The goal of the WDMESC Teacher Center is to serve as the umbrella for three major areas of service to member school districts: staff development, curriculum development, and media services. The Teacher Center provides a place and a process whereby the Teacher Center Committee works closely with the Teacher Center Coordinator and the WDMESC Board of Directors to assure the needs of teachers and administrators of member districts are met.
The WDMESC Teacher Center, located at 210 North Main Street in Beebe, provides a place for teachers and administrators of member districts to attend staff development activities, work on instructional materials, develop curriculum, and obtain a wealth of instructional and media materials to meet the needs of their classrooms.
One of service of the Teacher Center is the Ellison Lettering machines and the 1768 dies available for use. During the school year, the WDMESC makes all Ellison cuts available through an ordering service. An Ellison catalog which contains a silhouette of all dies is available in each school library. Teachers may order any die cut and the cuts are delivered within a week.
Additionally, the Teacher Center provides teachers and administrators the use of a binding machine, and two large laminators. There are 927 Student Activity Resource books. The center is open by appointment for all teachers and staff in the Wilbur D. Mills Education Service Cooperative.
The Teacher Center Coordinator has the primary responsibility for planning and carrying out the staff development programs which are identified by the Teacher Center Committee and through the Needs Assessment Survey as a priority among member districts. The Committee meets three times annually and makes recommendations for Teacher Center activities to the Teacher Center Coordinator. In addition, the Teacher Center Coordinator receives Professional Development input directly from Content Area Facilitators and building level administrators to assure that the content needs of all curricula are met.
A wide variety of workshops and seminars are provided for teachers and administrators throughout the year using the expertise of regional, state, and national consultants to train school personnel and help them develop both professionally and personally. All professional development activities are based on some form of needs assessment or state initiative and all activities are evaluated informally as well as formally.
The Teacher Center Committee has selected thirteen strands for staff development activities. These strands include:
The Teacher Center Coordinator works closely with the Education Departments of the WDMESC area colleges and universities. This collaboration benefits in-service as well as pre-service education through the sharing of human and material resources. In addition, the Teacher Center Coordinator works closely with the Arkansas Department of Education to insure that opportunities to participate in the professional development state initiatives are encouraged and available.
Member schools have chosen to combine funds and receive professional development training planned and provided by WDMESC. State and federal funds channeled directly to WDMESC are vital sources of revenue to provide needed professional development programs. WDMESC programs which provide a wide range of professional development opportunities include Career and Technical Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Gifted/Talented, Instructional Technology, Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Special Education and Early Childhood Special Education.
Additionally, WDMESC is ever in search of means whereby local, state and federal agencies, colleges/universities, and other organizations can cooperatively sponsor training.