Reflection Of Working In The North Panola School District

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The school district I am currently working in is North Panola School District. Within this district there are six schools. Three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and a vocational center. This school district is based in Sardis, MS. The demographics of this school is about 93% African American. Where the majority of the students enrolled receive free lunch.
This school district is in a rural area in Mississippi in a low socioeconomic environment. Most of the teachers that work in the area do not receive a supplement, but receive whatever the base pay is according to the pay scale for Mississippi teachers.
I chose this contemporary issue because districts like the one I work in and districts all across Mississippi are having
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This particular school offered a New Teacher Academy. Not just to first year teachers, but any teachers new to the district. This program consisted of retired teachers
Recruitment and retention of motivated teachers and teacher development 4 who just wanted to help. These retired teachers worked with us during the summer to help set up our classrooms. They met with us in the beginning weekly, and then after December, bi-weekly.
Anytime we had questions they were available to answer. These ladies came and observed our classes, provided professional developments, and helped us to work with the kids, if that is what we needed. It was a great experience to have that type of support. During our second year they still met with us once a month. Working at this school was and still is the greatest experience I have had in my educational career. I believe programs like this will help school districts to retain and produce quality teachers.
Also this district provided another incentive. They helped to assist the teachers and assistant teachers to further their education financially. They paid for two classes per year for anyone who wanted to go back to school and pursue a degree in education. I think it would
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But online courses make it a whole lot simpler for them to go back to school and attain a degree. Our administrators are helping them in anyway they can to ensure that they complete the necessary requirements to complete their program.
We have also recently recruited instructional coaches at each school. These coaches will help with observations, professional developments, and mentor the new teachers to the district.
These coaches will observe the beginning teachers weekly, help with planning their lessons, and meet with them weekly to mentor them in every aspect of the teaching profession. The districts goal is to provide these beginning teachers with the support necessary to become effective teachers, and hopefully by doing so, retain these teachers for many many years to come.
This problem is really serious. The government has come up with all sorts of programs to recruit teachers and make sure they stay in these "hard to staff" school districts. These districts need quality teachers the most. The struggle is real. Hopefully with making sure these teachers are provided with what they need, we will be able to keep them in these schools and possibly recruit

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