Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Stressful! Teachers need someone else in classroom to offer support

Stressful! Teachers need someone else in classroom to offer support

Director of H Lavity Stoutt Community College’s (HLSCC) Education Institute, Sandy Harrigan-Underhill has said she believes it is unfair for a single teacher to be fully responsible for categorising and identifying the various learning styles of each student in his/her classroom.

Appearing on the Umoja radio programme recently, Harrigan-Underhill said persons must be mindful that the amount of responsibility placed on a lone classroom teacher can take a toll.

“It is really a stress on the teacher who doesn’t have a support mechanism … We have to be fair about that. There should be someone in the room who supports that teacher on a daily basis ensuring that those persons aren’t left behind. While the teacher will do his or her best to teach the general classroom and specifically those that we identify, it is not always feasible. It is not always feasible with other pressures and factors to consider,” said Harrigan-Underhill, who has nearly three decades of experience as an educator.

The former Elmore Stoutt High School principal noted that a teacher already has to take command of a large classroom of students that learn at different paces and different styles.

Matching needs with resources

She also said the observation and requirements of teachers must be matched with adequate resources to help formulate the best opportunity for the territory’s students.

“So, let us say we put all of that in place and we now have a nice structured training programme where we are teaching teachers how to identify various styles and to categorise students according to their learning styles. We also have to match those observations and determination with the requisite resources,” the Education Institute Director stated

Harrigan-Underhill said in her fair assessment is that it is easy from the outside to say the teachers should do several things to accommodate the students and complete the school’s curriculum. However, she reiterated that all these requirements must be married with the requisite resources to help accommodate both teachers and students.

The HLSCC Education Institute Director said she will continue to be an advocate for educators in the territory even in her current role. She noted that she intends to see the Virgin Islands become the best in every area, but her passion is in education and improving the education sector.


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