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“I love teaching. It brings me joy and gives me the niche I need to contribute to the development of others.”By Rehanna RamsayWhile some people regard the teaching profession as a job, a career or a mere method of making ends meet, for 60- year- old, retired teacher Geneva Thomas,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, it is a noble calling.After spending almost her entire adult life educating the nation’s children, Ms. Thomas has more than 34 years of experience in the local education sector. From classroom teacher to headmistress, she noted that her delight was always in preparing the young minds in her charge for the future.“I love teaching. It brings me joy and gives me the niche I need to contribute to the development of others,” Thomas related as she described her love for the profession.Although it was not her intended career choice, it was a path she followed willingly, and as such, she has no regrets. In addition to the years of teaching experience, this week’s special person is also a poet.And since September is deemed Education Month,Cheap NBA Jerseys, it should be most fitting to highlight Thomas’s accomplishments since she can be easily deemed one of the key contributors to the field of education.Dedicated teacher and author, Geneva Thomas is a special personThomas has more than three decades of teaching experience under her belt during which she worked to develop the minds of the young. She has left a legacy for numerous of her students to follow and has even inspired many to join the teaching profession with a view of continuing her efforts of shaping the minds of the nation’s children.Early Life, Education Born on December 16, 1954 to parents, Victorine Drina Thomas and Oswald Thomas, Geneva Adina Thomas spent her early life at Coverden, East Bank Demerara.The former teacher, during an interview with me, recalled that her parents owned a farm, on which she and 12 siblings had some of the most memorable experiences.Reflecting on her childhood in the small East Bank Demerara community, Thomas noted that her parents were hard working individuals. “My parents did farming and basketry to provide for our material needs but as children we loved farming. It still remains one of my best childhood experiences.”But for the Thomas’s household, she proclaimed schooling was a priority.“Attendance at school was a must. All 13 of my parent’s offspring knew that school attendance from the first day was a must,” she emphasized.To this end, the young Geneva Thomas attended St Mary’s Anglican School which she described as “an all age school catering for students from primary until Form Three.”Ms. Thomas (at centre) is flanked by fellow teachers at a ceremony for educators recently.Upon completing her tenure at St. Mary’s, the then 15-year-old ThomasAt left a young Ms Geneva Thomas with Ministry of Education officials during an opening ceremony for a newly rehabilitated school.wrote her final exams and obtained the necessary qualification to commence work.After leaving school, Thomas who dreamed of a career in medicine, would often return to the institution to assist her teachers with their work.“I initially wanted to become a nurse but the headmaster of St Mary’s had observed me and discerned my interest in teaching. He approached my parents and talked to them about me joining the staff at the school as an acting teacher,” she explained.She said that it was not long after that her parents decided that she would embark on the journey that carved the remainder of her career path.Thomas commenced teaching at St Mary’s Anglican School, Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara on April 1973.Experience A few years into her teaching profession, she successfully wrote the General Certificate of Education (GCE) ‘O’ Levels and was accepted into the Cyril Potter College of Education or what was popularly known at that time, as the Teachers Training College.After completing training she taught at the preparatory level of a number of schools including her Alma Mater St Mary’s Primary, Sacred Heart Primary, Craig Primary and Soesdyke Primary. She would teach at this level for more than two decades.It was at Soesdyke Primary, Thomas said that she gained the most experience and it was here, she said, that she faced the most challenges both personally and professionally.Second from left, Ms Thomas with staff and students of the Soesdyke Primary School.“On my first day there, I was exposed to doing administrative record. My head teacher at the time instructed me to write up the salary register. The staff had just received retroactive pay but the only previous experience I had with salary was signing for my salary,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, so you could imagine my predicament…” she mused.But that was her induction to being a school administrator. In less than a month, Ms Thomas was part of the administrative staff under a new head teacher.She noted that at time the school had just over 200 pupils and the staff numbered at about 78.“I would always thank God for Mr. Bernard Jardine. My new head teacher at the time, he taught me what it was like to be a master as well as a servant in the Guyana Education System,Wholesale Jerseys China,” she asserted.She recalled that soon after that Mr. Jardine migrated to Australia she was an Assistant Mistress trying to manage a school.Building the Educational system “Co- workers have been known to build or break the spirit of those with whom they work,” Ms Thomas underscored, adding that she has had experiences with both aspects while carrying out her duties.She however spoke glowingly of quite a few persons who supported her efforts as a young administrator and always gave her words of assurance.She reflected on the days, when she had to sacrifice bits of her vacation just to ensure that the administrative work was done in time for the new school term.“There are persons who helped me carry the load and never one day, did I get a negative reaction from them.”As with every organisation, Thomas said there was a period in which a number of persons left the job either for a promotion or to venture overseas.She opined that since 22 years of her teaching career was spent at Soesdyke Primary, many persons would expect that her fondest memories would be there.“This not so,” she exclaimed, adding that there was a period where “the staff migration,” left her with a total of 16 teachers to facilitate a school of over 300 students.“But I felt proud that the majority of teachers at the time had passed through my hand. I had taught them as a practicing teacher at St Mary’s and Soesdyke Primaries and despite the fact that the school was severely understaffed, the teachers operated at their maximum performance.”Thomas however pointed to one particular instance where a teacher managed to break the spirit of her entire staff.She was appointed to a senior position at the Soesdkye Primary School because the school needed it at the time. She was a good teacher no doubt but the influence she had on the staff was the reason for the total downfall of Soesdkye Primary School.Thomas said that during this time, the school’s standard was at its lowest. “Records were not done, discipline was in disarray…Our cleaner was no longer being paid and I remember very often I had to take part of my salary to pay for services rendered, which I later claimed back from the Education Department.”Through it all, Thomas kept the faith and persevered. But it was her dedicated efforts that allowed for the school’s standards to improve. This was reflected even by an improvement in the results the school obtained at the National Grade Six Assessment Examinations or what was then known as Common Entrance.During this period, Thomas was also pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree of Education at the University of Guyana but she fell severely ill. She could no longer perform her duties and had to leave teaching for a brief stint. But according to her, she prayed for the day she could return to work to fulfill her duty as an educator.Appointment to HeadmistressAs it is with every test, with faith and perseverance there is a time for testimony. The budding head teacher recovered from her “dark period”.She received her appointment as a graduate headmistress of the Soesdyke Primary school on September 1,Wholesale MLB Jerseys, 2004, a capacity she held, until her retirement in November 2007.“I thoroughly enjoyed my years in Guyana’s Education System as acting, Senior or Headmistress,” Thomas quipped.She noted that of all the accomplishments in her career, she is most pleased that many of the pupils which she taught during the 34 years in the education system, have gone on to become teachers themselves.“If a survey should be conducted it would reveal that hundreds of them are currently serving as teachers in Guyana and further afield,” she said confidently.Retirement These days,Cheap Jerseys League, Thomas, who found delight in educating the nation’s children, is aiming to author a few books but in the meantime has been busy indulging in poetry.She also spends a lot of time gardening. Thomas says that retirement has afforded her the freedom and opportunity to pursue other goals. She has since written her autobiography and composed a book of poems, which she hopes will soon be published.Being a teacher by heart, Thomas says that she hopes one day to return to the profession to share her wealth of knowledge and experience.In sharing details about her personal life, Thomas noted that although she never got around to getting married or having children of her own, she basks in the concept contributing to the development of others.“It is a blessing to be alive and well I thank God every day, that over the years I was able to have a positive influence on hundreds of lives both young and old,” she noted with a smile.