It’s her passion and commitment to using her resources for the benefit of others that keeps Joan Davis-Williams ticking. She has worked for almost half a century to change lives of children and young educators. Mrs Davis-Williams is a much-revered teacher among her students and colleagues and has made invaluable contributions to society.
Throughout her years as an educator, she has successfully implemented and developed programmes that are beneficial to students of all ages. She has climbed her way to the top of the success ladder and now spends her days helping others, particularly young educators on the climb.
Whenever one asks about Joan Davis-Williams, she is immediately associated with being ‘an influencer’ who is a ‘woman of class and elegance’. What they don’t know, however, is that the reason she is who she is today is because ‘classy’ women influenced her. Below, she speaks about her teaching journey and what inspired her to become a teacher:
In quality education systems around the world, behind student success, are teachers. These often forgotten and taken advantage of, under-valued professionals are vital for student success and wellbeing. Educators foster healthy learning environments, cater to diverse student needs, and try to ensure that no student is left behind. When asked about her thoughts on the treatment of teachers, she had this to say:
Personal Development Programme (PDP)
During my years at Ardenne High School, the Personal Development Programme (PDP) impacted me tremendously. The PDP implemented by Mrs Davis-Williams is a comprehensive five-year course which facilitates the development of soft skills in youth. We learned essential life skills such as etiquette and critical thinking. We were also taught how to cope with our changing bodies as well as how to integrate into the world of work. Crediting God for giving her the idea to create such a programme, she explains what it entails below:
Besides the PDP, Mrs Davis-Williams created other programmes that benefitted students from around the globe:
Along with the courses, she has also authored books to help with the crucial transitions in life. These are considered ‘life books’ because everyone learns from them at whatever stage in their life.
There is no such thing as an obstacle-free life. We all have our individual struggles. What sets us apart is our ability to overcome. As a mother, she could not allow life’s challenges to keep her down. With the help of God, she had to endure her valleys, so she can stand on the mountain-top. She also had to make important life changes which included filtering her friends. I’m sure all of us can take a page from this go-getter’s book:
“If I get my family structure right, I am contributing to a great society”. Like many social relationships, strong bonds with family members can have significant benefits for society and individuals. Family is the first and single most important influence in a child’s life. As an educator, she has to ensure that her children and grandchildren are of good moral standings. Grateful for the values that were instilled in her by her parents, she ensures that she offers similar footing for her two children – Kamika and Tèion:
Advice to Young Educators
You have to be passionate as well as have excellent interpersonal skills. Quoting James 3:1, she reminds young educators about the stricter degree that they are held to. Mrs Davis-Williams also encouraged them to be the best teachers possible.
A snippet of Joan Davis-William’s Resumé
She has acquired 45 years’ experience having worked in various institutions such as:
- St. Jago High School, St. Catherine, Jamaica (1976-1980)
- Ardenne High School, Kingston, Jamaica (1980-2010)
- Ardenne Extension High School, Kingston, Jamaica part-time (1990-2012)
- The Mico University College, Kingston, Jamaica (summer 2007-present)
Since 2011 to present, Mrs Davis-Williams has been at the prestigious King’s House, Jamaica, where she serves as Consultant /Trainer to the staff of Kings House and in 2012 she also served as Deputy Governor-General’s Secretary (Personal).
What an honour to interview Mrs Davis-Williams, as she is someone that I admire. Her tenacity, persistence and firm belief in God are some of the qualities that make her the wonderful woman she is today. I am confident that her hard work and dedication will continue to positively shape our nation’s young minds.