CBE hosts system-wide staff development day

A focus on professionalism in the workplace and mental wellness and steps to finding balance was the focus of a recent Catholic Board of Education (CBE) professional day for all staff.

CBE Director of Education Claudette Rolle said the impetus for “CBE 2023 Professional Day” was the fact that after going through the challenges during the lock downs and having subsequent conversations with team members, the Board knew that there was a need to refocus on total development.

“We started the calendar year with a day of spiritual reflection and moved into drawing team members into reflecting on the questions: Why are we in this profession? How is our professional behavior affecting our colleagues and students? What psycho/social tools do we need to sustain ourselves and ultimately give the best to our students?”

CBE 2023 Professional Day” was unique in that the CBE included the system’s full complement of employees and emphasized that schools are uniquely different from other communities in that the behavior of every team member affects the entire community especially the students.

Daily, 242 individuals show up to CBE campuses throughout The Bahamas to engage in helping CBE schools provide quality education and ensure that students are learning in a safe and supportive environment. With staff and teachers, the most important resources for schools, CBE hosted ‘CBE 2023 Professional Day’ for teachers, administrators, counsellors, nurses, aides, clerical, support and librarians.

The sessions for the day took place at St. Francis de Sales School (Marsh Harbour, Abaco), the Wallace Groves Auditorium (Grand Bahama) for Mary, Star of the Sea staff and Fr. Martin Gomes Hall (New Providence) for CBE New Providence staff.

The CBE 2023 Professional Day allowed staff to develop their whole selves.

The day included two sessions: Session one centered around professionalism in the workplace with presentations from Cherrylee Pinder for St. Francis de Sales School (SFDS), Abaco; Deborah Pratt for Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy (MSSCA, Grand Bahama; and Anastarcia Palacious for staff from CBE New Providence schools.

Session two focused on mental wellness – reducing stressors and steps to finding balance. Presenters included Cherrylee Pinder, SFDS, Abaco; Jessica Russell, MSSCA, Grand Bahama) and Dr. Paulus Burrows, New Providence schools.

Peter Angole, art teacher at Aquinas College said the day was not just pertinent and relevant, but inspiring and encouraging.

“Anastarcia Palacious’ presentation on ‘Professionalism in the Workplace’ was well placed, uplifting and generally raised our spirits. Dr. Paulus Burrows, presented on ‘Mental Wellness’ – this presentation was informative and helpful. Truly a day well spent,” said Angole.

Valarie Rolle, a fourth-grade teacher at St. Francis & Joseph said she enjoyed the day.

“In addition to the speakers, I loved the part where we were able to see the talents of the teachers during the talent show. I loved that coming together, the displaying of talents and the entertainment aspect.”

Rolle who is also the team leader for grades three and four at her school said they had not been able to come together and just enjoy each other’s company for a while, and that the day made her more appreciative.

“Mrs. Palacious gave us a lot of encouragement – which was appreciated. In this profession, sometimes you can get very discouraged, so it was good to be encouraged and to be reminded that as a teacher you can touch and change lives,” said Rolle.

The CBE director said the Board is committed to not only providing opportunities to improve the knowledge, skills and professional capability of all staff members but also supporting their well-being. The CBE 2023 Professional Day was a time of camaraderie for the CBE community.

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