2015 marked the culmination of a long and satisfying career as a teacher and lecturer in various aspects and levels of technology education when I was honored by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association for 25 years of service in education. After high school graduation in Georgetown, I held various teaching positions in elementary schools for six years before formalizing my training as a teacher through programs offered at the Teachers’ Training College in Georgetown. Training combined both academic and technical studies including Home Economics. My first appointment as a trained teacher was at Vryheid’s Lust Secondary School. After two years of experience, I was fortunate to obtain a CIDA scholarship to study at George Brown College in Toronto in the area of Architectural Technology. To this training, I added subsequent studies in Educational Management and Curriculum Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. In October 1974, I was awarded the Ontario Teacher’s Certificate with Honors, equipping me to teach Technology and Religion at the high school level. In addition, I gained a special Diploma in Education for Vocational Studies when I attended the New Brunswick Institute of Technology. As a fully licensed teacher in Technology subjects, I returned to Guyana to give back five years of service as a Lecturer 2 in Building and Maths for the Trades and Business Studies at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute. Later I became a Senior Lecturer, adding the area of Administration Studies to my portfolio of responsibilities. Part-time lecturing at the New Amsterdam In-Service Teacher Training Program as well as the Emergency Teacher Training Program expanded my training capacity in the field of adult education. Further advancement came when I took up a contract in 1981 at the College of the Bahamas at the time of its inception under Dr. Jacob Bynoe who was tasked with the establishment of that college by the European Union. I lectured in the Faculty of Technology (Architecture) and had additional responsibility as the Co-ordinator of the College’s Preparatory Program. Emigration to Canada in 1994 marked the first stumble in what had been an unbroken, upward advancement in my career since high school graduation. I experienced all the setbacks that new immigrants are challenged by. Retraining in the field of Insurance failed to offer the return or opportunity for advancement that had marked my previous career. The turning point came in 1999 when a door was opened through the good graces of Ron Kelman, a fellow NATIAA member, who was the Head of the Technology Division at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board. Despite a few ongoing hurdles to be overcome, not least of all, a reluctance to recognise my qualifications as a teacher, I was finally granted permission from the Ontario College of Teachers to teach in my field of specialization. It’s to be noted that I complemented my classroom teaching with coaching in tennis and cricket, providing a role model in the necessity of both play and work as I had done previously in Guyana. Young NATI graduates enter a very competitive world with unexpected challenges for continuous learning. It is imperative to be inspired with enthusiasm for your calling or vocation but as well, thoroughly understand the path forward to its achievement. “Look before your leap”. I consider myself, despite a few setbacks, to have become a winner and thank my parents’ for their advice to “never be a loser”. At all times, make it your goal to be the best at what you do.

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