More than 120 teachers – some new to EPISD, some brand new to the profession – joined the District this year, filled with enthusiasm and ready to embrace teaching remotely.
Last week, they attended the virtual New Teacher Support Academy where they met Superintendent Juan Cabrera and other District leaders while also sitting in on presentations to learn more about EPISD. Human Resources, Curriculum & Instruction, Special Education, Student and Family Services, Connecting Languages, Student and Family Empowerment were among the departments presenting during NTSA.
“We wanted to showcase EPISD and all the support our new teachers will have available to them as they begin this new innovative way of teaching remotely,” said Davette Alonzo, staff development specialist. “With a wealth of new information provided to them throughout the virtual three-day event, our new teachers expressed through their feedback that they felt enthused and prepared for the new school year.”
Nearly 80 percent of the District’s new teachers are new to the profession, while the remaining 20 percent have taught in neighboring schools or school districts or served as a substitute teachers or paraprofessional.
New Tippin Elementary second grade teacher Allison Speights-Piña, a former Catholic school teacher, dreamed about being a teacher since first grade. She’s been busy this summer researching different technology tools and ideas for virtual instruction while also preparing her workspace to be efficient for digital lessons.
“I expect that this school year will be full of new learning experiences for myself as a teacher in regards to how to best utilize technology and connect to students in new ways,” Speights-Piña said. “I know that I will need to be very flexible and organized in order to create a very user-friendly experience for my students and their families.”
Speights-Piña knows the school year will offer be a unique experience for her students and families, but she’s ready for the challenge.
“I would like my parents and students to know that I am committed to providing a positive learning experience this year,” she said. “During this time of uncertainty, I understand that families need support, empathy, and flexibility. It is my goal to make every child in my classroom, whether in person or virtual, feel valued. And I want to make this school year as enjoyable as possible for parents, as they have a critical role in supporting their children’s instruction this year.”