Educator Institute Day prepares hearts and minds for the school year – Franklin County Times

Back to school is in full swing for students! However, preparation for this academic school year started much earlier for administrators, teachers, bus drivers and other support staff.

Many certified administrators and staff members attended state meetings, workshops, and seminars to earn continuing education credits or went to college to upgrade their degree during summer vacation.

A major meeting that school systems require for administrators, certified and uncertified personnel to attend was Institute/Continuing Education Day.

Each system has different formats, but most always start with a program that includes everyone signing on, breakfast refreshments, visits with each other, superintendent’s welcome, devotional, speakers, vendors, AEA benefits, and door prizes.

Along with Alabama Education Association District 1 Director Tracy Moore, I attended some of the Franklin County Schools Institute Day sessions held at Belgreen High School and Red Bay High School.

The sessions featured different speakers on various topics, such as safety, federal programs, English language learning, technology, CNP, diabetes, and anaphylaxis training.

Professional development continued for staff from their respective schools after lunch.

Franklin County Schools hosted a luncheon at Red Bay High School Tiger Den for all new teachers in the system. The welcome was presented by Jennifer Warhurst, Franklin County Elementary Program Coordinator. Each new teacher received a Mentee Program binder.

The motivational speaker was AJ Buckner from the Alabama State Department of Education. He works in the Office of School Improvement and in the North Alabama region.

New teachers were introduced to Alabama’s Teacher Mentoring Program. This is a voluntary program open to local educational agencies throughout the state of Alabama. The Alabama Legislature provides $3 million in support for the ATMP each year.

Alabama’s Teacher Mentoring Program provides a “hands-on” to introduce the beginning teacher to the culture of the school and system. A mentee can be a new teacher moving from college to the teaching profession; someone who has taught as a substitute/taught less than a full semester in their own class; or a teacher entering their first year of teaching under one of the following certificates: emergency certificate, provisional certificate, provisional certificate or alternative certificate.

ATMP supports beginning teachers with well-trained, resourced and effective mentors who strive to average 2.5 hours of contact time during each week of the school year.

The Alabama legislature, administrators, and educators support the Alabama Teacher Mentorship Program, which appears to be a success.

It is important that excellent teachers are recruited and retained for the future of our education system and our children.

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