By Teresa Gebhardt
Lansing Star staff writer
Dozens of Lansing and Battle Creek school teachers spent part of their summer attending classes designed to help them become better teachers.
Doctor Teri Spencer, The Director of Curriculum Lansing School District, Introduced MI-Life Inspirational Leaders program, at the Lansing School Board meeting on July 11 2011.The program is a four-day professional learning program for Lansing and Battle Creek teachers enrolled in the Lansing Aspiring Leadership Academy.
The option of placing this program as a requirement as an administrative regulation was thoroughly discussed. Committee member Dr. Nino Rodriguez expressed opposition to the idea. “When you start making guidelines, that’s when you get in trouble,” said Rodriguez.
Following discussion of the relationship between the policy and the new administrator evaluation document being developed, Board member Myra Ford pointed out that her greatest concern was how effectively the evaluation process would identify whether the expectations were being met.
“We need to have more specific ways of measuring a teacher’s overall evaluation, Currently it is too subjective, I may write I think a teacher is good but in the evaluations you cannot write why you think the teacher performs well”, said Ford.
“We need to continue to follow the National Policy Development Standards”, said Spencer.
This program, along with several goals, aim to:
•Prompt education leaders to develop healthy school cultures and promote shared leadership.
•Motivate educational leaders to become adapt users of multiple sources and types of data in decision-making.
•Increase capacity by developing a purposeful professional learning community
•Encourage educational leaders to be confident technology users/leaders.
Spencer said the program will help teachers perform better overall in the classroom.
“It will improve parent-teacher communication and give the teachers more control over the class room to prevent bullying and any other distractions Lansing schools are experiencing.”
The Mi-Life curriculum provides technology-rich courses that, when successfully completed, can earn school leaders 18 State Board Continuing Education Units (SBCEUs) or six university credits, as well as a Michigan Leadership Improvement Framework Endorsement, if eligible. “ The rewards of this program out weigh
“It will improve schools, improve test scores, and in return, keep parents from leaving the school district” said Ford.
The MI-Life Inspiring Leaders Web page promotes its program and has confidence in its evaluations.
“It is a professional learning program for Michigan Educational Leaders that is stimulating, inspiring and challenging and will cause school leaders to confront and question their current assumptions about leading, teaching and learning.”
It is still being discussed as if it may or may not be a requirement for Lansing Teachers to attend these training sessions at Western Michigan University. Under the draft of the proposed policy 2410 on professional development: “Administrators of the District shall make every effort to stay abreast of the latest developments in their respective fields…The board may require or encourage administrators to attend summer sessions”; it would seem deemed necessary and appropriate for all Lansing Teachers to participate.