Teacher of the Year to be named tonight

  • Gina Cann (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Gina Cann (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Lisa Siese (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Lisa Siese (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Ajene Webb (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Ajene Webb (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Diamond Outerbridge (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Diamond Outerbridge (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Liz Braithwaite (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Liz Braithwaite (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Kamilah Weeks (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Kamilah Weeks (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Ten top teachers are in the running for a prestigious award to be handed out tonight.

The nominees were all put forward for the Bermuda Education Network’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

The prize will be handed out at the network’s annual gala at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.

Liz Braithwaite, of Port Royal Primary School, one of six nominees who discussed their jobs, has been a learning support teacher at Port Royal since 2017 and averages about ten to 12 students a year.

She believes that her job in its most basic sense is to help her pupils recognise that they can be successful.

Ms Braithwaite said her teaching method was “very organised, but fluid”.

Gina Cann, of Paget Primary School, said she prided herself on making tasks for her students that are engaging and relevant and strives to make sure her children not only understand what she teaches them, but also understands why they need to know it.

She added she saw a lot of children from broken families and tried to make her classroom somewhere her children are “at home”.

Ms Cann explained: “They may cry together, be frustrated together — but always do it together.”

Diamond Outerbridge, of the Berkeley Institute, added she always knew that she wanted to work with children with special needs.

Pupils in her 2018-19 class at the Berkeley Institute all graduated with college places — a first.

Ms Outerbridge said the most important lesson she could teach pupils was emotional confidence — to believe in themselves and in their learning abilities.

Ms Outerbridge added: added: “To see the look on their faces when they realise that they understand something they didn’t think they ever would, that’s the point of it all.”

Lisa Siese, of Somerset Primary School, said she still loved teaching after nearly three decades in the profession.

She explained she worked with pupils who struggle with reading — but really loved to teach science and social studies.

Ms Siese added she enjoyed teaching P6 pupils the most as their minds were ready for analytical thinking and they had the foundations for learning.

She said her main lesson, no matter the pupil, was that science is in everything, and that children — and the way they learn — are unique.

Ajene Webb, of Dellwood Middle School, explained she worked to make her classroom fun, interesting, educational, and that she used skits, games and co-operative assignments to inspire pupils.

She used Hallowe’en as an opportunity to teach her pupils about the human body, and her class decorated Dellwood Middle School with anatomically labelled ghouls.

Ms Webb said: “I believe in producing analytical life learning, in motivation and recognition.”

Kamilah Weeks of Dalton E Tucker Primary School, added her primary job as a teacher was to ignite the fire for learning in her pupils.

She found her way to teaching after stints in accountancy and law failed to provide her with the right professional fit.

Her time as a substitute teacher gave her the chance to see all ages and subjects, which helped her focus on her favourite, Primary 2 classes.

Ms Weeks said: “They are at that stage where they still love learning and their teacher.”

Nearly 40 teachers were nominated by colleagues for this year’s prize.

The list was cut to ten finalists by a committee who considered expertise, methods, leadership skills and contribution to the community.

The other finalists are Denise Booth, West Pembroke Primary School, Hosang Clarke, CedarBridge Academy, Lugenia Payne, Southampton Preschool and Christene Wilson James, Sandys Secondary Middle School.

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Published Jan 25, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 25, 2020 at 8:04 am)

Teacher of the Year to be named tonight

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