The Master Teacher Programme
Since 1999 the Ministry of Education with recommendations from the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, began the process of selecting master teachers for the retention of proficient teachers in the classroom and the enhancement of student learning. In addition, this process was designed to:
- Recognize and reward master teachers who demonstrate excellence in teaching (instructional design, development, delivery, and management).
- Provide incentives for teachers to pursue further academic training and professional development.
- Encourage the creative utilization and integration of technologies in curriculum and instructions.
- Encourage involvement in and documentation of action research and educational projects relevant to teaching and teachers’ professional development.
- Provide additional educational leadership in schools, for training and mentoring of beginning teachers
Who is a Master Teacher
A Master Teacher is a professional teacher who has demonstrated the mastery of the art and craft of teaching, by achieving excellence in current practices, through a comprehensive assessment process. Master teachers are therefore required to significantly impact the teaching-learning process.
The programme has served to identify some of our best teachers as master teachers. Over time the body of teachers has been depleted primarily by their advancement to principalship and or retirement. However, each year the National Committee seeks to replenish the group, taking care that those who are identified as master teachers are truly Masters in the art and science of teaching.
As we work towards improving the outcomes of education, we will depend on our master teachers even more than in previous times. Today we have 28 active master teachers in the areas of primary & secondary education, science, physical education, business education, English, music, mathematics, visual arts, communication studies and literacy.
With the establishment of the Jamaica Teaching Council it is expected that:
- Master Teachers will be certified and fully utilized in providing training and upgrading of other teachers in the school system
- Master Teachers will provide mentorship and training for new and inexperienced teachers
- Master Teachers will greatly influence the teaching-learning process for greater student achievement
The Master Teachers’ Programme is governed by the National Committee for Selection and Appointment of Master Teachers of Jamaica (NCSAMT).
Some of the new and revised areas of the Master Teachers’ Programme are:
- Introduction of Master Teacher Pins that will be awarded to Master Teachers who have been appointed for more than 3 years and were successful in their re-assessment.
- An exhibition of outstanding works of Master Teachers
- Hosted the first Master Teachers’ Feedback Session with Master Teachers and their principals on February 20, 2015, at the MICO University College. This meeting will be held annually to allow the sharing of experiences.
- Completion of the Master Teacher Handbook
- Review of the Master Teachers’ Job Description
- Creating Standards for Master Teachers
- Creating an appraisal for Master Teachers
- Guidelines for Assessors
Criteria for selection of Master Teachers
- All applicants are to have a first-degree
- All applicants should be teaching for at least five (5) years in order to apply for the programme.
- Re-introduction of interviews, where candidates are required to make a power point presentation on a specific topic.
- Applicants are required to submit a professional development portfolio for assessment in order to be shortlisted for interview. The Master Teacher Unit will provide the date for submission after receiving the application.