leads to many interruptions throughout the school year, with far too many students being pulled out of the classroom for one thing after another (plays, music, dance, sports, various celebrations, etc).

3. The Ministry of Education claims that the teachers are consulted on various matters. Though it is true that teachers were/are sometimes consulted it’s simply “window dressing”. It allows the Ministry to tell the teachers that they’re appreciated and that their input is valued – when in fact, it seems, that teachers’ ideas and opinions are not at all considered and implemented. Policy is often driven by “pie-in-the-sky” ideas and bureaucrats who are unfamiliar with the needs of schools and teachers. This often leaves teachers feeling helpless, unmotivated and unappreciated.

4. Students are promoted without having to work for it. Whether you’re the top student in your class or the most oblivious, you both get to graduate. It doesn’t help that everyone gets a participation medal for doing a GREAT job, even those who couldn’t care less and those who thumb their nose at the system. Any wonder that students graduate without knowing how to read or add? More importantly, what exactly are we teaching students when we reward a complete lack of effort?

5. Integrated/inclusive classrooms and/or mixed-ability classrooms are a recipe for disaster. You have your bright students, your students who are on level, and those students who perform below level. To those you add students with severe learning challenges and disabilities, and sprinkle that mix with students who not only have learning challenges but also exhibit mild to extreme anti-social behaviours. At the end of the day, nobody learns anything.

6. The are multiple reasons that students do not learn (ie. lack of support at home; disabilities; etc.). The primary reason that students do not learn in school is because of the unruly and sometimes violent behaviour of some of their classmates. The behaviour draws far too much of the teacher’s attention from what a teacher is supposed to do, and that is teach. Multiple students with varying degrees of behavioural issues in the classroom ensures that little to no learning takes place. It takes as little as one student to “terrorize” their classroom and classmates, who may claim over 75% of the teacher’s attention. Usually there are anywhere from 1-5 students in a classroom who exhibit mild to severe behavioural issues.

A fellow commentator posted this excellent link.

7. As I mentioned before, there are many wonderful parents who try their best. There are however also many absentee parents, parents who are ignorant and uneducated, who have substance abuse issues, and who are part of the criminal justice system. Often, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Teachers are not miracle workers. In some cases, where there is a complete lack of support at home, it’s no surprise that some kids come to school unprepared and unwilling to learn. Instead of taking advantage of all that is offered to them, they disturb the learning of those willing to learn.

8. Some students display a complete lack of fear and respect for authority figures, teachers, parents, classmates and society at large. Since this is accompanied by a lack of consequences, all this teaches them is that they can behave as they wish…

Suggestions/Solutions? Somewhat simplistic, but a good start…

Educate Parents (not all, because some/many know this already)! Government needs to find an effective way to get the message across to ALL parents, not just some, that (a) A good education is vital to their child’s future (b) Support from home is critical (c) Parental attitudes toward education are adopted by their children (d) They need to set high expectations for their children (e) Poor behaviour will not be tolerated at home or at school

Stream students from a young age. One teacher can easily teach 35-50 highly motivated, high flyers. Bus the high-flyers to one school (school A) and watch what they can accomplish.

Set up separate schools (school B) for those who display a positive attitude towards learning but are behind and/or have learning difficulties. Staff those schools with additional teachers and teaching assistants than in “A schools”, to help those students catch up.

Lastly, take those students with serious behavioural issues and anti-social behaviours and place them into a different school (school C). Dedicate teams of psychologists, psychiatrists, specialist teachers and teaching assistants to that school to provide timely intervention.

Allow students to earn the right to move within the various schools — i.e. if a student in a “C” school works very hard and improves, he/she could be moved to a “B” school. The same holds true for the “B” school students who wish to move to “A” schools.

Set up a trade school and/or a school for the arts. Not all students have the ability or desire to become accountants, lawyers and doctors. Find out what they’re good at and help them become successful in that field. Success breeds success.

This comment was written in response to Primary schools given failing grades

CNS: It has been amended since it was published on the request of Teacha 2

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Category: Education, Local News, Viewpoint

Comments (87)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Do not agree with the A, B, and C schools. Segregation is never a good idea.
    Our best bet is to understand and reinforce the necessary foundation in education, build on each students character and development.

    Math and English pretty much remains the same. What is changing is technology and how
    we incorporate old school lessons with technology.

    Schools should also be a refuge for students safety, regardless of what goes on at home, students need to know they are safe. Everyone deserves the same privilege, and the same opportunities. Schools should provide meals for every student regardless of parental income.

    At the end of the day it is about allowing every child an equal opportunity to develop to the their full potential.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FtyoFwN17M

    Below is found in the 2009 No. 1379
    CARIBBEAN AND NORTH ATLANTIC TERRITORIES
    The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009

    ???? A caring community based on mutual respect for all individuals and their basic human
    rights.
    ???? A country committed to the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
    ???? A community that practises honest and open dialogue to ensure mutual understanding and
    social harmony.
    ???? A safe, secure and law-abiding community.
    ???? A country that is free from crime and drug abuse.
    ???? A country with an education system that identifies and develops on a continuing basis the
    abilities of each person, allowing them to reach their full potential and productivity.
    ???? A community that encourages and prepares young people to assume leadership roles.
    ???? A country that provides a comprehensive healthcare system.
    Legislature shall enact laws to provide every child and young person under the age of eighteen
    (referred to in this section as a “child”) with such facilities as would aid their growth and
    development, and to ensure that every child has the right—
    (a) to a name from birth;
    (b) to family care or parental care, or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the
    family environment;
    (c) to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services;
    (d) to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation;
    (e) to be protected from exploitative labour practices;
    (f) not to be required or permitted to perform work or provide services that—
    (i) are inappropriate for a child of that age; or
    (ii) place at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health or spiritual,
    moral or social development;

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well said. Education starts and ends at home. If things that students learn at school, whether it has to do with material related to various subjects, or lessons related to manners, civility, etc. are not enforced and reinforced at home, children will usually struggle. Support at/from home is crucial.

  3. Anonymous says:

    @7:49 am about IQ test

    > Einstein was slow in learning how to speak. His parents even consulted a doctor.
    > He also had a cheeky rebelliousness toward authority, which led one headmaster to expel him and another to amuse history by saying that he would never amount to much.
    > His cocky contempt for authority led him to question conventional wisdom. His slow verbal development made him curious about ordinary things — such as space and time — that most adults take for granted.
    > Some researchers claim to detect in Einstein’s childhood a mild manifestation of autism or Asperger’s syndrome.
    http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1936731_1936743_1936745,00.html

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  4. Anonymous says:

    @2:56 pm
    don’t you think if they could they would have done it already?
    By the way how much was spent on attending a postal conference in Qatar? Would have been enough to sponsor a kid or two to attend a private school.
    Another question. Have those missing 2 billions ever been found?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I will offer the unpopular opinion that the problem with our education system is twofold:

    1) We as parents and grandparents keep electing the same bunch of politicians whose sole focus is improving their own personal pockets. They are of course exceptions like the new ones such as Barbara Connelly, Chris Saunders and the old guards like Mr Eden.

    2) We as parents and grandparents forgot our role and expect teachers to fulfil them.

    It is our responsibility to ensure that our children are ready to learn. Before starting school at age 5, between my mother and grandmothers they ensured that I knew how to spell and write my name, knew how to count to 30 and my alphabet. In doing so they instilled a desire to learn and also lay down the exception re behavior and respect for authority.

    Many parents do not have any respect for our children’s teachers and I am speaking of respect in the broadest sense. Parents evening, sports day, school events its always the same parents that show up. We can give up time to every event at Cabana Bay, Lion Center and work but not any to the teachers we are entrusting the bulk of of childrens day to.

    Likewise when our children come home they do so tv, ipads and everything but our undivided attention or offer of help with homework etc.

    We can change the government but unless we change our own approach to raising our children and their learning we will continue to get the same results.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Urging parents to do their job is like urging drivers not to speed or use phones. Futile! Because those who ALREADY doing good job as parents and drive safely do it Voluntarily.
      You can’t force anyone to do what they don’t want to do, or believe they don’t have to do. Preaching, begging or educating wouldn’t solve that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Remember not all the children at government schools are failing, there are some meeting the standards they are meant to, so “taking your kids out of government school” to guarantee a good education is not always necessary.

    It’s the one’s that are falling behind that need the help.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’d recommend that any Caymanian parent that can afford to do so, pay for private education for their child. Caymanians need to stop relying the government to educate their children because its not going to happen. Kids are leaving the government high schools unprepared for further education and unprepared for the work force so why are they being graduated? I see it all the time in the mentorship programs. The private school kids are engaging, confident, eager and ambitious. The public school kids are unsure of themselves, they don’t make eye contact, their grammar and vocabulary are poor, and they have absolutely no idea what they want to do with their lives. Parents need to start taking full responsibility for educating their children.

    Caymanian parents, I implore you…if you have bank loan on your car, sell it. If you borrow money every year for vacations, stop doing it. If you have credit cards, cut them up and pay them off. If you can sell your home and live in a less expensive one, do so. All of the money that you put into entertainment, cars, boats, iPhones…put that money into giving your child a private school education. If the government won’t fix the broken public school system, then do what is best for your child and pull them out.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s very easy to dictate to others what they should and shouldn’t do for their children, but we are each in different situations. You can only know what is best for yours. Putting people down and making them feel bad because they send their children to government school is just much part of the problem because it indicates ignorance and intolerance. We should be supporting one another, not judging.

      The article lays out the problems, any only one group of people can fix them through their government. Lets hope they do.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are problems at the at the private schools too, just because you pay a lot of money doesn’t mean they all go away. Reports on private schools are not made public and in some cases not even done.

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      • SSM345 says:

        unless they expelled for something ALL those at these public schools do better than most of the best Uk schools in terms of GCSE and ALevel results; not so much at Our other schools where 5 passes at GCSE is lauded with distinction and the rest graduate barely literate, if that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not so: I made the selection of the private primary school of choice based on reviewing the reports of the two primary schools I was comparing – that was about 15 years ago.

  8. Backyard economist says:

    Any vocational education has to be very very carefully planned: There are only so many electricians, mechanics, masons, carpenters, chefs, street-cleaners etc needed. When, for example, there are sufficient carpenters to support all of the construction projects for the next ten years, what is the point of continuing to churn them out of a trade school?

    It would also mean a gradual reduction in the number of skilled work-permit holders, thus reducing the overall population which would directly impact the local economy; fewer people to pay rent or buy groceries.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And reducing the cost of living…

    • Anonymous says:

      The point is that with the number of trades jobs on work permits there is opportunity fro many Caymanians to train and be apprenticed and once qualified and experienced to take on these jobs.

    • Anonymous says:

      @12:32 Wrong, the people coming out of the trade school getting the jobs would replace the skilled work permit holders being phased out AND more money will remain in circulation in the island instead of being “send home to family” in other countries.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Oh my, the belt always rears its ugly head during discipline debates. The belt might work for some children, who are also shown love and only get beaten ocassionally. For others however, it is child abuse because parents do not know any other method so they use the belt left right and centre. Not tidied your room? Whack! Not done your homework? Whack! Not got straight As? Whack! This is no way to bring up children who are learning new skills socially and academically.
    The school model of putting all the smart kids in one school, average kids in another and troubled kids in another is just wrong. It labels children as dumb and stupid so that is what they believe, regardless of how hard they work or other strengths they may have.
    The troubled school kids will have no decent role model to play or interact with apart from the aduts and they will feel punished just because they haven’t been taught how to behave from their parents. How is that fair? They will then develop a low self esteem, anxiety and this will lead to drug use and crime later on in life.
    Teachers will also have lower expectations of the these children because they are just the “the naughty kids” so they won’t achieve very much academically either. I have personally seen this in schools for autistic children.
    All children have the right to an education in a main stream school with their peers. Teachers should diffferentiate the work and leaders should hire support staff to help with this. Only the very extreme should be taught in a specialised behaviour unit with the hope of intergrating them back into main stream eventually.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How has mainstreaming worked out thus far for you? You are part of the problem, not the solution. Stop deluding yourself that it works or has worked. Only the “extreme” should be taught in a specialized behaviour unit? So you want to label some but not others?

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you beat your child for not getting straight A’s you are abusing you’re child. The issue of being hit with a belt is when you tell your teacher to go fuck themselves instead of paying attention in class. Geesh you abuser, you need help.

      The kids need to understand that because mommy and daddy are asshats and act and behave like animals in public that they must rise up above their parents and be a better person. This can be reinforced at school and this is where the teachers become role models. In class the kids are shown respect, care and discipline when bad, as it should be.

      The teachers must also be willing to continuously show those things to the children and positively reinforce them. It takes a village to raise a child even if the part of the village that had the child doesn’t want to.

      The parents must also be held accountable if they are leading their children astray.. beat their asses too with a belt.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The premise that teachers in our system are better or worse depending on the demographic or region from which they originate is total BS. I had some English, Canadian and West Indian (including Caymanian) teachers who were excellent and some were bullying morons.

    A good teacher has that quality in their souls – not their accent, their skin colour or their passport!

    All of my classmates who gradated in the mid-1970’s are well educated and have become successful and productive citizens in Cayman and overseas.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    People, the word for the head of a school is “principal”, not “principle”. The change of spelling changes the meaning of the word entirely! The evidence of backwardness in spelling and grammar – in Cayman and the English-speaking world in general – is clearly displayed here!

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Cayman desperately needs to set up an apprenticeship system. Not everyone is academically inclined and university bound. A structured 2/3 year program with a mix of school and hands-on work experience is desperately needed. This is done in many European countries and the people don’t feel ashamed to be a hairdresser, a dental assistance, a tiler, a mechanic etc. and many make a very good living with those jobs and eventually have their own business.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Great viewpoint and some good suggestions.

    One issue which will need to be addressed is that Government has spent the last 20 or so years making their own people believe that Government is responsible for everything. School cost, school supplies, school transportation, school books…….you name it. Obviously this is not done to because of genuine care but rather a short-sighted and selfish interest. Perhaps if parents would be forced to financially participate in their children’s education from primary level onwards, they would take a greater interest in what is going on with their kids at school.

    Yes, I know a lot will cry that they can’t “afford” it, yet too many drive new SUVs and have every new version of smart phone on the market…….

    Government needs to take a tough stance and force responsibility for their children back to the parents…………I know, this is wishful thinking on my part.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How about the leaders at any school just take responsibility and do their job? Is that too much to ask?

    • Anonymous says:

      This island seems to be obsessed with paying for education! The point with free education is to show that it is accessible to every child, to give each one a fair chance at learning, and it’s got nothing to do with how much or how little your parent or parents earn.

      The points given in the article don’t mention fees, because that is not the problem.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    I graduated in 1989 from high school and went to the University of Toronto. When I got there, my level of English was deemed inferior and had to take additional English classes to “be brought up to level.” I was in set 1 for English, was in the top 5% of my class, got 1 B+ out of a string of A’s. Got an A grade GCSE, but it was still deemed inferior?

    Anyone remember being taught life skills in class? Basic accounting, cheque writing, etc. My cousin got his first bank account a few weeks ago for his first real summer job and got check books and had to ask how to write a cheque.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    How are the students put into schools? Is it based on teacher perception, or is it an IQ test?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Our great grandparents had very little education. But yet they spoke english properly. Not slang. They could read and write, they could do math, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. They obviously could read a tape measure, they built boats. Tell me how building another school is going to solve this? Not every child is going to get a job in an office. Think!! Find out what your child likes and push them to their talent.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    CIG is not listening but DART is. It will change when he has complete control over the Cayman Islands. Soon come so stay tuned!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    I went to school in the 60s and 70s. I was in a ‘streamed’ system from A to F. The majority of kids fell in the B and C streams. In my day, only negative reinforcement was used. I was often told I would amount to nothing. I worked hard to prove my teachers wrong and left school with grade A and B passes in CSE’s and ‘O’ levels. The strange thing is that it was not my qualifications that put me on the right path it was a simple ‘aptitude’ test given by the ministry of defence as it was called in those days. They quickly figured out I was suitable for mechanical engineering and I went to a vocational school and attended college part time to further my education. I have never looked back, and while I am now in a different discipline of mechanical engineering I make a good salary. Not everyone can be an academic, vocational schools are key to success of many Caymanian’s the more it is delayed the more harm will be done.

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    • Mike says:

      As I have posted several times before, we used to have a perfectly good vocational school, The Community College, but we converted that to a UCCI university for academic pursuits. Many of the failing and / or disruptive students in our schools presently belong in a vocational school, or, a dedicated special needs school. That article is absolutely spot on, and if only the jokers in the Education Dept. would get their act together and stop messing with the system and give the struggling teachers a decent chance to get on with the job. Common sense aint so common!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        What about the leaders at UCCI, are they not responsible?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with everything this teacher wrote. Learning does not begin at school. It starts in the home. Streaming children based on their abilities with the necessary assistant in the classroom along with parents being on board(positively involved in their children’s lives and education) will make a world of difference. It takes a village to raise a child. Teachers cannot and should not be blamed for everything.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It is the social-economic background of the kids’ friends’ parents that consistently is shown to make a huge difference. Just don’t let the little darlings end up friends with the offspring of the great unwashed.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Teaching twenty years plus and yes it is a merry go round. Teachers are not merry though as they have no voice in creating policy. Principals are employed to drive the policy directed by the Education Dept.They keep their jobs by staying on the straight and narrow so as not to upset parents and their MLA’s. It’s amazing; thanks to the hard working, solid backbone staff of these schools; we get amazing results. The Premier did tackle this problem years ago he established a forum of all educators and stakeholders seeking the answers to challenges and their solutions. I recall these problems and solutions were recorded and prioritized for action. True to form and in support of Teacher 2, the recommendations were ignored and remain hanging. So surprise! we are back to the same fork in the road. What’s next, import a solution. More inspection, recruit advisers, blame teachers, more PBIS, change the examination board, recruit teachers from Finland and other high performing systems. Don’ ever listen to teachers! Deja Vu

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  21. Anonymous says:

    I think the suggestions for the “C” schools need to be applied now and just go from there. Once the worst performers are on board, then the whole class can do better.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Never happen here because the parents of the kids in School C would complain why their little “angels” are being left behind, not being offered the optimal opportunities when they have no hope in hell of achieving them, demoralizing and alienating them even more and would probably still end up blaming the teacher for not raising their kids to be better or for their kids coming out of school as clueless and useless as they were going in. My ex-wife is a teacher. I’ve heard the stories for 12 years and despite the tensions between her and I, I will be the first to say she is a damned good teacher. Bring the belt back into school.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The leadership is not there.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Corporal punishment and child abuse and neglect at home is part of the problem – I bet majority of the students at the private schools do not get the belt at home – look up the correlation between physical punishment and poor behaviour.

      IMO belting and beating and lack of love is part of the reason so many of our youth have these behaviour problems in the first place.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Nope you are wrong. I got the belt for everything I did that deserved it. Today I am very successful and guess what? You try to get between me and my parents and I will show you how much their beatings caused me to not to Love and Respect them.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You sound like one of those parents who prefer to be the child’s friend and give them time outs that don’t really do anything but bore them to death. Not saying my parenting style is better or worse but my kids are well behaved because they knew and experienced what would happen if they act out like animals. Now they are successful, respectful and compassionate adults. I grew up with parents that couldn’t care less how I acted and I suffered for it and had to work 3 times as hard to give my children all the opportunities they needed or wanted and I still wish to God my parents had whipped my ass when I was young.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Good leadership does not necessary mean using the belt, but if students know there is a weak leader who will not use stronger means to enforce disciplinary measures, the students will run wild.

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    • Richard Wadd says:

      I have to disagree with your ‘belt’ suggestion … a Rattan cane is a far more effective deterrent … take it from someone who has been on the ‘wrong’ end of one.

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      • Philip says:

        My history teacher Mr. Melrose(i will never forget his name) was a firm believer i the one meter blackboard ruler across the knuckles:), i ran into him retired some 20 years later with my young family at the time in a local pub, i got up the courage to walk over to speak with him, before i even got close he turned and said “arh young master ******* how are you?”, being somewhat bewildered that he would remember me is asked how come he remembered me, his response ” you were the only one that got the ruler 5 times in one year in all my years of teaching”, sat down and had a great long chat and a couple of pints with him to find out that the ruler also had a metal bar running though it so it did not have much flex.at least i hold the record for something in my school:)).

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    • Mike says:

      To 4.23 pm The belt is never going to return as the liberal European model is forced upon us by the UK, who, by the way is having the same educational issues, with a breakdown of discipline in the schools. My parents were both excellent teachers who produced a large number of graduates who went on to excell academically and professionally. Discipline was enforced by my father, who routinely patrolled the corridors, pausing outside each classroom to listen, and disruptive students would be removed for a taste of the cane. They would then return with a better attitude, despite being laughed at by other students. The teachers felt supported, and could get on with the job. It got results! In all my years since those days, I have not heard a single graduate complain about having a deserved caning from my Dad. Put that in your pipes and smoke it you snivelling liberal minded idiots who like to call that system “abusive”.

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      • Anonymous says:

        My Grandfather was the principle of the Cayman Islands Prep School and he had no issue with using the belt and he was considered a great principle.

        I received 1.. ONE.. O.N.E. beating from my father when I was young and it wasn’t abuse and I never acted out again.

        The only thing I can say is that it made me grow up with a terminal case of respect for your elders and other around you. Something SERIOUSLY lacking with the youth of today.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Teacha 2 for revealing this.

    Like I’ve said repeatedly – too much political interference in the education system. It began with Truman Bodden in 1976 and has been going downhill ever since!! But wait…. he’s retired as a millionaire, driving around in his classic car collection and smiling!

    Meanwhile every other Education Minister ever since is still promising vocational programs and/or schools, the implementation of which would partly help the problem.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “For revealing this”??? I have posted under Teacha’s original post my total agreement with his/her comment but elsewhere I have pointed out that these problems were identified over 35 years ago ……but unfortunately by expat teachers from the UK which meant that certain senior people in Education Administration, especially the Angry Bitter Man from the East, his lady from George Town and a not so angry but radical poetic ignoramus from the West, simply passed it off as neo-colonial putting down of the local kids. So the solution was get teachers from the region who understood our kids and their culture. This policy was pushed strongly by Roy Bodden. I wonder how he feels now.

      A.Teacher

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      • Anonymous says:

        Roy never wanted his job, he said it several times. Poor leadership has its consequences for decades to come.

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        • SSM345 says:

          He never wanted his job? So why did he stay there for so long? Pretty effing important role to be given, to then take with all its perks yet do eff all when your there to improve the situation because you “never wanted it”. Therein lies our problem; half the people in our Govt are there to collect a cheque and couldn’t give a f about anyone but themselves.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Teachers are so overpaid.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nope, look at what the leadership makes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      But I bet you wouldn’t last an hour doing their job .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you know how I knew when the Ministry was visiting the school? The parking lot was filled with BMWs, Porches and Mercedes……

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    • Anonymous says:

      A teacher is probably one of the most important professions, if not the most important. If there were no teachers there would not be anyone to teach the other professions. Teachers are severely under paid and disrespected.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Its too bad we cant find some way to hold the Parents responsible for the actions of their kids.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Used to be that way, but then we wanted progress and changed our society.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The leaders at schools do not want to do their job, its that simple.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps afraid.. Discipline a child for their bad ways, parents come down asking why their “angel” was punished and they lose their jobs over parents not wanting to accept the fact their kids are brats.

  26. Anonymous says:

    5. Throwing in kids of all types of mixed abilities into the classroom, starting with the rocket scientists and ending with those who have no clue on which planet they live on, adding kids with all types of learning difficulties to the mix and those with extreme anti-social behaviours (which a team of top psychologists would be clueless on how to help) ensures a complete disaster. Nobody learns anything, other than the fact that you can be as disrespectful and rude to the teacher as you like without anything ever coming of it. Whether you’re there to learn or to cause mayhem and tell your teachers to go F themselves, you’re still in the same class the next day.

    I’m not certain which of us has been out of the school system for the longest, but my kids went to John Gray High School (JGHS) 15 years ago and there the kids were separated into “Sets”, with the math whiz kids in Set1 and those who had to take off their shoes to count above 10 in Set7. Even those who struggled to read and write could be placed in Set1 for art and drama if that was the field that they excelled in.

    The kids from JGHS Set1 excelled in their chosen fields and today they hold responsible jobs in our society having graduated from some of the best universities despite coming from impoverished backgrounds.

    Over the entire high school years, kids were moved up or down within the Sets depending on whether they applied themselves and studied at home or not.

    Grading schools as A, B, or C would be labeling every kid from too early an age, and who exactly would want to take the job of teacher in a “C” school?

    28
    2
    • Teacha 2 says:

      Sure, I think that Set proposal is sensible and needs to be looked at, and a better alternative to my suggestion. I do think however that lack of classroom discipline is the greatest impediment to learning, and students who prove over and over again that they are not in school to learn (but to cause mayhem), alternative programming needs to be put in place for them, so that they do not disturb the learning of others.

      21
      • PJD says:

        Teacha2..
        everything you’ve said was on point and hit the nail on the head, something I’ve argued for years since being out of highschool, the people at the education board cared more about how their children looked rather than what they learned and this still seems to be a problem today over 15 years later since i have graduated, it’s sad that they will not take a lot of what the teachers are trying to say in their final decisions but this seems to be a trend throughout any and all government entities not just education, People making decisions for what “they” think is best not what is actually needed and without consulting the people who actually work in that section. I guess everyone wants to feel important, but now I can see that the education in all of the government schools are getting worse each coming year, what are we to do for the children of this island. Again thank you for making this all known, and trust me we know that there are parents who beileve ( not all in any way) that the school should be 100% responsible for their child’s upbringing, all they are responsible for is lunch money ( and barely that some days) and dropping them off to school.

        10
    • Anonymous says:

      A consequence of flimsy leadership.

      13
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        I have long ago said .finish the high school put back the middle school and use the cifec(cayman Island further education center) for a trade school . God knows it got to make changes.

        14
    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve always taught in a “c” school and would continue to do so. Never been interested in teaching in an “a” school.
      At- risk teacher x 25

    • PJD says:

      3:05.. graduated in 2002 so i definitely KNOW what you are talking about, the problem is also that the set 1 kids got a lot of the privileges while a lot of the lower sets especially lower that set 2A ( the lowest they were willing to recognize) were basically ignored, and being in a mixed class was also a huge problem, I wish you were in my set 1 physics class to see that for yourself.

      4
      1
    • Mike says:

      The much needed vocational training should be incorporated into the high schools, enabling skills oriented students to be streamed accordingly towards careers, and enabling those with academic ability to get on with their education at the right pace. The only students who would need to be removed would be the disruptive or special needs ones, and to a specialist school with teachers appropriately qualified. Why this has never been done I will never comprehend. It’s all to do with the absolutely assinine policies churned out by Ed Dept ad infinitum.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is what some of us have been trying so hard to explain to the parents!

      The ministry keeps messing with your kids’ curriculum….wake-up before it’s too late; oh, wait we already suffering for our mistakes!

      (foot in mouth)

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