Teachers are being urged to ???turn the other cheek’ when confronted by hostile parents who walk off the streets to assault them while on the schools’ compound.

Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, made this suggestion last Friday, while delivering the feature address during the closing ceremony of the 2010 Teachers’ Introductory Course, at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College.

He said: "You will be under threat by hostile people but don’t give hostility back in return. The parent who comes to the door and curses you … it is the parent … it is not the child.?? Therefore, do not do anything that will disadvantage the child, but rather, let the child see that you are different than the parent.?? So, you must set the path that they will want to follow in order to make a difference."

Emphasising that teaching is not a 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m job, the Minister reminded the teachers that they must ensure that their students behave in an orderly fashion long after the school bell had been rung.

"Don’t beat the children to the door.?? You [teachers] need to ensure that the children leave orderly and that they get aboard the buses to take them home in an organised fashion.?? Give a little more … that is all I ask?

"If we do not seek to make a difference, then we will be living in Tivoli Gardens.?? That is what can happen if we as adults don’t seek to make a dynamic difference in the lives of our young people," Mr. Jones stressed.

The Minister of Education also admonished the graduates to dress appropriately while in the classroom. "Your attire must be resplendent so that students must see in you an example that they want to follow."

Mr. Jones also urged teachers to maintain a level of enthusiasm for the profession; communicate effectively with their students and to integrate technology into their lessons to make them more interesting.

"Continue to be the persons who will take this country forward over the next three decades.?? Let us make that mark so that when others come, even though they make their own footsteps, they may want to follow some of our footsteps.?? The challenge and the charge are yours, take it, use it and inspire your classrooms, the community and the nation," he advised. jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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