– to provide virtual remedial classes for children in need of help
By Gabriella Chapman
IT’S now going on four months since all schools have been closed due to the global pandemic. And even though Online platforms are available for teachers to use to keep their classes engaged, a lot of students and pupils still have not done any work since the closure, because countless teachers countrywide have not been making use of this virtual resource.
However, what is admirable about young Guyanese during this pandemic season is that they are finding various ways of keeping themselves active, and lending assistance to others who may need help in specific areas during this time.
Recognising the need for teachers who are Internet-savvy to assist students and pupils virtually, 19-year-old Shamecia Johnson decided to make herself available for those who may need assistance in the areas of Phonics for children between the ages of 8-18; and Maths, English, Social Studies and Science for Grades 4 and 6 pupils. She’s also started a page on the Facebook platform named, ‘The Book Worm’, that caters to Fourth and Fifth Form English students.
Johnson told the Guyana Chronicle that she has been a teacher for as long as she can remember, and that teaching is all she knows how to do.
Even though her love for teaching is all-inclusive, the young woman said that she developed a specific love for teaching students who society may deem as delinquents because of their behaviour.
“I recently started teaching at a ‘C’ Grade school, and the experience there is so different,” she said. “A lot of people would refuse my job because the children are ‘difficult to deal with’, but they aren’t difficult at heart; they want to learn, but they’re tired and hungry and stressed. If you had to wake up at five to set up a stand to sell, and be there for hours, then walk to school, you’d be ‘delinquent’ too. Their circumstances are difficult; not them,” she added.
Further highlighting that what is required is a genuine love for the job and the children, tied with commitment and patience to ensure that every child gets a fair chance at a proper education.
Young Johnson said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been helping students where I can, but it was only a few days ago that I decided to start a page catering to Fourth and Fifth Formers that are in need of assistance in preparing for their English examination. So, using the CXC English Syllabus, I’ve decided to regularly upload information and exercises to my page called, ‘The Book Worm’. In addition to that, I have my Phonics Online classes for all primary and secondary ages, as well as the four core subject areas for Grades Four and Six.”
After the pandemic is over, Johnson has high hopes of moving her virtual students to a physical classroom where she intends to tackle two of the core points: Basic phonics and reading skills, not just for primary school pupils, dents but secondary school students as well.
“It is my hope that this small remedial programme will blossom into my own school, where I control the class sizes and the curriculum, and every child reaches their maximum potential, whether it means they become an astronaut or a plumber,” she told this publication.
If you are interested in enrolling your child or children into this virtual educational programme, you can make contact with Shamecia Johnson on: 690-3078.