From staff development to setting up classrooms, El Paso Independent School District teachers are back and ready for the 2015-16 school year and the 60,000 plus students coming back to school Aug. 24.
Staff development kicked off last week for new teachers with sessions geared to introduce key EPISD personnel, learn about the District’s Strategic Priorities and receive training on No Excuses University and classroom management strategies.
“The New Teacher Support Academy welcomes teachers who are new to the profession or just new to the District,”Assistant Director of Staff Development Kathy Seufert said. “The academy provides them an opportunity to connect as new teachers and EPISD employees.”
All EPISD teachers returned to their classrooms on Aug. 17 to prepare for the new year with a variety of training and staff meetings —many introducing new EPISD initiatives.
At Hawkins Elementary School teachers sported jerseys to celebrate an All-Star Champions theme.
“We want to motivate our teachers with all these new initiatives,” Hawkins principal Adriana Ruiz said. “We are going to work together as champions to make sure we are all on the right track.”
Teachers at Dowell Elementary School were surprised with a short trip to get ice-cream to help break up the day of training and preparation.
“We wanted to surprise the teachers with this as a welcome back treat,” the new Dowell principal Yeni Ontiveros said. “It really is about team building and cultivating relationships. Those are very important. I am very excited to start a new year at a great school.”
Texas Literacy Initiative teacher Valerie Gonzalez is ready for the new school year too.
“I am excited and nervous for the new year and all the new initiatives that are taking place in the District,” Gonzalez said. “Dowell is like a family so I have the excitement to see my school family.”
At Lincoln Middle School, the staff played Human Bingo to kick off team-building activities, which require teachers to learn more about their colleagues.
“This is a great way to get to know each other better and help build our team here at Lincoln,” principal Haidi Appel said.
At Bowie High School the teachers enjoyed a back to school breakfast before starting training and classroom prep.
“After all these years it is still exciting to start a new school year,” said Bowie English teacher Gerardo Monroy, a 20 plus year veteran. “It feels like my rookie year, and I am ready to meet any new challenges head on.”