Teachers train for success
Teachers across the district have been hard at work this week learning how to ignite passions, change lives and embrace differences through a variety of training sessions hosted virtually, on their campuses and at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
Peyton Christian, an art teacher at Thelma Elizabeth Page Richardson Elementary School, has a proud history of educators in her family and is looking forward to her first-ever year in the classroom. The teacher training sessions gave her a unique opportunity to connect with veteran teachers.
“Being able to network and meet new people who can understand the field and give you advice has been really helpful because you’re starting from scratch your first year,” she said. “You don’t know much, so getting that reassurance that you’re on the right path and doing the right thing is amazing.”
Of course, new teachers aren’t the only ones who have benefited from the back-to-school professional development. Teachers with over two decades of experience like Tommy Holland of Ebby Halliday Elementary School and Melissa James of Moisés E. Molina High School appreciate the opportunity to expand their skill sets and incorporate new practices.
“I’m excited to get back into the classroom and work with as many students as I can,” Holland said. “Teacher training is good for veteran teachers, providing lessons we need to brush up on as well as new things like technology and how to use it in the classroom.”
“Every time we get together, I learn something new to make me be a better teacher and to improve my lesson plans,” James agreed. “We talked about giving our students success criteria, so they can show us that they understand what they’re learning. It gives them more motivation, because the students can say, ‘I can do this,’ by the end of the class period.”
Teachers participated in sessions covering a range of topics, from their quarter one curriculum to collective equity and social and emotional learning. With these tips, tools and best practices, they have what they need to educate Dallas ISD students for success this school year.
Patricia Sifuentes, a teacher at Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School, has 15 years of teaching experience, and she still cannot wait to meet her students for the first time. She enjoyed getting to connect with her peers at the teacher training, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic has kept them apart for a few years.
She took a moment away from her own professional development to share words of encouragement with teachers who will be entering the classroom for the first time: “Don’t give up. I know it’s hard for new teachers learning the career, but don’t be scared. In the end, it’s worth it.”