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May 17, 2018

In Honor of a Teacher

In light of teacher’s day celebration on Friday, we bring you a feature story of a young teacher described as an outstanding member of the Queen Square Anglican School teaching staff. Mary Ovado started teaching at the school in 2012 and since then she has made a mark on the school and students. Ovado is described as a teacher who creates a dynamic and welcoming classroom environment and sets high standards for all her students to push them to succeed. Today, we stopped by to talk with Ovado about her teaching experience. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Twenty-seven-year-old Mary Ellen Ovado is the Standard Five teacher at the Queen Square Anglican Primary School in Belize City. From very young, she had a passion for teaching. But when she lost her parents as a child, she had to change her plans and started working in another field.  But Ovado never gave up her dream to become an educator and when she got the break in 2011 she never looked back.


Mary Ovado

Mary Ovado, Teacher, Queen Square Anglican Primary School

“The moment I was able to start our life, I went back searching for my teaching career and I applied to Anglican Diocese and I got a job all the way in Orange Walk. And I commuted everyday because that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to start somewhere in teaching.   That’s when I really started my teaching career and ever since then, I mean, the stress is tremendous and I nuh know how you could love such stress because I love teaching.”


And by 2012 she was teaching in the upper division at Queen Square Primary. She says it is not an easy job – and more often than not, students need more than someone to teach them academic lessons. And so she sees herself in more roles than one when she is at school.


Mary Ovado

“We come here most days with positive attitude and sometimes we take for granted that students they don’t have anything to worry about and they should come here ready to learn and ready to give their all. But some of them do have some of the same stresses that we go through. And these students they come with a lot sometimes and we try with them. Some of these students they are very testy and they will test you. A lot of them, the males, for example, in the environment that they grow up in, they bring a lot back to class sometimes and we, as teachers, we try to let it stop at the gate.   Some of them, it is the other way around. They don’t come with a nasty attitude but they come with a lot of burden and I always present myself as an approachable teacher; as someone whom my students can talk to. Come and talk to teacher, don’t tell me that you are not at school because you can’t eat. I will never leave the both of us there to starve.”


And for Teacher Ovado, no matter the long days, how many problem students she sees or personal sacrifice she makes – she says the teaching profession is rewarding and it is the little things that keep her motivated.


Mary Ovado

“It is the ones who gives you the gifts, right, because I got this earring from a student. It’s the ones who gives you the gifts, the ones that warms your heart with ‘morning, miss’; it is the ones that keep you coming back, no matter if they are twelve acting forty. It’s them that keep me coming back.   It is when you are passing and you are going home sometimes in the evening time and they say ‘hi miss, I gone dah school and I did it.’ That is just the thing – those are the type of things. I know that education means a lot to me and to see some of the past students who have graduated standard six and I say I taught that student in standard six or standard five and now they are graduating from fourth form – those are the kinds of rewards that nobody can’t physically buy that for you.  The profession of teaching it takes a lot. It takes a lot away from you, from your home and your own children. Sometimes I say you know what, I have ten months with people pickney and sometimes I have to reflect back on my own daughter. And so it takes away a lot but the rewards are great.”


And that’s why Teacher Ovado wants to encourage other teachers to push through the challenges because the role of educators is critical to Belize’s development.


Mary Ovado

“It is not about us and whenever we are selfless, your blessings never stop. It is about who our students are; who they are going to be; where our country is and where our country will be if we don’t stop. Yes, we require more from our own management, from our parents, our teachers, we do require more. But let’s look at the majority instead of the minority – the missing. Look at what we have and what we can do with what we have and remember the positive outcome will be there.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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