Monday, January 27, 2014

Why Do We Teach? The Class of 2014 of The New Teacher Training Academy Know Why They Do

Meet the class of 2014!

This past week, first year teachers from around the district came to our training room to be acknowledged and celebrated for completing our newly formed New Teacher Training Academy.

The New Teacher Training- K-5 School Teachers Class of 2014.
(Scroll down the post for a complete list of names and additional photos.)
This was the culmination of a three day course designed to inform, equip and prepare teachers entering Huntsville Independent School District.  (We covered the first session in an October 2013 blog post found here.)
HISD Superintendent Dr. Steve Johnson congratulates Huntsville High's Lisa Black.
Celestin Gbae with Superintendent Dr. Steve Johnson.  Celestin is originally from the Ivory Coast in Africa.
This last session, however, was a celebration and acknowledgement of what these teachers have accomplished, and also a public acknowledgement of the power they have to inspire and instruct through their enthusiastic passion and vigor, their ideas and their commitment.

The New Teacher Training- 6-12 Teachers Class of 2014.
(Scroll down the post for a complete list of names and additional photos.)
Each participant spent considerable time envisioning their "Why?" statement..."Why am I here?"...  "Why do I teach?"  We all know that teaching is more vocation than "job," yet each teacher has their own distinct "Why?" and these new teachers put in the time to articulate their Mission and Vision Statement.  Linda Grigsby then took each statement and created a graphic document for each one.

In his Vision & Mission Statement, David Brockhausen related a "light bulb moment" a student had, when after struggling to figure out a seemingly complicated concept, said to David,  upon understanding it,
"You're telling me it's that simple?"
Excerpt from Dakota Alexander:
"I want my students to be self-confident, self-reliable and self-sufficient."
Portions were read aloud over lunch, and our Superintendent Dr. Steve Johnson presented the framed documents to each teacher.
Dr. Johnson and Stewart Elementary teacher Taylor Hodge listen
as iTech Melissa Thornton reads from Taylor's statement.
Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction Marjetta Spriggs (in red) listens
with (right) Dakota Alexander and Kim Beth Buchanan. 
Dr. Johnson:  Teaching is NOT easy, and it can be tough to stay motivated and
focused with all the competing priorities, yet it's never about "us," it's about "them"- our students.
This lunch celebration came at the end of an extensive process that took place over the past five months.  Along with this envisioning exercise, the Academy also focused on nuts and bolts issues:  classroom management, parent teacher communication, utilizing social media, standards and testing.

Huntsville Elementary teachers Megan Smith, Jessica Hunter, Joeann Bon-Jorno and Jamie Pesl take a photo break.
The Academy also created the opportunity for camaraderie and expanding their professional learning network.  We also ended up having an impromptu photo shoot: the results of which are below.  :-)

(Two of our participants, Brandi Dougherty and Elizabeth Gore, were not able to attend this last session, so are not pictured here.)

Please welcome and congratulate our New Teacher Academy graduates, and ask them to share their vision and mission statement.  And, if you are so inclined, you may want to take time and ask yourself:

Why are you here?  

Why do you teach?
What is your mission; your vision?

Elizabeth Ashley, HHS
April Barton, Gibbs PreK
Lisa Black, HHS
Joeann Bon-Jorno, HES
Seth Bracken, HHS
David Brockhausen, HHS
Suzanna Carvajal, STE
Amanda Cason, HHS
Amanda Fisher, SJE
Celestin Gbae, HHS
Katy Gipson SJE
Kenneth Goines, HHS
Keri Herzog, HHS
Taylor Hodge, STE
Shandilynne Holley, MPMS
Jessica Hunter, HES
Douglas Johnston, HHS
Perry Kelly, STE
Cathleen Landrum
Brittany Long, HIS
Amber Meeks, HIS
Kelli Miller, HIS
Melissa Miller, SHE
Yolanda Nephew, HHS
Magen Parish, SJE
Jamie Pesl, HES
Melissa Peterson, SHE
Patrina Polviriyakij, HES
Elizabeth Poprick, HIS
Holly Ramirez, HHS
Gloria Roberts, MPMS
John Rudolph, HIS
Marlene Sapien-Najera, HHS
Megan Smith, HES
Lauren Thomas, SHE
Jennifer Walters, HIS
Charolyn Washington, MPMS
Bailee York, HHS
Amber Young, HIS

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

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