The end if the summer is always an exciting time of year for the Pitt County Schools Teacher Support program. Working with our new hires allows us impact the education of students for the next thirty years. This summer PCS Beginning Teacher Support hosted three different groups during our New Teacher Orientations from Aug 10th-16th, our new lateral entry teachers, our new beginning teachers, and our 4th cohort of Key BTs.
For the first time, we hosted a Lateral Entry Orientation to provide our laterals with extra scaffolds to help them make the transition into the classroom. Major areas of focus for the day included: Classroom Organization; Classroom Management; How to handle the first weeks of school; and Licensure Requirements. 38 Lateral Entry teachers participated and left feeling more comfortable and better connected to the support they will have the rest of their career.
Our New Teacher Orientation started the following Monday with a keynote from Beth Sanderson, the PCS Teacher of the Year. New hires attended sessions on Classroom Management, the Teacher Evaluation process, Parent Communication, 21st Century Learning, Open House/1st Days of School. They made connections each day during lunch and our Delta Kappa Gamma partners showered our new hires with needed supplies and support Tuesday afternoon. The point of these three days is the immediate on boarding needs of our new hires. There is no way to cover everything a new hire needs to know, so instead we focus on what they need to start off well and then use other means to continue the support throughout the year.
One of the highlights of the New Teacher Orientation was the Key BT session. Our Key BTs are the creative, innovative, and effective BTs who learn to become collaborative leaders among other BTs. The first task they take part in is facilitating a session to share words of wisdom with our new hires. The idea is to make sure our new hires hear directly from successful BTs. Those links often last beyond the one morning session. One of the neatest things about this session is that the prior Key BT alumni are the ones who train the current Key BTs, so our leader alumni are training our current leaders, who train our future leaders.
One of the other major changes that we are looking forward to this year is how the 80-hour Lateral Entry Training will be conducted. The state changed the policy to allow for 5 days before a Lateral starts teaching and 5 days throughout the year. This will allow us to provide monthly support for the next several months to make sure our Laterals have continuous support that first year. More info on that program will come in a future blog post.