Teacher Smith excited to win top award
A St David’s Preschool educator has won the New Teacher of the Year award.
Karene Smith said: “At first I could not believe that I had won, but I am excited as it’s a new chapter in my career. It’s very rewarding to receive this award.”
Ms Smith found out she had won the award at the graduation ceremony for participants in the Bermuda Teacher Induction Programme on Monday.
The 33-year-old, who moved to Bermuda from Jamaica when she was aged 13, graduated from the Berkeley Institute before she went to Bermuda College.
She said she always enjoyed working with children and, after doing work experience at Prospect Primary School, she realised she might have a knack for teaching.
Ms Smith, from Pembroke, did her teacher training with the S1 class at Saltus Grammar School’s lower primary department in 2010 and now teaches four to five-year-olds at St David’s Preschool.
She said: “I enjoy seeing their minds open up to new prospects of life, just the life around them, the information that they want to know about.
“At this present moment, I have children in my classroom that are interested in the volcanic explosions around the world.
“That’s become such a phenomena where they are connecting learning about Bermuda to what’s happening around the world.”
Ms Smith worked at a private preschool before she joined the public school system two years ago and moved to St David’s after a year at Devonshire Preschool.
Ms Smith, who will be starting a master’s degree online this summer, said she wanted to stay at St David’s.
She added she had picked up a “a great deal of information” from her colleagues and thanked mentor Laurel Burns for her help.
Ms Smith said: “It’s amazing what she has done for me and other candidates who were in the cohort with me.
“She’s exciting, she’s rewarding and she gives me constructive criticism which is what I best enjoy from her.”
Ms Smith was one of 14 teachers to complete the Bermuda Teacher Induction Programme, which provides support, coaching and professional development to new public schoolteachers for the first two years.
Education minister Diallo Rabain congratulated Ms Smith and the other participants in the House of Assembly yesterday.
The award, now in its second year, was created to highlight professional excellence in novice teachers, including commitment to professional growth, efficiency and passion for their job.
Mr Rabain added that the programme was being reviewed as part of the ministry’s Plan 2022, which included new programme requirements.
• To read Diallo Rabain’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”