By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A former leader of Mississippi’s school system told Tupelo administrators on Thursday they need to cast a wide net when seeking new teachers, not just limiting themselves to those from a certain region of the state or country.
John Jordan was the featured speaker on the second day of the Tupelo School District’s administrative retreat, which will conclude today. Jordan is a former Oxford superintendent who also worked as deputy state superintendent and interim state superintendent.
He spoke to Tupelo principals, assistant principals and district-level leaders about ways to attract top teachers to the school district. He recommended using social media to find candidates.
“We need to open up the box and understand young people are using this, and it may be the best way to reach them,” Jordan said.
The school district’s training for its administrators began on Wednesday with a presentation by Tom Childers of New Jersey about the Common Core State Standards that Tupelo will begin following this year. Today’s sessions will examine the importance of communication, the new principal evaluation system, the Classworks computer program and new curriculum guides.
“Last year’s retreat was about trying to get a foundation and learn faces and names,” said Tupelo Superintendent Gearl Loden, who is beginning his second year of leading the school district. “This year we are casting a vision for the future and looking at things that will enhance us and help us be better.”
Milam Principal Travis Beard said it was particularly helpful discussing the Common Core standards.
“English and math will be the responsibility of all teachers in all classes,” he said. “That is my challenge and the challenge of all of us is to get teachers to accept that responsibility, even if they are not math or English teachers.”