Socorro Independent School District teachers, faculty and administration united virtually to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year with two weeks of online meetings, trainings, and lessons.
Like their peers across the country, SISD educators were busy learning a variety of instructional strategies, best practices, and innovative ideas to usher in an unprecedented school year, which has started with remote learning.
A focus on health and safety and social and emotional learning was also key during this year’s professional development, which ran August 3 through the 14.
Teachers, staff and principals expressed enthusiasm for the return of the school year on social media as they participated in numerous sessions with their colleagues online.
“Thank you, Blazer Nation for a great staff development session,” said Americas High School AVID teacher Yadira Robles via Twitter. “It is always a pleasure to work with our amazing teachers and staff!”
Teachers were eager to share ideas and teaching techniques with their colleagues to ensure a smooth start to the year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Feeling extremely blessed to be a part of #TeamSISD,” said second-grade teacher Sara Arvizu from Ernesto Serna School via Twitter. “Thank you to our AMAZING Leadership Team for an AWESOME Day 1 of PD! Fully equipped and ready to #EmbraceTheChallenge.”
The two weeks of professional development included various activities like creating Bitmoji classrooms, scavenger hunts within their own households, and words of encouragement from Superintendent Jose Espinoza, Ed.D., who made several appearances with the school staff in their meetings.
“This leadership is superior! Just another amazing day at Puentes Middle School,” said SSG Manuel R. Puentes Middle School SCEI Coach Samirah Garcia via Twitter.
The training topics were diverse, including Microsoft accessibility, Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) training and general education and individual subject material.
“Wranglers continue strong as they participate in Microsoft Teams Advanced Class! Thank you Ms. Acuna,” said Sierra Vista Elementary School Principal Christine De La Cruz via Twitter.
Instructional officers helped teachers refine their skills in all subject areas. Secondary social studies instructional officer Kim Baxter applauded teachers for their dedication.
“Thank you to the amazing #TeamSISD teachers working hard this week to learn and prepare for our students,” she said via Twitter.
Special guests from outside of the district also expressed excitement about SISD professional development. Author of “The Hugging Tree: A Story about Resilience” Jill Neimark expressed her gratitude to Myrtle Cooper Elementary School librarian Elizabeth Chavez for using her book to read to teachers virtually.
“I am putting together a Zoom session with teachers, faith leaders, librarians around the country who have used this book. I’ll DM you,” said Neimark to Chavez via Twitter.
The educators also were embracing the new virtual environment for remote learning this year.
“What a great second day of learning,” said O’Shea Keleher Elementary School SCEI coach Sandra Dominguez via Twitter. “Our O’Shea teachers are going to rock remote learning! I even got my virtual classroom started!”
Most importantly, the SISD educators displayed their unity and teamwork as they learned from each other during their professional development.
“What a great informational day of staff development,” said Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary School kindergarten teacher Nicole Rede via Twitter. “Today, we found time to support each other as we learn for this new school year!”