Article By: Mrs. Marie Church-Smith
The much anticipated Atlantic Caribbean Union Teachers’ Convention became a reality on July 14, 2013, when all roads led to the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel and Executive Meeting Center, Miami. Florida. under the astute leadership of Dr. Cheryl Rolle, Education Director Atlantic Caribbean Union, It was the first of its kind for this brand new territory of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
Under the theme, “A Teacher After God’s Own Heart”, these four days gave educators from the Cayman Islands Conference, the North Bahamas Conference, the South Bahamas Conference and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission, an opportunity to sharpen their skills as they sat at the feet of guest speakers and presenters who shared their expertise so that the work of the attendees could be of extraordinary quality. It was an exercise that allowed not just for professional growth, but also to enhance ones relationship with God.
The opening session generated much excitement as faculty members with their respective Education Director and Administrators participated in the Parade of Institutions, bedecked in their respective colors and toting individual school banners. Dr. Gamaliel Florez, Education Director of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists gave the keynote address. Dr. Florez stated that teachers are the most important instruments God has for His church. By themselves they are nothing, but in God’s hands teachers make the difference in a child’s life.
Intensive breakout sessions sensitized participants in areas of Bible textbook training, using media, teaching special needs learner, effective classroom management strategies, integration of faith and learning, how to engage pastors with our schools, dealing with bullying, teaching critical literacy skills and identifying the key ingredients of a thriving Seventh-day Adventist school.
Special presenters included Cheryl Alonzo, Pastor Shane Anderson, Kathiann Antonio, Courtney Brown, Luis Cortes, David Daniels, Trevor Gardner, Jacqueline HoShing-Clarke, Raquel Korniejczuk, Pastor L. A. Johnson, Lorna Leon, Marleen Martinborough, Faye Patterson, Jicell Taylor and Pastor Samuel Telemaque.