Category Archives: Teachers

HISD teachers kick off classroom lessons virtually for 2020-2021 school year

Roberts Elementary School fourth-grade teacher LaTasha Owens’ first social studies lesson of the new school year included an educational video about the three branches of government, shared on Microsoft Teams.

Owens called on students to share their thoughts about what they were watching. The children appeared onscreen as they unmuted themselves. Each was accessing the class from a private residence, some of them wearing headphones and some of them sitting in large office chairs.

This example of leveraging technology to ensure her students learn without jeopardizing the health and safety of all involved was replicated across the district on Tuesday.

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HISD teachers to create lessons for HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV

HISD @ H.O.M.E. TV lessons will continue this fall, and teachers will be able to develop content to be broadcast across various platforms.

Starting on Aug. 10, area offices will distribute a survey to collect basic information from interested teachers, such as school, grade level, subject, and language. Teachers who complete the survey will receive a link to upload a 10-minute video lesson by Aug. 17. 

A committee will use a rubric to assess the submissions and select 25 teachers to submit a weekly lesson during the fall semester for the grade level band and subject of their application submission. Selected teachers will be announced on Aug. 21 and will receive a stipend.

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Sam Houston MSTC teacher named finalist for national award in Career and Technical Education

Sam Houston MSTC Plumbing and Pipes Trades teacher Raul Ortega has been named one of 50 finalists from across the nation for the 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.

The award, which was started in 2017 by national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt, recognizes outstanding instruction in skilled trades in U.S. public high schools.

Ortega, a licensed plumber, is entering his ninth year at Sam Houston MSTC. Ortega’s hands-on classroom includes bathroom and kitchen simulators where students learn to install fixtures and piping systems using curriculum from the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER). Students enrolled in the program also perform basic plumbing repairs for homeowners in the Sam Houston MSTC community and learn directly from local employers who visit Ortega’s classroom regularly to hire graduating seniors. 

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Campus, district leaders share best practices at first-ever all virtual PLS 2020

Nearly 2,000 district and school-based employees gathered online for HISD’s first-ever all virtual Professional Learning Series (PLS), three days of professional development, team building, and preparation for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

The theme of this year’s event, which took place June 15-17, was “Virtual Learning and Beyond: Bridging Gaps with Strong Systems.” A major focus of the series included preparing for a virtual school system, as well as management best practices and guidance for schools and teachers on how to support students engaged in online learning.

“We are embracing the virtual learning space across HISD, and PLS this summer is no exception,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said during the recorded general session. “It is our goal that our leaders rejuvenate, renew and reimagine the possibilities for the upcoming school year.”

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HISD 2019-2020 educators of the year announced during surprise home visits

The 2019-2020 Houston Independent School District educators of the year were announced during surprise home visits, including visits by Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan at the homes of the elementary and secondary teachers of the year and beginning teachers of the year.

The visits took place on Wednesday, May 6, and Thursday, May 7, during Teacher Appreciation Week and included yard signs, balloons, and gift baskets near the front doors of the educators who were asked to come outside for the announcements, in keeping with safe social distancing practices.

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‘Get Emoji-tional’ to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4 through 8, and it’s a time for our staff, students, parents, and community to recognize our teachers.

For Teacher Appreciation Week, HISD is launching a fun campaign called “Get Emoji-tional” so we can share the love 😍 for our teachers on social media. Each day, share emojis as well as videos, photos and special messages with the hashtag #ThankAnHISDTeacherto show your support for teachers.

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HISD announces 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year finalists

Twelve finalists have been named as HISD’s 2019-2020 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year. The two winners will go on to represent the district in Region IV. The 12 finalists were selected from all 280 schools based on performance data and other criteria. 

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Ashford ES teacher wins Alliantgroup’s HISD Elementary Science Teacher grand prize

Ashford Elementary School fifth-grade Science Teacher Kirk Coppes has received the 2020 HISD Elementary Science Teacher Grand Prize Award from Alliantgroup.

Six finalists from across the district were nominated by HISD for the award based on their innovative teaching methods and ability to ignite the interest of students in the subject of science. The grand prize award announcement was made live on CW39’s “Morning Dose” on April 28.

Coppes, a veteran teacher in his 12th year in HISD and fourth year at Ashford ES, credited the support he receives both at work and home for the achievement.

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HISD Fine Arts explores innovative projects to support distance learning

The Fine Arts Department is working with teachers and students to promote the fine arts curricula, as well as additional projects to inspire students while distance learning is occurring.

Dancers from six HISD high schools worked together virtually to create a dance to inspire students studying at home via distance learning. The students are in the process of editing the video, which is part of a series titled “HISD Dance Alone—Together.” The video is expected to debut on Fine Arts Friday on April 24.

The Fine Arts Department is also receiving world-class guidance for instruction in theater arts. The Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and the Globe – three world-renowned theater companies in the United Kingdom – have granted HISD permission to use their online materials in the district’s theater curriculum. In addition, eight HISD theater teachers have created or are in the process of creating videos to accompany the HISD @ H.O.M.E. theater curriculum.

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