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New teachers welcome support from veteran mentors

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J'ree Cann, P2 teacher at Paget Primary, speaks about the Ministry of Education;s mentorship programme as Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, looks on. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Two teachers have shared how the government’s mentor-based training programme has helped them to become better educators.

J’ree Cann, P2 teacher at Paget Primary School, and Oneka Smith, maths teacher at The Berkeley Institute, have just graduated from the two-year Bermuda Teacher Induction Programme.

The programme assigns mentor teachers to new teachers to provide individualised support, coaching and professional development during their first and second years of teaching in public schools.

Speaking at a press conference today about the programme which was officially launched in 1989, Ms Smith said: “I have definitely grown in the process and will continue to grow professionally in order to meet the needs of all students.”

Ms Smith, who completed the programme with distinctions, added: “Being part of this programme has been a truly enjoyable and much needed experience.”

Ms Cann said prior to completing the programme, she felt overwhelmed delivering some reading assignments to her students but now felt confident thanks to her mentor, educator Laurel Burns.

She said: “Laurel Burns was able to provide me with the additional knowledge on how to improve in these areas. for example, she came into my classroom for many weeks to model these tasks where I took notes and paid close attention as I was determined to turn these weaknesses into strengths.

“I then executed these tasks and provided feedback. Today, as a third year teacher, I would consider myself proficient in these areas.”

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, added: “The foundation of this mentor programme is built on a commitment to meet the individual and collective needs of new teachers entering the public school system.

“It has been proven that teachers who have the tools and skills the need will ultimately lead to improved learning outcomes for our students.”

Oneka Smith, mathematics teacher at the Berkeley Institute (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 30, 2021 at 7:06 pm (Updated June 30, 2021 at 7:07 pm)

New teachers welcome support from veteran mentors

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