Every year for the past 4 years, UB has held its biannual community outreach in which students, enrolled in the department of education, coordinate and prepare workshops and symposiums for teachers and students at the primary school level. Dr. Thomasine Baker, Assistant Professor at the Department of Education and Arts, explained the importance and the relevance of the symposiums prepared by the UB students.
“The symposium is actually an opportunity for the students to share the knowledge that they’ve gained throughout the semester with the community, and with young children. The parents have been invited and also teachers, providing the teachers with guidance and strategies on how to work with children, either with special needs, or children in the guidance and counseling area. “
Henry Castañaza, a fourth year UB student, is one of the main student coordinators spearheading this event. He told us, from a student’s perspective, what the event aims to accomplish.
“Usually we aim at sharing this information with students, teachers and parents. So, the idea of the symposium is to give them better understanding strategies of how to cope with children with special needs. So, as a part of our school system requires us to include every child, no matter their disabilities. So, as teachers, we need to be there using strategies to cater for their needs”.
Mr. Henry Castañaza, has been a teacher prior to his enrolment at the University of Belize, he explained to us the personal satisfaction he gets when he embarks on tasks like these.
Mr. Henry Castañaza
“There are so many things that a teacher can do to change the life of this child. So, whenever you help a child only seeing their face, their smile, telling, now I understand, or now I can do it, brings satisfaction to our life. So, as a teacher it is self rewarding”.
Dr. Baker, highlighted the schedule for the symposiums which began on Tuesday.
Dr. Thomasine Baker “Traditionally, we have done community outreach symposium on campus or in the Jaguar auditorium. This year we thought we‘d do something a little different. So, each of the four classes that I have been assigned this semester is going out into the community and they will be doing their outreach community onsite at four local schools. Today, a group of my students presented a symposium style workshop; it’s Evergreen Primary School, ISBET II class will be presenting a series of workshops at Garden City. My other students will be presenting a series of workshops at Belmopan Methodist and then on Thursday, the final class will be wrapping out for the week at Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School”.