WHEN teachers strive to be the best at their job their perseverance will trickle down to their pupils, and they in turn, will give their best.
The advice was given by moderator of the Presbyterian Synod Rev Brenda Bullock to principals and teachers attending the Presbyterian Primary Schools' Board of Education Administrators' Conference held yesterday at Naparima College, San Fernando.
The function, held under the theme "Building a Strong Foundation", was part of the commemorative events of the 145th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church in the education system.
Bullock told the audience that the Presbyterian Church in Trinidad and Tobago had humble beginnings when it started in 1868, and overcame many challenges during its inception.
"Our church started as a missionary, working with persons of different dialects and backgrounds, some who had absolutely nothing. But there was pride and passion in the work, and appreciation and gratitude in the achievements. We are the beneficiaries of that system," she said. "Today there are still challenges ahead for us, but we appreciate what we have and we try to see what we can do to make a difference."
Bullock said each Presbyterian school was a reflection of its administration, and that the Presbyterian Board was careful in the selection process of principals, teachers and staff of those schools.
"We spend a lot of time reviewing. We try to be careful in the appointment of teachers and senior teachers and staff. When we achieve success, it is because we have done a lot of work to achieve that success," she said.
Bullock challenged teachers to raise their personal standards, so that their students may follow in their footsteps. "If you ask your students to dress properly then you must dress properly. We cannot ask them to be on time, if we are late. We cannot expect them to be at their best, when you settle for every and anything. Set your standards higher and strive to be the best teacher you can be so your students can give their best," said Bullock.
Retired chief education officer of the Ministry of Education Kenrick Seepersad outlined the eight "Ps" of education: preparation, positivity, passion, people, perseverance, patience, purpose and prayer.
Seepersad said of these, the most important was prayer, since teaching was a calling from God.