Haslett teachers demonstrate the advantage of technology in the classroom


When Christopher Luea, a middle school Spanish and robotics instructor, teaches a lesson, a robotic device, called a SWIVL, records him while rotating to follow his movements. “Our Spanish language instructional theory is based heavily on comprehensible input and focused immersion,” he said. “Therefore, when students are absent or would do well to revisit lessons, these recordings offer a high-quality audio and video recording for them.”

During a Haslett School Board Meeting on Nov. 12, teachers from Haslett Middle School and Haslett High School showcased how they are incorporating modern technology into the classroom. Chelsea Pennington, a high school math teacher, records her algebra outlines using a different kind of device.

Bills would penalize teacher sick-outs

Capital News Service
LANSING – Teachers who strike illegally –or participate in sick outs– could lose their teaching certificate or be fined a day’s pay for each day that they didn’t teach, under recently proposed legislation. The bills, sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, Sen. David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, and Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, would change the definition of a strike to include a situation when multiple teachers call in sick. The bills were approved by the Committee on Education and await action by the full Senate. “By and large, there’s a concern whether strikes are legal or illegal in Michigan,” said Brad Biladeau, associate executive for government relations at the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

Average teacher pay continues to shrink, study shows

Capital News Service
LANSING — The average salary of public school teachers in the state dropped by $360 in 2013-14 from the previous school year, which already was $84 less than in 2011-12, according to the Michigan Department of Education. Several factors, including declining school enrollment, account for the downward trend in average salaries, according to education experts. School districts having the most financial trouble are also those with the greatest decline in enrollment, said Jennifer Smith, the Michigan Association of School Boards director of government relations. “I bet if you lay them side-by-side, you’re going to find the ones that are having the most trouble are the ones that have the highest loss of students,” Smith said of funding problems. “Because we fund our schools per-pupil, that decline in enrollment is a huge problem for some districts.”
Jennifer Dirmeyer, an assistant professor of economics at Ferris State University, said the decrease in average salaries is also strongly driven by the age and experience of teachers. Dirmeyer said, “It doesn’t appear as though new teachers are making any less than new teachers have made in the past — it’s just that there are more new teachers now, as a percentage of total teachers, than there have been in the past.”
Dirmeyer said that while downward trends may continue, once recently hired teachers’ salaries increase annually with experience, average salaries will also rise.