The El Paso Independent School District this week welcomed more than 100 teachers during the New Teacher Support Academy.
The three-day training kicked off Tuesday morning with a laptop distribution and welcoming speech from superintendent Juan Cabrera and EPISD director of staff development Kathy Seufert.
“We are just having a great time. It’s very important that we welcome our new teachers and bring them into the fold,” Seufert said. “We want to tell them what we are about and make them really feel that they are a part of EPISD.”
To learn about how they can be a part of the District’s vision, teachers learned about EPISD’s strategic priorities and mission to create 21st century learners.
The training also provided teachers with an opportunity to meet with District leadership and have lunch with their campus principals. After lunch, teachers headed to their schools for orientation.
“This is a great opportunity to have some one-on-one time with the teachers before we start school,” Coronado Principal Angela Henderson said. “I’m excited to bring new fresh ideas to our campus and new opportunities for growth.”
Professional development specialist Amy Boatright, who organized the new teacher orientation, put together a scavenger hunt list for teachers to fill out at their campuses.
“The list will help them become familiar with their campuses, and tomorrow they can trade their completed lists for a special prize,” Boatright said.
Ryan Rodriguez, who will teach social studies at El Paso High, plans on implementing some of the strategies he learned during the
classroom management presentation given by No Excuses University coordinator Doug Curry.
“Classroom management is something that is very important, so I am looking forward to using some of what I learned in my class,” Rodriguez said.
Houston transplant Marquita Cooper has five years of teaching experience already under her belt and is enthusiastic to start her sixth year at Barron Elementary teaching pre-K students.
“I love it so far. Everyone has been very welcoming, and the training has been really great,” Cooper said. “I’m just excited about getting started.”
The week will close out with a six-hour T-TESS (Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System) training, which the District piloted last year, to prepare teachers on what to expect with the new evaluation system.
“I have three administrators coming tomorrow to train for secondary and two administrators to train elementary,” Boatright said. “In order to be evaluated the teachers have to receive this six hour overview, so they know what to expect and they can look for over their teacher standards.”