Recruiting and Retaining Quality Teachers in Every Classroom
Research reveals that students learn six times more in classrooms with above-average teachers. CEI will work with schools, districts, MDE, and MIHL on all aspects of a teacher’s career… from preparation to retention.
To improve teacher quality, beginning with pre-service preparation and continuing through the life of a teacher’s professional growth, in order to positively impact teaching and learning.
“Effective Reading Instruction” (ERI) professional development and on-site coaching is the centerpiece of work in Teacher Quality. The summer of 2011 will provide training to the third cohort of Pk-2 teachers in the Delta. In addition, cohorts 1 and 2 will reconvene to add new strategies to their “Literacy ToolKits” and to continue practicing the ERI strategies in teaching young children to read. The Center’s partnership with the Barksdale Reading Institute was instrumental in the creation and the continuance of the ERI program.
The West Bolivar Middle School Story
With the placement of a middle school literacy coach at West Bolivar Middle School in January 2010, intensive literacy support, modeling, resource sharing, planning, and modeling has made an impact on both teacher effectiveness and student achievement. The Center and WBMS are eagerly waiting on MCT2 results to measure the impact on the literacy plan and the literacy coaching.
AT&T “Early Educators Project” and wikis
The AT&T “Early Educators” projects has provided state of the art technology and professional development to 14 high schools in the Delta. Beginning in 2009, the high school students use IPod Touch technology and Center Podcasts to tutor younger students. The goals of the “Early Educators”project are: to provide a service learning component to the high school students and role models for the younger students; to provide initial training for high school students in the field of teaching and perhaps influence the students to choose education as their post-secondary major; and finally, to improve student engagement in the selected high schools via the AT&T provided technology in their teacher/sponsor’s classroom. The AT&T “Early Educators” wiki pages are on the eResources section of the Center’s website.
Teach Up! interns provide technical support and professional development to teachers as they learn to use technology effectively to enhance their instruction. Teach Up! began its partnership with CEI in ten (10) Delta schools. With the addition of a large AmeriCorps grant obtained by DOT-USA and the continuation of the DOT-USA and CEI partnership, over 200 Teach Up! interns are now in 31 Delta School Districts in a 20 county region.
The PK-2 Parent Podcast Project
The Center was pleased to partner with PK-2 teachers in the Corinth School District to design, plan, and present podcasts for the parents and child providers of young children. The podcasts are written for parents to recognize and celebrate their role as their children’s first teachers. The podcasts explain and demonstrate early literacy and numeracy skills that are taught in school and those skills that are taught at home prior to Kindergarten. The podcasts also suggest “at-home” literacy, vocabulary, and numeracy activities that can be done with common items around the house.
“Teaching So The Learning Will Stick” wiki
Grades 5th-8th teachers have attended Content Area Literacy (CAL) professional development for two years. The professional development is titled “Teaching So The Learning Will Stick” and the presenters are affectionately known as the CAL GALS. Their wiki pages the Center’s eResources keep the CAL GALS and their teachers connected throughout the school year.