With forty-five years as a teacher, Audrey Jackson was among the 150 recipients of the 2018 Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s (JTA) Golden Torch Awards.
The award ceremony, held on Thursday, July 5 at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston was a proud moment for the 67-year-old Jackson, a St. Catherine resident.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity to be awarded. After so many years of service, it is a very distinct occasion and I’m glad I’m here,” Jackson said in an interview with Jamaica Today.
She added that there have been a few teachers in her life that positively impacted her to join the profession and she fostered the ambition to become an educator from a very young age.
“It’s a profession I’ve always wanted to do from I was in grade two,” Jackson told Jamaica Today, adding, “My aunt asked me ‘What do you want to be?’ and I said ‘A teacher!’. It was at that age I had the ambition to become a teacher.”
Her journey into teaching after leaving college started in several high schools, namely Seaforth and Yallahs in St. Thomas and Donald Quarrie in St. Andrew, until her current position at the College of Construction Services took root and blossomed.
Jackson has a pertinent message for younger teachers who may aspire for the Golden Torch Award, encouraging colleagues to not join the profession for reasons other than educating.
“It has to be something that you love, something that you want to be dedicated to, because it has its ups and downs. There are days when you become everything to a student: a mother, helping with money for lunch and bus fare and helping generally with their problems,” Jackson warned.
She added, “You have to want to dedicate yourself to a profession that’s going to demand more than just imparting knowledge. Sometimes, you will be tasked with helping in other areas.”