May 28, 2020

Teachers to Attend Online Professional Development Sessions, Collaborate with Peers 
May 28-June 5

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Education today virtually convened more than 6,000 Louisiana educators for the 8th annual Louisiana Teacher Leader Summit, which is being held online instead of in-person as a result of the ongoing public health crisis. 

The Teacher Leader Summit: The Virtual Series, which will take place through June 5, invites educators to attend and deliver professional development trainings, collaborate with their peers, and learn how they can play an active role in shaping the future of education in Louisiana. 

"This year's event focuses on how schools can ensure meaningful growth for every child, every day," said Acting State Superintendent Beth Scioneaux. "This theme is critical now more than ever, as school systems adapt their academic and operational plans to ensure high quality learning and to adhere to the latest health and safety guidelines."

The event kicked off today with an address from 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Chris Dier, a history teacher at Chalmette High School in St. Bernard Parish. Dier, who was one of four finalists for national Teacher of the Year, shared an encouraging message about the critical role teachers play in the lives of their students, always and especially now.

Watch 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Chris Dier's address.

Throughout the week, participants will be introduced to professional development tailored to their unique role and provided high-quality resources that can be adopted and scaled in schools and school systems across Louisiana. They will also have ample opportunity to collaborate and share best practices with their peers and, in turn, foster a culture among educators that is engaging and empowering.

They will do this by participating in a series of virtual sessions. This year, more than 40 sessions will be offered, on topics ranging from how to ensure a strong start to the new school year amid the public health crisis, to how to better serve historically disadvantaged student populations, to how to support students who experience trauma.

The sessions have size limits to ensure they remain interactive. Waiting lists were established for sessions that reached capacity, and in an effort to accommodate as many Louisiana educators as possible, the Department is broadcasting live on YouTube many of the most popular sessions.

Moreover, one week following the full event, all recorded sessions, along with their supporting materials, will be posted to the Department's Teacher Leader Library

The Teacher Leader Summit was created at the urging of teachers who believed classroom educators needed a greater voice in statewide academic decisions. Louisiana's Teacher Leaders held their first statewide summit in April 2013 with 2,000 educators in attendance. Since that time, the number of Teacher Leaders has grown to more than 6,000, with the Department expanding the opportunities available to educators by offering a blend of year-round in-person and online trainings. These professional development opportunities cover a variety of topics related to English language arts, math, social studies, science, early childhood education and special education.

Follow along on social media through the Department's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages, using the hashtag #LATeacherLeaders. 

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