School districts across North Texas are making final preparations for the first day of school – online, in-person and in some cases a mixture of both.
It means new training for teachers as they start an unusual school year.
Mesquite ISD is welcoming around 240 first-year teachers.
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“I teach US History. It’s my first year here. I was a sub and tutor earlier this year, so this is just kind of a giant whirlwind,” Jacob Mueller said.
Those teachers and returning teachers have spent part of the summer training both virtually and in-person in socially distanced small groups.
“We look at the content and we decide which best lends itself to virtual learning and which really needs to be face-to-face,” MISD Executive Director of Professional Development Debi Tanton said.
“Teachers’ hearts are to connect with kids and to connect with students,” MISD Director of Professional Development Jennifer Morris said. “They want to know – ‘OK I’m all in, but how do I do that?’”
First-year teachers have the opportunity to learn new systems as they learn what it means to be a teacher in a “real world” atmosphere.
“This is going to be a learning experience for all us and we’re just going to have to grow through this and learn a little bit about ourselves as teachers and we’ll get our students there as we learn,” first-year teacher Madeline Brown said.
“What’s going to happen? I’m still kind of unsure because I’m a new teacher, but I have good support and I have good training to rely on,” Mueller said.
The first day of school in MISD is virtual starting Aug. 17 with in-person classes being offered as an option starting Sept. 14.