Teachscape returning to Butler County

Published 2:39 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teachers in the Butler County School System have a second opportunity to join in a project to help professional development within the county.

Litta Norris, program director for the Butler County Performance Based Incentive Program, introduced the program at the January Board of Education meeting.

Norris sought out Teachscape in August for the first time. The program works towards improving teaching in the classroom. Because the program was so successful in Butler County, the program contacted Norris to participate a second time.

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“We basically have the opportunity to work with a company called Teachscape again,” Norris said. “They are a company that provides online and different types of professional development. They developed a special camera that they use for these productions.”

Ten Butler County teachers were videoed and participated in the program in August.

“Ten teachers from across the county were videoed as part of this online proficiency system for principals,” Norris said. “Principals will be able to go in and watch a video, score it and then see what the expert score is.”

Using a 360-degree  camera, a representative from the program will  film any teachers that sign up for two sessions of 30 minutes from Feb. 13-17.

“They will capture two thirty-minute videos per teacher and the teachers are given two weeks to upgrade their video,” Norris said. “If they’re not happy with their video, they can tell the company to pull them and will not use them. If they approve them then they’re giving that company the opportunity to use those videos. If they use their videos, the teachers are paid $50 per video.”

As of now, the program has 14 teachers signed up and Norris is looking for more.

“I really want to commend the teachers that are willing to step up and do this,” Norris said. “It’s a big deal to know that somebody is going to come film you. I really appreciate the teachers that did it the first round and the ones that are willing to do it the second time.”

Norris is pleased with the second round of teachers because of the wide variety of subjects.

“What I like about this round is we’re including language teachers, a P.E. coach and a band director because principals need to see how to evaluate those teachers,” Norris said. “I want to reiterate that we are the only system in the state of Alabama that is doing this and this is going to go nationally.”