Tupelo Schools plan teacher training institute

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo teachers will end their school year with personalized training.
The city school district is holding its first professional development institute May 28-31. Educators must attend 12 hours of training during the four days, with about 90 different sign-up options available for them to choose.
“We want to start everyone’s summer with some enthusiasm and something new in their hands so they can spend the summer thinking about how they will use it next year,” said Leigh Mobley, TPSD executive director of curriculum and instruction.
Sessions will cover a variety of topics so teachers will have greater flexibility to find ones relevant to their disciplines and interests. Some will be led by outside presenters and others will be conducted by TPSD teachers and staff.
“This has the potential to be one of the best conferences in the state and one of the largest,” said TPSD Superintendent Gearl Loden.
Most of the sessions will be held at Tupelo High School. Educators also will be able to earn continuing education units through Itawamba Community College by paying about $20.
Sessions include such topics as arts integration in the classroom, the new teacher evaluation model to be used by the state and new strategies for teaching math. Others will cover making Podcasts, preparing for the Common Core State Standards, using technology in music classes and understanding poverty in the classroom, among other topics.
Teachers, assistant teachers and administrators have been able to go online to register for the sessions they wanted.
In the past, Tupelo teachers have had flexible days for training.
“Sometimes those sessions were not as meaningful as we’d like them to be,” Mobley said. “We realized we had so many new initiatives and new things and we needed to provide training. We decided to put that all together into one institute. All of a sudden, it developed from several ideas from several people.”
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com