From the Desk of Kelly Riley, MPE Executive Director
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
As Educators, we are dedicated to mastering the science and the art of teaching with constant awareness of educational research, trends, and best practices that will enable us to support and encourage our colleagues. We do this to provide Mississippi students a quality education in a safe and respectful environment.
MPE’s Vision Statement above conveys our association’s firm belief in supporting our members in their endeavors to master the science and art of teaching. We do this in a number of ways, including via our scholarships and grants. We have provided the following financial support to members this fall:
NBCT Scholarships: We awarded ten $475 scholarships the first week of September to members who are pursuing National Board Certification.
Classroom Grants: During the last week of September, we notified forty-two members that they were receiving a classroom grant! The average grant award this year was $934.
Non-certified Scholarships: The last week of October, we awarded two members $1,000 scholarships to pursue their undergraduate degrees.
In the coming weeks and months, we will award up to ten scholarships in the amount of $625 each to MPE members who wish to pursue renewal of their National Board Certification, as well as up to twenty scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each to MPE members who wish to pursue graduate level studies (see page 6 for details). Next spring, we will honor up to fifteen student members at our annual symposium with our $500 Linda Anglin Teacher Preparation Scholarship.
MPE has pledged our support to MDE’s Office of Teaching and Leading in their efforts to address Mississippi’s teacher shortage. I am excited to announce that MPE will offer four PRAXIS workshops throughout the state next semester and we are partnering with the Program of Research and Evaluation for Public Schools (PREPS) to provide a day-long forum for new teachers on January 12. This issue of our MPE Journal spotlights the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program (METP), a collaboration between Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi to attract top-performing students to teaching. See page 12 for more information.
I expect several pieces of legislation to be introduced in the upcoming 2019 Legislative Session, which will begin January 8, to address the teacher shortage. As in years past, I will keep our members updated via my weekly emails as to significant developments at the capitol. Be sure to review our legislative resources on page 20. As we did last year, MPE encourages our members and other Mississippians to wear #BlueforMSteachers each Friday throughout the legislative session in support of Mississippi’s public school teachers and students. Don’t forget to share your photos on social media using the hashtag #BlueforMSTeachers.
As 2019 is an election year in Mississippi, legislators will most likely steer clear of any controversial issues during the upcoming session, as they traditionally do so during election years so as to not offend voters prior to the elections. While MPE does not endorse political candidates, we encourage our members to be actively involved in the political process. We will unveil our new Advocacy Guide for Educators in the coming weeks. It will provide tips and resources for you to advocate with your elected officials on behalf of public education and your students.
Finally, I wish you, your families, and your students the merriest of Christmases and the most joyous of holidays, as well as blessings of peace and good health in 2019!