ASCD Leaders on Reflection: Verneth Patterson
A defining trait of leadership is a passion for success and continuous improvement. With progress comes new vistas and new goals, as well as new challenges to overcome in our never-ending quest for knowledge and excellence. Leaders envision a future, and great leaders shape that future. With that in mind, we asked ASCD leaders to share their thoughts on what reflection means to them as learners, teachers, and leaders.
"As a learner, I was inspired through the caring and selflessness of my teachers. I knew the importance of education and saw my teachers as an avenue to obtain knowledge. As a learner, I can truly say that there are always new things to explore and new ideas to express. There are endless opportunities to learn in this day and age and that is certainly a great opportunity for me as I continue to seek knowledge.
Teaching is a noble profession. We as teachers provide the basic foundations for students to function in life. We as teachers, through our resilience and passion, allow students to build character as they engage in the learning process. As I reflect on my years as a teacher, I have seen many changes and new innovations. Being able to watch my students gain new information and assimilate this knowledge in the real world is one of the greatest rewards of being a teacher. I am passionate about the holistic development of my students. I do all that I can to help them maximize their potential. After leaving the classroom, I usually follow their educational and professional development with much interest. It is always a joy to see a number of them become productive citizens in life and in their profession.
As a leader I am sometime stretched beyond my physical limitations. However I have the courage to prevail regardless of any obstacles I may face. I always remain constant in my pursuit of excellence in whatever task I undertake. The role of leadership has come to mean many things to many people. For me, it means guiding those under my leadership to be the best that they can be no matter the task at hand.
Whether I am a learner, teacher, or leader, I give 100 percent of my effort to accomplish whatever task is before me."
Verneth Patterson served with the Ministry of Education in the Bahamas for more than 35 years as teacher, head of department, subject coordinator, future teacher advisor, national examination writer, and marker. She is also curriculum team writer for religious studies and an executive member of the Commonwealth Writers Association. Patterson holds a master's degree in education and a doctorate in Christian Education. She is an author of the book, Communication with a Purpose and founder of Ladies Inspirational Fellowship Time International (L.I.F.T.) Annual Conference.
Currently, Patterson is the executive director of Bahamas ASCD where she helped successfully develop the Bahamas Connected Community into a full ASCD affiliate. The affiliate works closely with the teacher preparation program and the Ministry of Education, with high levels of representation from the ministry at their annual conferences. This year's conference will focus on the whole child approach to education in the Bahamas.