More than 80 new teachers joined the corps of educators in EPISD this week and are now ready to tackle the innovative classrooms that are designed to prepare students for the 21st century.
“They’re learning about our policies and having opportunities to get to know each other as well as other people in the district,” said Dr. Melissa Ortega, EPISD’s assistant director of staff development. “It’s important to have these sessions so that we are all united in ways that we are able to support each other and give the teachers the opportunity to learn what it means to be a teacher here.”
The educators — teachers who are either new to the profession or new to the District — went through three days of training to help them learn about EPISD, its culture of excellence, the forward-thinking initiatives at every campus and the tools they will need to help them prepare students when they return to classes on August 12.
Topics covered included Social & Emotional Learning, Assessing Curriculum, Dual Language and other technology tools that will help them become successful educators.
Most of the sessions for the New Teacher Support Academy happened at EPISD’s Professional Development Center, although the teachers did eat lunch with their principal at their new campuses on Tuesday.
The theme of the academy, as well as the theme for the rest of EPISD’s back-to-school festivities, is ‘EPISD Rocks!’
Highlights of the academy included a motivational presentation by EPISD Teachers of the Year Pete Delgado from the Young Women’s STEAM Prep and Lisa Gailey from Tom Lea Elementary. The academy also gave new teachers a chance to network and bond with their new colleagues.
“I’m meeting new people, learning about the resources that EPISD has and provides for its teachers,” new Burges High School teacher Kimberly Torres said. “There’s a lot that we’re learning.”
Torres comes from a family of educators who have worked in EPISD.
“They pretty much were my main inspiration for becoming a teacher. I’ve always loved reading and writing and that’s something that I really want my students to love,” she said. “I want to teach them that there’s value in those skills and help them realize that those are skills they’re going to need for the rest of their lives.”
Story and photos by Reneé de Santos – EPISD