The Arkansas Department of Education is excited to launch the Teach Arkansas Lecture Series on June 4 in Little Rock. The lecture series will give educators and those who want to become educators the opportunity to network, learn more about educational programs and hear presentations from engaging education experts. Arkansas teachers who attend can earn three hours of professional development credit.

The 2017 National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee will be the keynote speaker at the June 4 event, which will be held at 5 p.m. at the Ron Robinson Theater,100 River Market Ave., in Little Rock. Chaffee, a humanities teacher at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, has travelled the country this last year promoting education and serving as an advocate for educators. At the event, she will discuss how to be student-focused with culturally responsive teaching.

“We are so happy to partner with the Arkansas Education Association, the Arkansas State Teachers Association, the Arkansas Educational Television Network and the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators to provide this lecture series,” said Dr. Jeremy Owoh, ADE’s assistant commissioner of Educator Effectiveness and Licensure. “As an educator, the opportunity to network and learn from our peers is a critical component of effective professional development. Ms. Chaffee is one of the best educators in our country, and we are so excited that she is able to kick off the first event in our lecture series."

An “unconference,” or informational networking session for educators, will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. During this time, attendees can learn more about licensure assessment support, teacher leadership, family engagement, the Student GPS Dashboard, ACT Aspire and micro-credentials. Chaffee will then present at 6 p.m., with a question and answer session following at 7:30 p.m.     

The event is free; however, registration is required. To register, go to https://teacharkansaslectureseriesone.eventbrite.com. Stay tuned as other events in the lecture series are announced.

The National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers, identifies exceptional teachers in the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels. To learn more about Chaffee, please visit https://www.ccsso.org/teachers/sydney-chaffee.