Guidance Counselor


Education in Belize: A Legacy of Inaction 1

“A school is a place; people speak of ‘going to school’. Yet a school is not entirely bound by its building.” ~ Peter Senge, Nelda Cambron-McCabe et. al. Schools That Learn We are now living in the first month of 2016 and further into the 21st Century. I thank readers who follow my belizeguidance.blogspot.com and Guidance Counselor columns, especially for their comments on each article. Thank you readers from Belize and from developed and undeveloped countries around the world. Your comments, positive or negative, regarding education systems in Belize reflect a genuine concern over whether or not schools educate students […]


Education in Belize: Bullying in Schools / Need for Empathy

“Bullying… a public degradation ceremony in which the victim’s capabilities are debased and his or her identity is ridiculed.” – Alan McEvoy, Ph.D. October is recognized as National Bullying Prevention month each year in the USA. The entire month is dedicated to combating bullying in Primary/Elementary and Secondary schools — by placing a spotlight on, and educating others about bullying, in all its ugly forms. Whether physical, emotional, or digital, i.e. via online social media, bullying envelops its victims with many negative and harmful academic, social, and lifetime consequences. Is the pervasive problem of bullying in schools ever accidental, or […]


Education in Belize: Effective Discipline 1

“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” What constitutes effective discipline?  Why should we raise our children subject to some form of discipline?  How do we properly enforce discipline everyday in our homes and schools?  If we do not continuously discipline young people how will they comprehend that there are always consequences to any bad choices they make?  We cannot address these questions comprehensively in just one article; however, we can discuss what discipline is about vs. what it is not.  Most parents and teachers think of discipline as the system of (self) control that we use […]


Education in Belize: Quality Schools

“Workers will not work hard unless they believe there is quality in what they are asked to do.” William Glasser, M.D. During the last few weeks, the entire country of Belize witnessed with great concern the plight of hundreds/thousands of educators and teachers whose pressing yet ignored working and workplace concerns had finally reached a boiling point.  These professionals work very hard and tirelessly everyday to provide an education to our young people; yet they remain unappreciated by many, especially by those who control their very salaries, workplaces, and living conditions.  BNTU (Belize National Teachers Union) and its members and […]


Education in Belize: Next Steps? 5

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant “The only thing harder than letting go is moving on.” We have tried to identify Who’s the Enemy in our Education Systems in Belize and open our eyes to why so many of us live desensitized to daily life in this new global and digital age.  Now, it’s time to move on to the next stage.  Are we ready and willing?  Mega-sized problems that continue to plague our nation everyday lie not only in areas of Education but in other key areas that prevent us from improving our standards of living.  Quality health care is […]


Education in Belize: Who's the Enemy? 1

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant “We have met the enemy and he is us.”  Walt Kelly As we start a new year in this rapidly-advancing Age of Technology, the Belize National Teachers’ Union is once more trying to “raise awareness on key national issues”, and is “seeking justice for the work that teachers do”.  Thinking along those same lines, to raise awareness and seek justice, I wonder what classrooms in Belize today would look like if the powerful school policymakers from the Ministry of Education and Education Department were brave enough to switch places with teachers […]


Education in Belize: End of Year Notes

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant As we approach the end of 2013 I would like to thank readers of belizeguidance.blogspot.com and my Guidance Counselor column for their loyalty and participation/comments, or sharing my articles.  I am thrilled to note that, this year, readers from Belize as well as 32 other countries in six continents read my blog and Guidance Counselor articles; many readers, including Belizeans, expressed their concerns (via blog, email, and various media outlets) regarding Education in Belize as well as in other countries.  Despite the fact that the Belize Education System classifies me as […]


Education in Belize: Taking the Risk 1

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant As we approach the end of 2013, I publicly ask the Education policymakers (government and church), principals, school administrators, teachers, and parents in Belize: 1.      Are we satisfied with our Educational Systems in Belize today? 2.      Have we improved any Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary school in Belize this year? 3.      What have we learned this year that could help us to improve our schools in Belize, so that we can more adequately educate and prepare students for life in Belize in 2020? It is widely accepted now, especially by our country’s […]


Education in Belize: Strengthening the Balance, Part II (Leaders) 1

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Last year November, I wrote an article to remind students and teachers alike of the importance of always maintaining and Strengthening the Balance between each other in the classroom and while at school.  Teachers and students will work productively and smoothly when they treat Education in the classroom as a two-way, not one-way, process.  In other words, despite what many people (especially parents who had limited schooling) may have believed in the past, or may still do, students are not sponges who merely go to school to soak up knowledge from […]


Education in Belize: Difficult Students (From Challenges to Solutions)

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant In previous articles I reviewed both positive and negative ways to deal with “Difficult Students” who constantly misbehave at school.  Dealing with Difficult Students   Effective Ways to Deal with Difficult Students  Dealing with Loud and Playful Difficult Students  I encouraged teachers to have unbending and effective classroom management, and I suggested positive ways for them to deal with repeated and distractive behavior of students.  However, several parents recently contacted me to complain about several difficult students whose constant power struggles with teachers at a high school in Belize City hamper the learning […]


Education in Belize: Stressing the Positive (From Challenges to Solutions) 1

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant In many of my articles I focus on suggesting urgent changes that should/could be made to Belize’s Education system.  I also encourage Education policymakers and educators to stop living in the past, and start adapting teaching methods that are more in line with 21st Century ways of working, learning, and living.  However, I realize that being human we tend to be very sensitive, and my repeated promptings, i.e. “we should or should not” and “let us or let us not”, may eventually end up annoying the very people who the promptings […]


Education in Belize: From Vulnerability to Growth! 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Since I started publishing short articles to describe, not define, past and current Education systems in Belize, some educators claim that I seem unfair and ungrateful to them, and that I should criticize/blame no one other than students themselves for their failures at school and during the learning process.  I have stated before, and now loudly repeat: I highly admire and respect all teachers who devote their professional lives to helping educate others, especially young people.  Anyone who chooses to pursue the teaching profession as a career deserves the maximum respect […]