Copperas Cove ISD welcomes new teachers on Monday
By PAMELA GRANT
The Copperas Cove Independent School District will be welcoming 131 new teachers this upcoming school year which is about average for the district.
To help all new incoming teachers, CCISD held their annual New Teacher Orientation all day Monday at the Lea Ledger Auditorium starting with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. with welcoming speeches starting at 8:15 a.m. Everyone in attendance wore masks and worked to maintain social distance.
“This is an orientation day and a way to welcome them to the district,” said Amanda Crawley, Department Superintendent of Instructional Services.
After the welcoming speeches, the new teachers were given a three-hour orientation on the T-TESS Rubric before moving to their individual campuses where they met their instructional coaches who gave them a tour of their school and went over some of what the new teachers can expect in the upcoming year.
“They are really our curriculum connection for teachers on the campus,” said Crawley. “They foster, and mentor, and grow our new teachers on all things curriculum and instruction. They are kind of our curriculum emissaries for the campus.”
At about 4 p.m., after the instructional coaches finished, all new teachers were assigned a mentor who will help guide them over the next two years. Crawley said that the mentors are carefully selected to match the new teachers. They chose veteran teachers that teach the same content and grade if possible. If they don’t have an exact match, they work to make sure the mentor is as close as possible.
The mentors go over campus expectations like how to write lesson plans and what to expect on the first day of school.
“Mentors are really going to take them through every little thing that a veteran teacher would just naturally know to do,” said Crawley. “That’s what a mentor does. They really help them by saying ‘Hey, here’s the things that you’re not going to think of.’ and prep them for each one of those.”
Crawley said that they have also prepared the mentors to go over everything that will be different this year because of COVID-19.
Crawley and other staff members are excited to have children back in the classrooms.
“COVID-19 is a good example of how you have to be flexible and what can happen to a ‘regular’ school year,” said Alex Gonzalez, who has 26 years of teaching experience, but will be teaching in Copperas Cove for the first time this year. “As educators, we have to be flexible. One of the messages that’s being taught in the auditorium is that we’re never really finished. You have to have the mindset to continue to better yourself as an educator.”
Gonzalez will be teaching English to high school seniors and will be the assistant tennis coach. Gonzalez said that he is very excited about teaching for the district. He said that he saw the school twice while working as a tennis coach for a Waco school.
“I was so impressed with the culture of the school, the teachers, and the overall environment that I decided to apply,” said Gonzalez.
He said that he is looking forward to teaching seniors and making sure that each student is developing intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically.
Sherry Chipman will be co-teaching this year as an inclusion teacher at CCJHS. Becoming a teacher has been a long journey for Chipman who worked as a CCISD receptionist for two years before becoming an instructional aide for two years after that. This year will be her first as a teacher.
“It is exciting. I’m ready to get back in the classroom,” said Chipman. “I believe that every child can learn. They may have to be taught one way while another is taught another way. I just love the variety of teaching. I love to see students on different levels and when they get that ‘aha’ moment and light up.”