At Valdosta Middle School on Monday, teachers were trading in their chalk for a notepad and a seat at a student's desk. It’s all part of a program to give educators the latest strategies in teaching children how to read.
Joanna Bridges of Valdosta City Schools says, "What we say to teachers and parents is if our children are not able to read, they really are not able to function in school and in the real world, so we have to be able to teach them to read."
While this class isn't a requirement, these teachers find it worth their time to complete.
Principals and outside education experts say this is the type of training which really helps make a difference in helping teachers improve test scores and overall student performance.
Principal Martin Roesch says, "We've seen some tremendous results in our classrooms. As far as the achievement of our students, reading scores have steadily increased."
Paula Cobb, a reading program expert, adds, "Our professional development doesn't end here today. We have peer coaching later on and help them be better at what they do everyday, and in the long run our goal is to help children, and that's what it's all about."
They are helping the children learn reading skills they will use for a lifetime. The Teachers’ Reading Program will move to Tallahassee's Swift Creek Middle School on Wednesday.