By Admin. Updated 4:55 p.m., Wednesday, November 2, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
In 2017, Timeisha “Timmy” Jacobs graduated from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College with an Associate Degree in Teacher Education at the Secondary level.
Her excellent academic performance during her two-year stint at the Division of Teacher Education earned her a National Exhibition Scholarship from the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for three years to pursue higher education.
Jacobs was among the first batch of Associate Degree students who were awarded National Scholarships. In that year, the Government of St. Vincent and Grenadines began awarding National Scholarships to Associate Degree students.
The then 26-year-old teacher said: “I was elated because I always thought about pursuing further studies but I wondered about finances and with this scholarship, I knew it would ease that financial burden. We worked so hard and I was really pleased that we were rewarded”.
Although Jacobs was elated about the National Exhibition Award, she had a major concern-leaving her son behind.
“It was very difficult leaving my son at age six to pursue my education. Even though I knew it would be worth it, I felt that I was being a selfish mother. However, I was encouraged by our conversations and daily updates from my mother, his Godparents and close friends who assisted him when they could, in terms of attending school functions and completing homework”, the concerned mom explained.
Jacobs is the daughter of Dezrae Jacobs and Anthony Jack. Her mother played an instrumental role in taking care of her son while she was abroad pursuing her studies.
Jacobs is a past student of the Biabou Methodist School and the St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua where she obtained ten CSEC subjects. From there, she attended the Community College –Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies where she obtained her A Levels before returning to the Division of Teacher Education, where she excelled in the Secondary Programme.
The National Scholar completed her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s degree in record time and achieved the highest academic honours in both programmes.
” My first degree is a Bachelor’s of Education in Education from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. I completed it in two years 2019-2021 because my Associate Degree in Teacher Education allowed me to be exempted from a number of courses, so I did the sixty credit programme offered at Cave Hill”, she said.
Jacobs pointed out that: “This was no easy task as there were two semesters I had to do six courses just to finish within the two year period.”
She noted that after completing her undergraduate degree, she knew it would be a struggle to restart if she took a break. Hence, she decided to continue her studies at the Cave Hill Campus after graduating with First Class Honours having completed her bachelor’s program in 2021.
“The scholarship was for three years and I did my Bachelor’s in two. So, I decided to do my second degree which is a Master’s of Education in Curriculum Studies and I earned a Distinction,” the National Scholar said.
She said: “At first, I thought there was a gap between my first degree and master’s because the work was more than I anticipated at times. The programme was intense, heavily hands on and practical based. At times, I wanted to quit but I am a very determined young woman. So, it was merely tiring thoughts.”
“During my final semester of my undergrad which was around the time COVID-19 started, I lost one of my favourite aunts and grief took hold of me. However, I was easily snapped out of it by thoughts of what she would have said or done. I still miss her everyday and I know that she would have been extremely proud of me”, the national scholar expressed.
Jacobs pointed out that she encountered many challenges while pursuing her degrees but noted that she is grateful that she has a strong support team.
She lamented that: ” The pandemic and the volcanic eruption created additional stress. During that time, I was working on my thesis and it was so difficult gathering information for my thesis even with available technology.”
The national scholar added: “I say thanks to Keisha Ballantyne and St. Clair Da Santos who did not hesitate to assist me in this regard”.
Jacobs is a resident of Biabou and a teacher at the North Union Secondary School. There, she teaches 3rd and 4th formers Social Studies.
She has been teaching at the school for the past twelve years.
Jacobs did not envision that she would become a teacher but when she did in 2010, she fell in love with the noble profession.
She expressed that her love for the teaching profession and her degrees in education both at the undergraduate and graduate levels will help her to play a part in transforming this country’s education sector.
“I fell in love with teaching from the time I started in 2010. Hence, all of my studies are in Education. The teacher is at the epi-centre of the teaching-learning process; and learning therefore depends ﬁrst and foremost on the quality of the teacher. With that said my credentials are part of my professional development on my journey to become a quality teacher. The truth is being holders of degrees does not make you a quality teacher. On that note, I remain humble . With my two degrees now in the mix, I am now beyond basic-teaching and learning principles. I now have a broader perspective of pedagogy, classroom practices and issues and notably how to address these issues. But where the teaching profession is concerned, there is a continuum of teacher learning. I would count myself as being two steps ahead of becoming a quality teacher. I will forever remain a teaching practitioner”, Jacobs outlined.
She said: “I did Curriculum Theory and Practice in my undergraduate studies and I was not only impressed with the delivery of the course by Dr. Roberta Niles but the content of the course and what I can do sparked my interest. As global changes continue to accelerate the importance of curriculum design, development and implementation comes to the forefront. The world is changing, and how we prepare students to take up their roles and responsibilities must change apace. With my degree in Curriculum studies, I hope to be a part of the transformation in education by using my skills as a curriculum specialist in training to update and align the curriculum to reflect evolving societal requirements as well as individual needs.”
In achieving anything in this life, we do so with the help and support of others and Jacobs is cognizant of this. She expressed gratitude to all who supported her on her academic journey.
“I must first thank God. His grace and mercies brought me through. The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for their initiative. My parents, especially my mother Dezrae who took up the responsibility of taking care of my son while I was away, and my siblings and aunts. Special mention should also be made of Denisha, Chellise, Arielle, Sophia, Charlene Massicott, Kadir and my study partner Nashakie. They kept me grounded throughout my years of studies. My prayer Warrior Cythnia Rodriguez who never stopped praying for me. Last, but by no means least, Ashecia Sam for her extensive feedback on my Master’s Thesis.”
Jacobs, who comes from humble beginnings believes in the popular quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “A man is but a product of his thought. What he thinks, he becomes.”
She is encouraging young people to think positively and to dream big. Most importantly, she encourages young people to not squander their education. “It is one of the few things that cannot be taken from you”, she said.
Though she understands and acknowledges the critical importance of education, Jacobs is not all about academics. She believes in holistic development.
Some of her interests include watching cricket, shopping and sewing.
Now at age 31 with an associate degree, a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree, Jacobs has no immediate plans to pursue any further studies but she sees herself settling into her own home, establishing a large-scale farming business and working as a Curriculum Specialist- designing, developing and evaluating curriculum.