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Tuesday Transformation - Mosiah Hoyte

Graduate Teacher, Ministry of Education, Barbados

Who is Mosiah Hoyte?

This is always a tough question to answer. I’d like to say Mosiah is far from finished, and end it there but I know that won’t be adequate. I am a Graduate Teacher, presently at the primary level and a Social Worker.

Mosiah Hoyte is a giant of a man, literally.

I am not one who you can easily miss based on my towering stature and I hope, not one you can easily forget after getting to know me.

I am Motivated, Opinionated, Strong, Industrious, Ambitious and Humorous (at least I think I am humorous) . That’s Mosiah in a nutshell.

What does a typical day for you entail?

My weekdays are typically routine. I am up early. I spend some time centering myself and preparing for the day. This could include devotions, a visit to the beach or listening to a podcast, then I am off to work.

On any given day at work, in addition to teaching, I am an adjudicator, a disciplinarian, a comedian and even a counselor. A good day means that my laughter has probably echoed throughout my class, a few times, I have received high fives from many infant students and engaged in banter with a group of junior boys who I mentor.

Afterwards, my evening is either spent volunteering or connecting with family or friends.

Tell us about your journey to becoming an Educator.

Can I be honest? Teaching was in my top three career goals, actually, it was number three but I don’t regret it. My year as a parish ambassador piqued my interest in the profession as my project was children focused. The project took me to schools throughout Christ Church and, seeing how I impacted and influenced change in their thoughts and even actions were powerful.

I believe that coming out of this, it was a natural progression.

Initially though, it was a little overwhelming. My very first assignment, at twenty years old was in a classroom of 4-5 year olds. I remember asking the principal then, if she was sure she made the correct decision. It was a challenge I did not anticipate, but I was able to overcome it.

Thankfully, for the most part, I have worked alongside principals and senior educators who guided, challenged and mentored me.

How has COVID-19 changed the way you execute your duties?

The obvious change is that now my instruction takes place virtually. This is a definite learning curve because the teacher has now become the student while still teaching. The initial stages were a bit challenging as I was not exposed to the platform before the pandemic, but I worked through many nights into the morning trying to become familiar. I didn’t want to appear incompetent during delivery.

My students are enjoying the experience. They miss the physical classroom but they relish the opportunity to use the technology. I try to make it as comfortable and engaging as possible. Some days, I give them a few minutes to talk and communicate in our live sessions as if they were at school and they enjoy that reward.

Honestly, online teaching and learning have brought its challenges but I am able to manage and keep my students engaged while still maintaining discipline.

We heard that you had the opportunity to live in Japan. Tell us about this.

Yes, I lived in Japan and had the opportunity to teach there. What an experience! I taught English within the traditional classrooms at schools, non-traditional classrooms like cafes and English for business at a few companies. My youngest student was 2 years old and she bawled the first time she saw me, but was high-fiving me by the end of our first session. My oldest student was seventy-five years old. He asked to be changed to my class after his first encounter with me. My training here in Barbados adequately prepared me for the classroom experience. Barbadian teachers can boldly take on the Japanese classroom, no lie!

Outside of the classroom though, Japan was a rollercoaster. I’ve had some of my best and most challenging experiences in Japan and I chronicled some of them on my blog Black Bajan in Japan.

I’ve learnt the importance of being culturally sensitive; it really was tough leaving Barbados as a majority to be an absolute minority. I’ve had ladies clutch their purses in my presence; persons shift sidewalks, seats on trains and even restaurants suddenly became vacant due to my presence.

Conversely, I have met some wonderful persons who treated me like family and I stay in contact with them to this day. I’ve been a part of festivals, visited temples and museums, climbed mountains, ate sashimi, sushi and real ramen. I’ve even planted and harvested sweet potatoes in Japan as an honorary Boy Scout leader. Never planted or dug a potato in Barbados but went on the other side of the world to do it. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t miss Japan and even considered returning.

How important is volunteerism to you?

Volunteerism is very important to me, it allows me to serve others. When I think about my life, I could have easily become a young man whose potential was untapped. The odds are stacked against us men, whether some agree or not. I was fortunate that people saw my potential even when I could not at times and those persons were of service to me.

Being of service to others can change lives. I am living proof.

I remember volunteering at camps every vacation break. I’d also assist an elderly neighbour with meals and chores a few days a week. I enjoyed going into communities with my church, setting up a stage and putting on dramas and concerts.

Then being a Parish Ambassador for Christ Church took me out of my comfort zone of volunteering, because now it was on a parish/national level. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.

Representing Barbados as a CARICOM Youth Ambassador with my counterpart Sade Jemmott was also a phenomenal experience. It is really amazing to see that your impact can go beyond the shores of Barbados as we created and implemented regional projects with other ambassadors.

I have served with many community groups and charities but presently my volunteer life starts as soon as the bell rings to signal the end of my workday. I volunteer with: The National Council on Substance Abuse, as a counsellor, The PATH Project with the Government Industrial School, Dodds as a mentor and I’m also in the process of revitalizing the local arm of Youth for Christ International.

Tell us about your most memorable achievement to date.

My most memorable achievement comes as a duo and thanks to Toastmasters International. Within the year 2015- 2016 year I was awarded the Most Outstanding Toastmaster of the Les Chalk Toastmasters’ Club and Barbados’ Area 15 Toastmaster of the Year by the then Area Director.

Toastmasters International has allowed me to develop my leadership and communication skills and I would, without hesitation, encourage anyone to give it a try. It is worth it!


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