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Livingston Parish teachers aiming for engaging classes

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WALKER - After cracking the top 10 districts in education this school year, Livingston Parish Public Schools are looking for even more ways to get better.

All middle school teachers in the parish met with some of the nation's top educators Friday. With each lecture the teachers learned how to inspire middle school minds to want to learn.

"At the middle school age it's really important to have students that are willing to learn and want to learn, and a way to do that is by humor and assignments that are fun and engaging," said math teacher Velvet Crow.

One of the five speakers, educational consultant Jack Berckemeyer, says middle schoolers are a tough age group. His main message to teachers is that school can be fun and engaging.

"Teachers just need to know that if you go in with good lessons, good practice, good ideas, engagement and ultimately make kids feel safe, happy and laugh, kids are going to respond and kids are going to respond in a very positive nature in that way," he said.

Berckemeyer says bringing all middle school teachers together to hear the same message will keep Livingston Parish schools moving forward.

"The parish acknowledging that we're just going to do something for those who teach 6th, 7th and 8th graders is definitely getting them on the right track toward quality professional development that is not one size fits all," said Berckemeyer. "It's really about looking at what age group and what do they need."

Livingston Parish ranked 9th in the state for education and got an "A" overall grade for the 2013-14 school year.



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