"The Teacher Academy is for teachers that are new to Smithville ISD and have less than 2 years teaching experience" explained David Edwards, Federal Programs Coordinator for Smithville ISD.
Anita Frank is one of the teachers in the academy this year. She said "I teach science/social studies 4th grade. The new teacher academy is a must for all new teachers. Mr. Edwards and Mrs. Bang from day one made us feel part of a team. I was able to meet new teachers and form a bond with many of them. And yes they did become part of my support system. Also, many questions that I had were answered during our New Teacher Academy."
During their first semester with Smithville ISD, teachers will attend "5 half-day sessions that cover classroom management, setting high expectations, teaching for lesson mastery, special education, and ELL (English Language Learners)."
"This is my first year teaching here at Smithville High School. I’ve found the New Teacher Academy to be really helpful so far. There wasn’t a “New Teacher Academy” at the last school I worked for, so it’s nice for Smithville to be offering this program." stated Dena Beattie, another participant of the academy.
David Edwards and/or Shari Bang visit each teacher's classroom once a month to observe. They will then meet with the teacher to provide feedback about their observations.
According to David Edwards, "there are 7 teachers in the academy this year, compared to 23 last year. This proves that the program is meeting its purpose of cutting down on teacher turnover."