According to a release by the Louisiana Department of Education, thousands of teachers who are leaders in their schools, districts, and communities gathered virtually over an eight day period at the start of summer to attend, present, and collaborate at the Eighth Annual Louisiana Teacher Leaders Summit.
On May 28th, the event officially kicked off with an address from the state’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, Chris Dier. Dier is a history teacher at St. Bernard Parish’s Chalmette High School, and he was also one of four finalists for national Teacher of the Year. Virtual participants all over Louisiana were encouraged by Dier’s inspiring message that reaffirmed how critical the teacher’s role has been in the lives of their students. “When schools close their doors, teachers open their hearts,” stated Dier in his opening day address.
Throughout the eight day period, the over 6,000 virtual participants attended valuable professional development sessions tailored to the unique role each teacher leader plays back in their respective school district. The sessions provide participants and presenters with high quality resources that can be scaled and adopted to fit a variety of diversified school systems across the state.
Teachers who attended the summit were encouraged to collaborate with colleagues from across the state to share best practices, cognitive strategies, classroom management techniques, and so much more. The individual learning sessions ensured teacher collaboration by limiting the size of their audiences, thus ensuring interactivity among leaders.
Highlighting the vital importance of the 2020 Teacher Leader Summit was the Louisiana’s Acting State Superintendent Beth Scioneaux, who said “this year’s event focuses on how schools can ensure meaningful growth for every child, every day. This theme is critical now more than ever, as school systems adapt their academic and operational plans to ensure high quality learning and to adhere to the latest health and safety guidelines.”
During the event, the Department of Education’s information hub, Louisiana Believes, posted a vast library of the most popular recorded broadcasts from the week, collaboration kits, and curriculum materials free to any interested teacher, regardless of registration. This open catalog of resources encouraged teachers to take what they wanted from the Summit to best fit the individualized needs of their students.
One week following the commencement of the full event, all recorded sessions, along with teaching materials will be posted to the Department’s Teacher Leader Library.
This year marks the Eighth Annual Teacher Leader Summit, which was originally founded by a group of Louisiana teachers who believed that classroom educators deserved a louder voice in state-wide academic decision-making. So, in April 2013, 2,000 educators attended the first statewide summit of Louisiana Teacher Leaders. Today, that participation has tripled through a blend of in-person and online trainings, which are held year-round, to fit the bust schedules of authentic classroom teachers. Professional developments offered at the summit cover a variety of topics related to English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Early Childhood, and Special Education.
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