Teacher


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: 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: 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: 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 […]


EDUCATION IN BELIZE: FROM DISCIPLINE TO ENGAGEMENT

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant This past week I saw electronic media postings by educators who complained that, and seemed to know why, students today are failures. As is usually the case, whenever anyone (parent or teacher) complains about students, whether today or a hundred years ago, the overwhelming reason always is: “they no longer (are allowed to) teach the way they used to”, in other words, “the best way to learn will always be the way that I learned”. How very egocentric. The postings also triggered many memories in me! That very old school line […]


Education in Belize: Breaking Free (Part II) 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant This past week I received very many emails and Facebook messages with readers’ comments regarding my thoughts on Belize’s September celebrations of Independence, and on its “Breaking Free”. Since this topic resonated with many readers, especially Belizeans who shared their many thoughts on the subject with me, this week I offer more ideas along these lines. To break oneself free of a habit or custom, whether it’s positive or negative, is by far much easier said than done. Adapting to change is never easy for anyone, especially when he/she is set […]


Education in Belize: Breaking Free! 1

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant September in Belize is a month for celebrations! Many festivities lead up to Sept 10th to commemorate the “Battle of St. George’s Caye”, a day that has been celebrated each year, and long before the country achieved self-governing status in the mid 1960’s and Independence in 1981. Each September includes many talent competitions throughout Belize, then a festive Carnaval, then the nationwide celebrated Independence Day on Sept. 21st to top a full month of festivities. In our many September celebrations throughout the country, we celebrate many forms of “breaking free”, whether […]


Education in Belize: Enthusiasm! How long can/will it last? 3

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant A family member of mine recently commented to me how very enthusiastic his youngest son is to be returning to Primary (Elementary) school this week, after a long summer vacation away from school. My first thought about that comment: How wonderful to see a young student enthusiastic about returning to school to continue disciplined learning! My second thought: I wonder how long that enthusiasm will last… My concluding thought: What should we educators and parents keep doing to instill and maintain that enthusiasm for learning in all students, everyday all year […]


Education in Belize: Are Graduates Prepared Today and Students Being Prepared for Tomorrow? 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Our most precious resource, whether in Belize or anywhere else throughout the world, will always be our children! The rapidly growing tourism industry in Belize boasts the Caribbean Sea and Barrier Reef, many Maya ruins, our diverse cultures living side by side, an exotic rain forest, and many other attractions, and is currently one of the top sources of revenue for our government. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee whatsoever that tourism in Belize will always flourish or produce continuous revenue to the country. Our sugar, timber, citrus, and other agricultural industries […]


Belize: Embracing Change in Education 5

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Recently, I referred to the United States of America’s report, “A Nation at Risk”, published over 30 years ago by that country’s Education Department to urge an overhaul of how and what their young people were being taught in schools. In June of this year, Belize’s Education Department released a Report of the 2013 PSE Results of Proficiency Examinations for Primary School students. The Results showed Primary school students in Belize lagging far behind where they should be in Education, especially in areas of Reading (English) and Math. Both Reports were […]


Accountability and Alignment in Education 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Following this month’s release of very low proficiency scores for primary school students who took the 2013 PSE examinations, “Education” has suddenly become a heated topic in Belize. Prior to the release of the PSE outcomes, the topic of Education was discussed mostly by educators and perhaps a few concerned parents. Now, it continues to make news, and draws gut-wrenching reactions and strongly-voiced negative opinions (“that’s not how it’s done”) from parents, businessmen, politicians, and almost everyone in Belize. However, what seems ironic (even hypocritical) is that a large portion of […]