swilson's blog

Leading Great Teams

Leading Great Teams

Today, as organizations become more advanced and knowledge becomes commonplace through the use of technology, leaders are realising the importance of a team.  Slowly, the individualistic thinking and siloed culture are being eroded and there is acknowledgement of the appreciation of skills and competencies that others bring to the table.  Every good leader knows the value of a focussed and high performing team as well as the associated risks of leading an unhappy one.

Continuous Professional Development: An Imperative for Educators

Hargreaves and Shirley (2009) indicate that “our schools are the social embryos of humanity—those institutions that we establish to promote our highest collective values. They should be the embodiment of norms of reciprocity, social trust, and democratic deliberation” (p. 163).  Schools are centres of action in the education system.

Muscling up on Mental Health: Benefits of Physical Activity on our Mental Health

 “Health does not just mean the absence of sickness. Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of diseases and infirmity. It means you feel good all around” (Fountain and Goodwin, 1996). This statement proves true.  We cannot have overall good health without having good physical, mental and social health. They all influence each other. How many times have you seen it? A ‘perfectly physically fit’ individual; however very poor social or mental health? Do you remember the famous Robin Williams? He was very sociable; however, he battled depression for some time before taking his own life. For any individual to be termed ‘healthy’, he/she would need to not only be free of diseases but also have good mental, physical and social wellbeing.

Stress Coping Mechanisms: The Silent Killer; Living with the Inevitable

Stress Coping Mechanisms

The Silent Killer; Living with the Inevitable


Making Home Ownership a Reality through Financially Sound Decisions with your partners at the National Housing Trust

Making Home Ownership a Reality through Financially Sound Decisions



The road to homeownership is an exciting journey. It can give you a sense of personal satisfaction to have a home of your own to share and enjoy with family and friends. However, for many Jamaicans the thought of buying a house doesn’t just feel far away, but nearly impossible. With so many new developments and houses on the market and the high costs associated with home ownership, many Jamaicans are daunted and even demotivated. Like any major decision, one need to exercise careful considerations as home ownership should ideally be one such priority. After all, it is by far one of the biggest financial decisions one has to make in their lifetime. The key to making homeownership a reality is to ensure that you have a sound financial plan and a feasible budget to set aside money that will be needed for expenses such as making the deposit and other fees including closing costs, stamp duties, lawyer fees etc. It can be a very costly venture but with sound and early financial intervention, it is achievable. At the end of the day, it all comes down to saving and planning.


Special Education: Understanding Down Syndrome



Cute isn't she! Can you tell just by looking that something is wrong with her?                                                                                                                       

The Retired Principal: Leadership Lessons

The Retired Principal: Leadership Lessons by Mrs. Catherine Malcolm



I would imagine that very few persons who aspire to be a school leader would not be aiming to be successful. Principals, sometimes do not share experiences and insights with each other so as to facilitate shared learning experiences. This article has been written through a reflective lens to identify and highlight experiences gained in my years of experience in School leadership. As such, my focus is to highlight important lessons learnt in being an effective School leader. My role as an assessor with the NCEL programme  also provides me with in-depth knowledge of the programme and the opportunity to consider connections between my own past experiences and aspects of the NCEL training programme. 

Chronicles of a Principal Aspirant: Moving into the Era of Children First: A Paradigm of Change

Chronicles of a Principal Aspirant:  Moving into the Era of Children First: A Paradigm of Change

Lavern Stewart


The Challenge

School leadership is challenging especially in the context in which we now operate. There are evaluations based on test scores, budget cuts, strong development of an accountability culture and the constant need to find creative ways of engaging stakeholders and promoting school success.  On top of that, schools have students who are living in extreme poverty; students with social-emotional issues, and in many cases, leaders are expected to take on the role of parents and caregivers. The educational landscape is changing rapidly and students are becoming more diverse than ever and they continue to bring many of society’s problems to the school.  It's hard...


Growing Early STEM Talent: An Imperative for Increased Tertiary STEM Enrolment

Growing Early STEM Talent: An Imperative for Increased Tertiary STEM Enrolment

Author: Novlet Alicia Plunkett

The term Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has been in the public sphere for over 15 years, with initiatives designed across different countries to increase literacy in this area. Despite the efforts, significant progress with STEM has been hindered due, in part, to the absence of a clear understanding of what STEM is, and the varied definitions that exist. It is believed that existence of the varying perspectives on STEM is as a result of the wide variety of individuals and groups with an interest in the area, and the differing roles they play in schools, institutions of higher education, industries, government and the wider society (Breiner, Harkness, Johnson & Kochler, 2012). These stakeholders have a tendency to define STEM from the perspective of its impact on their lives. For the purpose of this discourse, the operational definition on STEM education, outlined below, will be used.

Jamaica on the cutting edge of Curriculum Design: The National Standards Curriculum

Jamaica on the cutting edge of Curriculum Design: The National Standards Curriculum (NSC)

Mrs. Lena Buckle-Scott


The Education System Transformation Programme (ESTP) has been working assiduously since 2009 to modernize Jamaica’s Education System in keeping with the 2004 Task Force Report on Education Reform. The ESTP has made considerable progress regarding: the modernization and transformation of the Ministry, as well as, legislative and policy reform and system improvement. Curriculum Reform has been an integral component in the transformation of the system. The curricula for primary and lower secondary levels have been completely revised. The revision of the curricula commenced in 2012 and between 2014 – 2016 there was a pilot after which, implementation commenced on a phased basis in September 2016.