Ghana International School (GIS), an institution accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), has organised a free wellness training conference for teachers in both basic and second cycle public schools.
The ‘Time’ Conference is an acronym that stands for ‘Transform, Inspiring, Motivate and Educate’ (TIME), and this year’s is the third edition.
The Time Conference is aimed at supporting professional development of educators/teachers, so they grow, adapt and play a responsive role that will enable students to learn better.
Principal-GIS, Dr. Mrs. Mary Ashun, speaking to the theme of the event, ‘Wellness: Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing in a Robust Academic Environment’, indicated that it is time educators took the time to reflect on practices, learn from one another and go back to homes and schools transformed to impart wellness.
“It is time we acknowledged how worthy our profession is, how critical, how necessary and how indispensable the teaching profession is to growth of the nation.
“We need to educate the whole child; attending to the cognitive, emotional, mental, physical and social development of students from widely-diverse backgrounds,” she said.
Senior Lecturer-Department of Psychiatry, University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry and Guest Speaker of the 3rd Time Conference, Dr. Seth Mawusi Asafo, encouraged teachers/ participants to innovate and put all the technical lessons learnt into practice, so that students will develop better their interest in learning and feel comfortable in the classroom.
Participants were taught lessons on how to identify depression among students, warning signs of contemplating suicide, mental health first-aid, how to teach a mixed-ability class, school management; and how to deal with students, teachers and old students/alumni, PTA and the wider community.
Practical scenarios, including video documentaries, were adopted for the teachers to analyse in order to access the participants’ understanding.
According to Standards Officer and Student Activities Coordinator – and Member of Time Team, Stanley Ayerson, this year’s conference is an improvement on the previous year’s, recording about 350 participants from 25 public schools.
“We held seven seminars and about 25 workshops coordinated by 55 presenters from GIS and other institutions.
“Topics and themes touched included on: Being a reflective teacher; managing change; preparing students for tertiary education, using identified teachable moments; the power of full engagement; and every student counts among others,” he said.
Time Educators Conference is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of GIS, which is a way of giving back to society – a core value the school has been inculcating into its students over the years.