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With only three weeks left until the first day of school, HISD welcomed more than 1,000 new Team HISD members at Kingdom Builders’ Center for the district’s annual New Teacher Academy (NTA).
This year’s theme was “HISD New Teacher YOUniversity,” and offered training on effective instructional practices, curriculum resources, and networking opportunities for teachers and their campus coworkers.
“The purpose of New Teacher Academy is to serve as a road map for new teacher induction, development and support,” Senior Manager for Academics Gail McGee said.
The weeklong academy is a collaboration between Onboarding & Organizational Development and the Professional Support & Development teams.
“it is our hope that the teachers leave feeling that they are supported and equipped for success beyond their first year,” McGee said. “The professional learning curriculum throughout the academy was designed specifically for new/beginning teachers and can be customized to each individual’s plan for success at HISD.
This year, more than 40 percent of the district inductees are first-year teachers and 58 percent have one or more years of experience.
“As a global district in a global city, one of our top priorities at HISD is to have an effective teacher in every classroom,” HISD Chief of Human Resources Julia Dimmitt said.
With over 100 languages spoken across the district, HISD’s recruitment team searches all over the U.S and internationally to find the best teachers.
“I think the academy is a great mix of socialization and opportunities as well as content learning,” Elrod Elementary School teacher Biying Zheng said. “Being that I was previously employed by the United Nations, I’m excited to transfer what I know about culture to the classroom.”
Thursday evening, participants gathered in the Kingdom Builders’ Center gymnasium for a Q&A forum with Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan, who shared personal anecdotes that have helped her find success inside and outside of the classroom.
“I encourage all of you to focus on the job at hand and do your best as a first-year teacher,” Lathan said. “You have been called to serve, and you must give the best of yourself to you cannot give any more.”
The event wrapped up with a first-ever “Safety First” panel, keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Klineberg, and HISD MLK Oratory winner Tchanori Kone.