New Teacher Academy Ignites Excitement In FWISD’s New Educators
You belong here! Your work makes a difference a difference in students’ lives!
These were among the messages conveyed to for new Fort Worth ISD educators at the District’s New Teacher Academy kickoff earlier this week.
An estimated 400 new educators participated in the half-day kickoff event hosted at the FWISD Teaching and Learning Center on Monday, August 2. Over the course of five days, first-year teachers and educators new to FWISD will have participated in principal-directed activities on their campuses, joined sessions with other District educators in their content area at one of four FWISD facilities and received instruction in educational technology and classroom management.
“I am super excited to get started. I’ve been posting [about] this on Facebook for the last month,” said Julian Rodriguez, new choir director at Kirkpatrick Middle School. “I’m really excited to get to know the students. I love getting to know this grade level, 6-8.
“My mantra as far as this grade level is they’re still young to have fun, but they’re old enough to understand the intricacies of their education. And so, I’m really excited to get to know these kids and impact them in the way that I was impacted by my middle school choir directors and my high school directors. I really hope to make that lasting impact on them.”
The New Teacher Academy week kicked off with an introduction to the District’s leadership chiefs.
Each chief gave an overview of the departments they’re responsible for. They shared stories of when they first started out as an educator and the teachers they connected with and those who made a lasting impact on their lives. They encouraged the new teachers to seek to do the same for students here in Fort Worth ISD.
“Kids don’t care about the content that you’re teaching until they have a connection with you,” Superintendent Kent Scribner told the new teachers. “For many of them, you are going to be the most meaningful, the most supportive, most valuable adult during the day that they’re going to see.”
Returning to 100% in-person instruction after a challenging 17 months, Dr. Scribner called the timing of the new educators “impeccable.” He encouraged the new teachers to be resourceful and ask for help when needed. The superintendent admonished them to invest in student success, reinforce social and emotional support for students and be explicitly clear in communicating to students their teaching standards and goals.
“We’re looking forward to really investing time and dollars in catching students up,” he said. “We’re not interested in remediating students. We can’t remediate our way out of this crisis. We have to accelerate our way out of this crisis with good solid classroom, Tier 1 instruction.”
Dr. Cherie Washington, a FWISD Student and School Support chief, in remarks that welcomed the new educators to the District, shared a personal story about a student she positively impacted and why the role of teachers is so important.
“You make the most difference in the academic lives of our students. That’s why we’re excited to see you here, because it’s the work that you do that changes the lives of our children,” she said. “There’s a student that you’re going to touch this year that you won’t even realize that you’re going to change his or her trajectory. That’s why it’s so important that you’re here.”
Several new FWISD educators expressed excitement about getting to work, sharing their love of education with students and making an impact.
Lindsey Nobile, who is joining the District as a Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) teacher at H.V. Helbing Elementary School, said that she’s been welcomed by a principal and teacher mentor who have her “best interest at heart,” and that makes her excited about getting to work and meeting her students.
“I’m ready to get with my kids and teach them that even though they’re special education [students], they’re no different than anybody else,” she said. “They’re just as smart, they’re just as important and they’re going to be just as successful.”
The New Teacher Academy concludes Friday, August 6. FWISD returns to 100% in-person instruction on Monday, August 16.
Rediscover FWISD: Get to Know FWISD's Leadership Chiefs
Editor's Note: In efforts to Rediscover FWISD, Inside FWISD will introduce or re-introduce District staff to Fort Worth ISD leaders and departments over multiple newsletter editions. This week, get to know the FWISD Leadership team.