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Cayman Parent | Articles | Community | Spotlight | Cayman Teachers Q & A

Spotlight | Cayman Teachers Q & A

Teaching classroom scene

Cayman attracts some of the best teachers in the industry and we thought it would be great to feature four of them. Two are from government schools and two are from private schools. We hope you find their answers as inspirational as we have!


 

Ms. Dominique Chenier

Dominique Chenier teaches IGCSE and A Level Accounting at St. Ignatius where she is the head of the Accounting and Business Studies department and is also the Examinations Officer. She has been teaching at St. Ignatius for 18 years.

Which teacher most inspired you as a child and why?

My High School Biology teacher, Mr. Bourbonnais, who made his teaching style special with his sense of humour, and his humility. He never hesitated to admit that he was wrong, or that he did not know the answer to a question. I have strived to use humour in my lessons (which can be challenging when you’re teaching Accounting!)

What is your greatest wish for the future generation?

As a Business Studies teacher, I always stressed to students the importance of a balance between maximizing profits, and thinking of future generations with regards to the sustainability of the environment. I am always impressed by the younger generation’s general philosophy with regard to the environment, but also how widely they accept diversity. I hope that they will become members of the community who accept, tolerate and embrace differences in each person they meet.

If you could take your class anywhere in the world for just one day, where would it be and why?

As long as I was assured of their complete safety, I would take them to Aleppo, Syria in order for them to see first-hand the plight of the refugees. Many countries are asked to help refugees, but sadly the small risk of a link to terrorism often outweighs the necessary compassionate response to this crisis.

If you could invite someone famous to talk to your class who would it be?

I would like to invite the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Justin Trudeau. I do not only think that he has a very open philosophy of life and great humanitarian objectives, but I admire that he was able to become such a prominent figure at such a young age. I would like him to talk to the future generation, with whom he is closer in age than I am, about using their leadership skills and powers as a group to accomplish things that benefit the entire community.

Ms. Karlene Buckle

Karlene Buckle worked as a teacher at George Town Primary and then Principal at Bodden Town Primary between 2004–2008. She has been teaching at Cayman Prep School since 2013.

What do you consider to have been the most important skill you have learned and why?

Resilience – at every stage of my life, especially during those times when I felt like all was going well, there’s always something for me to learn and think more deeply. I’ve learned to stay calm, be true to myself, be realistic, improvise if necessary, focus on what I have and show gratitude.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

Focus on my career goals before getting too caught up with the dating crowd.

What is your greatest wish for the future generation?

I wish they will meet the right people at the right times, people who genuinely care for them and who will steer them toward achieving success.

Your favourite and most inspiring quote?

Albert Einstein – “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

If you could take your class anywhere in the world for just one day, where would it be and why?

Washington DC – The National Air & Space Museum because my present students are big on science, then to the Albert Einstein Planetarium, the Theatre, and the Public Observatory on the east terrace.

If you could invite someone famous to talk to your class who would it be and why?

Barack Obama, with Michelle by his side, to sell the whole positive image of family, strength, success, happiness and drive.

Ms. Sarah Crowley

Sarah Crowley was born in the Cayman Islands before moving to the USA at the age of eight. She has been teaching Year 3 at John A Cumber Primary since 2013.

Which teacher most inspired you as a child and why?

My high school Biology teacher, Mr. Hendricks, who showed patience and kindness, all the while challenging me to do my best. He took the time to understand what I was interested in so that my education became relevant and engaging. He taught me much more than basic content – he taught me many of the skills that I use in my classroom with my students today.

What do you consider to have been the most important skill you have learned and why?

Flexibility is definitely the most important skill I’ve learned. This skill allows me to not only think outside the box, but to be more accommodating and tolerant of different perspectives, abilities, and strategies for doing things. As a teacher, this is an essential skill to have.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

I would tell myself to never let a little discouragement or disappointment affect my willingness to try something new. I would advise myself to spend more time focusing on the opportunities in front of me instead of the failures behind me.

What is your greatest wish for the future generation?

I wish that the future generation will gain the skills and confidence to not only succeed in their personal endeavors, but to make the world a better place.

Mrs. Janet Dash-Harris

Janet Dash–Harris, was born in England, raised in Barbados and teaches Spanish at Clifton Hunter School. She is a Golden Apple Award recipient and an award winning publisher.

What do you consider to have been the most important skill you have learned and why?

The ability to break down information so that my students can understand it. I’ve learned never to assume! Although I do sometimes put my foot in my mouth, I am always quick to say I am sorry if I think I have offended you. I do like to inspire people with words of encouragement and I also like to celebrate people’s success because it makes them feel good about themselves.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

Pay more attention in school and don’t waste time. At 16 I was doing my A levels at the Barbados Community College and while I enjoyed some success, now in hindsight, I realise that if I had been more diligent I could have enjoyed even greater success. While I did a lot of reading I didn’t always study what and when I should.

Your favourite quote?

“Other people’s opinions of me do not define who I am or what I can be”.

You are going to a deserted island for one month. You can take one book, one music album and one treasured item. What would they be?

My book would be The Bible. One music album is a hard one, but it would definitely be something religious and inspirational. My husband would be my treasured item. He has excellent navigational skills, is a great cook and a fabulous partner. I wouldn’t feel deserted at all and I would be able to eat!

 

 

Interesting facts about the teachers featured:

If Ms. Dominique Chenier was stuck on a desert island for a month she would take a lighter, knowing that it would probably be incredibly useful. Ms. Sarah Crowley would take a photo of her baby boy and a copy of The Great Gatsby.  Karlene Buckle would take her favourite necklace that her oldest friend Ruth gave her, and Mrs. Janet Dash-Harris would take her husband who is a fabulous cook and a great partner.

 

 

 

 

 
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