New teachers introduced

New teachers in the public school system got a chance to meet and greet education officials and department staff as well as learn more about the Cayman Islands at an orientation session Monday.

Thirty-two new teachers have been hired to date, including six Caymanians who recently completed their degrees. Another 27 positions have yet to be filled, including 19 classroom teachers.

‘You’re coming into our system at a time when we’re very much starting over,’ Permanent Secretary for Education Angela Martins told the newcomers, referring to the massive rebuilding after Hurricane Ivan.

Nyda Flatley, Chief Education Officer, encouraged the teachers to not only get to know their students but the parents as well. ‘Parental involvement is an area we will be emphasizing.’

Education Minister Alden McLaughlin gave the main address, noting the new government is committed to improving the quality of education.

‘We have a dynamic team in place that is intent not just doing things different but doing things better.’

A key step toward that goal is the national education conference, set for Friday and Monday. Feedback from workshops tackling issues facing the education system will be presented in the National Consensus on Education. The document will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly and provide the blueprint for reform, said Mr. McLaughlin.

‘We believe firmly we get the best results where there is consensus.’

He stressed the involvement of teachers at the conference is critical, adding new teachers bring a valuable outside perspective.