EVSC Hosts New Teacher Orientation

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With school just a week away for most Evansville students, the EVSC is doing all it can to make sure its newest employees start the year on the right foot.

EVSC teachers aren’t officially on the clock until next Monday, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been working.

Wednesday, in a bit of role-reversal, the district’s new teachers were the students.

150 new faces filled the Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center.

“These two days are critical to help teachers set up for success. We spend the entire two days focusing on what do they need to be successful immediately from day one,” said Director of Teacher Effectiveness Shannon Strieter.

Starting a new job in a new place, for anyone, comes with its share of excitement.

“I think the most exciting part is the kids’ energy they bring at the beginning of the year,” said new fourth grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary Ashley Grimes.

It also comes with challenges.

“I would just say, you know, the time it takes. I’ve spent hours and hours in my classroom, you know, this summer, trying to get it ready,” Katelyn Powless said. Powless is joining Grimes at Lincoln as a third grade teacher.

For many teachers, having a classroom fully stocked with all the resources their kids need means spending money out of their own pockets, which isn’t always easy.

“You know, it is a strain to put my money in it, because I have, you know, first year teachers, you know, they don’t get paid until later in the year, and so, I’ve used my money to do that, but once again, I feel like it’s been worth it, because I know that I will use that for my kids learning,” Powless said.

“It’s definitely a strain because i am fresh out college. I taught summer school, but I mean, it’s money, so, but I mean, it’s worth spending the money, because i know as a first year teacher, you have to get all the supplies under your belt, but it’s about re-use and re-purpose,” Grimes said.

One of the advantages of an orientation is meeting the right people to share supplies with down the line.

“That’s another misconception, is that you have to fork out hundreds of dollars, but you really don’t have to if you know people in the field,” Grimes said.

EVSC tells Eyewitness News the percentage of new teachers is around 10 percent, and that has gone down the past two years.

The goal is for that number to continue to go down to stabilize the teaching force.

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