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Principally Speaking Network in the News
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Let teachers learn from best, principals urged

Friday, August 28, 2009
By Steve Campbell
The Huntsville Times Staff Writer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Area educators share their ideas at Dynetics seminar

In a tight financial year for Alabama schools, local principals were given a free tip Thursday to make their teachers better.

The idea was one of many shared by dozens of principals at Huntsville, Madison, and Madison County schools who gathered at Dynetics in Huntsville's Cummings Research Park. The Schools Foundation, a local school support group, put on the "Principally Speaking Network" class for school leaders in all three systems.

Mitzi Dennis, principal at Madison Cross Roads Elementary School, said the teacher improvement seminar was helpful. She noted that Alabama schools aren't getting money for professional development this year from the state due to a poor economy.

"It's not the money," she said of improving teachers. "It's all about the focus and how you improve yourself."

Principals were also urged to hire teachers that show strong interest in education.

The theme of teacher improvement fell in line with another common concern in American education: Competition. Principals watched a video reminding viewers of China and India, countries that are producing bright students at a fast rate. Those students are taking tough classes in math and science, which are needed for high-tech jobs.

The video's title, "Two Million Minutes," emphasized the approximate number of minutes during four years of high school and how to make the best academic use of them.

The video reported that 40 percent of American high school students don't take a science class more challenging than general biology. Also, more than half of students don't take a math course beyond two years of algebra and one year of geometry.

Read the article on al.com

It sounds obvious, but teachers in need of professional development can observe the best teachers in their school, watching how they motivate students and maintain classroom control.

 
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