There is an energy and excitement around the Worthington Education Center today that hasn’t been felt since early June. Tomorrow is like our Christmas day! It is the unofficial first day of the 2013-2014 school year (some of you are cheering this idea, others groaning. My family is on the cheering side. Come on school year, let’s go!) Tomorrow we will welcome 80 new teachers to Worthington schools. Approximately 12% of our teaching force turned over last year (mostly through retirement) and a whole new crop of teachers will join our team.
If you have followed this blog I have chronicled some of this change. You read about the first wave of retirements and you read about some of our efforts to hire the best and brightest staff members at Teach Ohio. You read tributes to retiring staff members who had put 46 years of service in Worthington and you now understand the July 10th shuffle. Tomorrow that all culminates when we begin to Worthingtonize our new teachers.
Our first day with staff is designed to be a hearty welcome and to help them begin to understand the Worthington Schools and the Worthington Community. They’ll meet the Board of Education, be welcomed by Dr. Tucker, and I’ll provide some background on the district. They’ll take a bus tour of our schools and the different areas that Worthington Schools encompasses, and they’ll do some work with understanding their benefits, pay structure, etc….
Next week they will come back for an intensive training week on Common Core State Standards, Formative Instructional Practices, Rigor, Relevance and Relationship in teaching, etc. When school begins on August 19th they will have been working with us for almost a month understanding their curriculum, how we expect them to teach, interact, and help students learn. They’ll be ready!
Beginning in a new school district is difficult. We expect our first year teachers to be totally competent from day one. Our students don’t have time to train their teacher and all of our students deserve a first class education. We believe that the teachers we have hired this year will provide that. Tomorrow we will begin that journey.
20, 30, maybe even 46 years from now, these new teachers will share stories about their first day in Worthington Schools. They’ll have made a long-term positive difference in the lives of kids and in this community. The next Jim Van Arsdall, Bronwynn Hopton, Tim Dove and Janet Ellis may be in the room tomorrow. They’ll have a legacy of great teaching and relationship building that they will need to uphold. Tomorrow is like Christmas day in Worthington. We can’t wait!