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Associate Teachers benefit from additional professional development

2015 June 10
by HISD Communications
Associate Teachers discuss classroom management techniques during the inaugural Associate Teacher Summit on June 8.

Associate Teachers discuss classroom management techniques during the inaugural Associate Teacher Summit on June 8.

HISD understands that full-time teachers sometimes need to be absent from the classroom, but that doesn’t mean instruction has to stop.

To ensure that the district’s associate teachers are prepared to effectively fill in, the Onboarding & Organizational Development team hosted its inaugural Associate Teacher Summit on June 8 at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center.

The event provided professional development opportunities specific to associate teachers’ needs to make them successful every time they take an assignment, said Cecilia Singh, Onboarding Program Specialist for Onboarding & Organizational Development.

“When the teacher of record is absent, the associate teachers are the first responders,” she said. “They are the teachers for that day, so it is our responsibility to have a well-trained pool of substitute teachers to continue our students’education without interruption.”

The keynote speaker at the event was Geoffrey Smith, the founder of STEDI, a substitute teacher training organization. After his presentation on classroom management techniques, attendees could attend break-out sessions on motivating students, special education strategies, and building and maintaining high behavioral expectations. Those sessions were created with the help of the district’s Office of Special Education and Professional Support & Development.

Sharon Ettinoffe, a retired teacher who decided to return to the classroom as an associate teacher, said she feels her work is valued because the district offers this type of event.

“I’m always looking for new skills and ways to be an effective teacher,” Etttinoffe said. “I thought this summit was excellent. The presenters were knowledgeable. Not only were (the sessions) valuable, but they were well-presented. I feel it’s made me more effective.”

Singh said the Onboarding & Organizational Department is planningadditional professional development opportunities for associate teachers using the feedback they received from the first event.


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