Big up to all the teachers


May 09, 2018

Today is Teachers' Day, and because teachers are extra special in my book, today is a very special day.

Trust mi, it may kinda sound a way, but mi pree today bigger than Mother's Day and Father's day. Why? Because my teachers have been my real, effectual parents.

Look nuh, some folks may be disturbed, even offended, when I make such a bold statement. But my truth that I speak can withstand any contradiction or dissent.

I can't honestly attribute any of my life successes to the involvement of any biological parent. My every achievement, past and present, is thanks to the work of some great teachers. Yeah, a so it go. No argument!

In many ways, my life really started at Trench Town Primary in grade three when I met the late Phyllis Welsh, OD, the teacher who first inspired, nurtured, and affirmed a sense of goodness and self-worth in me.

Today, I pay tribute to the memory of this iconic individual who served that school and the children of Trench Town for over 45 years. Yeah, such is the magnitude of her legacy that I think dem shoulda rename the school Phyllis Welsh Primary!

I give special honours, too, to Dr Honor Ford-Smith, who taught me at three different institutions. She was the drama teacher at Excelsior who fearlessly drove into Trench Town some ungodly hours a night in heat of the 1970s political tribal war, to drop me home after late rehearsals for School's Drama Festival.

I met her again as my acting, playmaking and improv teacher at the School of Drama. And as fate would have it, she was a professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto when I signed up there to pursue a graduate degree. Yeah, it look like mi a stalk har, don't it?

I also sing praises today for all my past teachers, too numerous to mention, whose expert attention and genuine affection have contributed to making me the man that I am.

God bless every single one of unnu and the present ones at UWI, too, like Dr Lisa Tomlinson, Dr Karen Carpenter and Dr Sonjah Stanley-Niaah. Mi love dem like cook food.

Special blessing as well on the teachers who are mothers of my children, and to my former students who are now teachers. Mi sing, pray, shout hooray. Have a happy, happy Teachers' Day!

Other Commentary Stories