Relationships, relevance, and rigor.
More than 300 new teachers focused on these three tenets of teaching during their training. Throughout the week, the teachers split into groups to learn about lesson planning, social emotional learning, no-nonsense nurturing, and other tools they can use in their classroom.
“The first two days where they really got into the curriculum and broke it down by grade was useful. They go through the teacher module – the whole module and a specific lesson going through how you would read it and plan for it on your own,” said Kameron Keller, who will be teaching 3rd grade math at Dolores Huerta. “Thursday with the No-Nonsense Nurturing. I was there all day, but I wish it was longer. [The presenter] was really wise and had really good advice and was very informative. I really ate it all up.”
Teachers also heard from veteran teachers and learned about the culture of Tulsa Public Schools. The inductees included recent graduates and experienced teachers joining the district from locations near and far. Maria Gonzalez has taught kindergarten in Spain for three years and decided to bring her skills to Sequoyah Elementary. She was excited to take part in training and start the school year.
“It was amazing,” she said. “It’s an adventure not only professional but also personal. I think it’s going to be totally different here from there.”
Jennifer Parra was also part of the group from Spain. She will be teaching 4th grade at Sequoyah.
“I’m so excited. I think it’s my best experience,” she said. “They have wonderful tools that I need to apply, and I think we are going to be a successful school for that training.”
On Friday, the enthusiastic teachers gathered for a networking lunch courtesy of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association. They wrapped up the week with giveaways, performances from Carver cheer and Central’s band, and a brief speech from Dr. Gist, who shared stories and insights from her time in the classroom. As the teachers filed out of the Wilson Teaching and Learning building, they were greeted with cheers and high fives from a crowd of happy faces celebrating their successful week of training and the upcoming school year.
“Tulsa Public Schools deeply believes in the potential of every student, and to that end we are working diligently to ensure every child has access to grade-level work 80% of the time in our classes,” said Tera Carr. “Our Educator Effectiveness and Professional Learning team has created learning opportunities to support our teachers in this work. This begins each year with our 5-day New Teacher Induction. The learnings this year will also include our Tulsa Way Saturdays that occur monthly and are paid experiences for teachers in years 1-4 and unit preparation video calls.”
Teachers can sign up for these learning opportunities in Frontline. For more information about the Tulsa Way for Teaching and Learning, please click here. If you are interested in joining Tulsa Public Schools, career opportunities can be found here.