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Maths Teacher of the Year Expected to Make An Impact


JIS: The 2019 ‘Mathematics Teacher of the Year’ is expected to contribute to efforts by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to raise student achievement in maths.


National Mathematics Coordinator, Dr. Tamika Benjamin, says the winner is required to apply the extensive knowledge and experience gained to benefit students and fellow teachers.


“Usually, we ask the person to help with professional development within their school and wider community,” she noted.


“Interestingly, two of the past recipients have become maths coaches in subsequent years, so they have actually been impacting many more schools than they probably would have before,” she added, while addressing a JIS Think Tank on Monday (March 11).


The Mathematics Teacher of the Year will be announced at the launch of National Mathematics Week at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on March 25.


The winner of the competition, which is sponsored by JN Bank, will be awarded a trophy; an iPad; a week-long all-expense-paid trip to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Research Conference and Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, California, in April; and one-year membership to the NCTM.


Conceptualised by the Ministry some five years ago, the competition aims to “highlight and celebrate excellent mathematics teaching at the primary and secondary levels of the education system,” Dr. Benjamin said.


Candidates are nominated by principals, their colleagues, parents or members of the Ministry staff (who work with a school). Every nomination must be approved by the relevant school principal.


The winner is selected after several rounds of classroom/school observations, interviews and presentations on a case study.


Meanwhile, Youth Marketing Officer at JN Bank, Shanna Kaye Wright, told JIS News that there are plans to increase the visibility of and public interest in the competition.


“In terms of our participation with the teacher who wins this year, we will ensure that they get placed more in the media… so next year, there will be way more people applying to be part of the competition and more people being influenced by current participants,” she noted.


“We really want to showcase to even persons who are attending [teachers’ colleges] now, so that they can say next year or years after, ‘I would want to be a part of this competition to showcase to Jamaicans that teaching is cool and maths does count’,” she added.


CAPTION: National Mathematics Coordinator in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Tamika Benjamin, says the winner of the Mathematics Teacher of the Year competition is expected to apply the knowledge and skills gained to benefit students and fellow teachers. She was addressing a JIS Think Tank on Monday (March 11).