Education | Karyl Livingstone-Williams - A Mentor at Heart
“I’m always cheering for people that society has written off.”
This is the biggest motivation for Karyl Livingstone-Williams, who is passionate about helping the underdog reach their fullest potential no matter the extents.
Born into a family of high achievers, Livingstone-Williams had always aspired to become an educator so she would be able to help those who weren’t afforded the same luxury as herself. After completing her teaching degree and landing a job, she however felt her level of education was not sufficient enough to efficiently help her students. To her, being a teacher does not stop at educating students as they sometimes have underlining issues which might deter them from learning. Knowing this, she later ventured into social work at the Northern Caribbean University, which then taught her to listen and understand a student’s need along with helping them emotionally. The educator and counsellor now hails as a teacher at the Green Pond High School in Montego Bay, the achievement leader for grade 10 and a volunteer for the Region four National Parenting Association.
A strong believer in if the parent excels so will the children, she strives to educate parents on how to be the first teachers for children ranging from years two to six.
“Children have issues, but it’s really the parents we need to target as a country so I have a passion in parenting,” Livingstone-Williams revealed. She also facilitates a ‘How to Parent’ workshop, where she both educates parents as well as connecting those who are struggling financially with agents that can provide them jobs.
Although dedicating most of her time to the school, she still manages to balance her social life by getting her family involved in her school life. To not have a deterrent to students turning up to her weekend classes, she gets both her husband and daughter involved in providing lunch for the students as well as not charging for the lessons. With this, she not only gets to spend valuable time with her students but also with her family.
Following in her mother’s footsteps, who is also an educator, she enjoys giving back to the community no matter her own financial standing. Brining her students along with her charity work to help build their morale, Livingstone-Williams, along with her students, adopted a home where they visit every Christmas to treat the residents. She disclosed that plans are currently in place which will allow them to visit the home more often, as well as another big project in the pipeline where she will feed homeless persons living on the streets.
She aims to make her life more than just educating the massive but helping. Her advice to all teachers is to get an education in social work.
“It’s not just students coming into the classroom to learn the curriculum, there are so many other things that affect teaching and learning. So to be an efficient educator, you have to not only teach, but help your students ... all teachers should do social work.”