This school year was like riding on Aerosmith's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World. The year started slowly, but in a matter of seconds teachers and students were hanging on for dear life! In the blink of an eye, we are finishing statewide testing, submitting final grades and conducting graduation ceremonies.
This was the most challenging year for anyone associated with Mississippi schools since Hurricane Katrina
. It cannot be said often enough how much we appreciate
the work done by educators and administrators in our schools over the last year. You rose to the challenge and made the best out of a difficult situation!
Before you prepare for your much-deserved summer break, reflect on the positives over the last 10 months. To help you do this, here are few reminders that may help during the summer:
- Updated documentation: Each summer, we update career pathway blueprints, the CTE Testing Manual, national certification guides and the MS-CPAS Interpretive Guide. Each document has an important function for teachers, administrators and test coordinators. Download and review each document before the next school year.
- Reports: As a reminder, schools have access to reports dating from fall 2010 to the present. If used properly, reports can help shape instructional strategies for the next year. The data in these reports can give insight into possible program patterns. Reports can be accessed with your RCU district account here.
- Other important dates: We will update assessment-related dates next month. Make sure you download these dates to set your calendar for next year.
For your educational technology tips for the month, I offer a few suggestions and tools that you can explore this summer in preparation for the next school year.
- Get certified. There are many useful, low-risk certifications available for educators. Here are a few I like:
- Google for Education: Not only will the Level I ($10) and Level II ($25) certifications help you demonstrate your mastery using Google Tools, but each will also boost your teaching skill set. Google also offers free training courses.
- Microsoft Certified Educator: Microsoft also offers a certification ($127) that validates a teacher has the skill set necessary to provide a technology-enhanced environment for students. There is an entry-level technology literacy certification required for this additional certification.
- Flipgrid certifications: This interactive video reflection app offers three levels of certification for its product. Each level is coupled with a free training course hosted by Microsoft and a set of performance tasks. This is one of the easiest certifications to get. It will provide an immediate impact on your classroom.
- Try a new software or device this summer. Search the internet for the name of the software and the keywords lesson plan or activity. You may find a new approach that puts another tool in your teacher toolbox for next year.
Thank you again for everything you do for the students and communities of Mississippi.
Sean Owen, PhD