Region 16′s first year teacher academy helping new teachers succeed

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 3:49 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2022 at 10:11 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Many teachers are saying teaching nowadays is different compared to how it was many years ago.

Region 16 is working to prepare first year teachers, making sure they have the tools needed to succeed.

There are about 125 teachers currently in the first year teaching academy at Region 16.

The academy met for the first time this week to discuss how to become an effective teacher and their end goals.

“We go over things like good classroom management, how to handle student behavior, how to interact and communicate with families and parents and how to manage stress during your first year,” said Kyle Dawson, who leads Region 16′s first year teaching academy.

First year teachers say there are new challenges with teaching that were not seen in the past.

“We are dealing with student and family dynamics that weren’t present back then, so creating these types of academies and trainings where we are learning how to properly communicate with parents and families, making sure students are supported with emotional learning skills, that’s the best way we can support our students and create better future adults,” said Carlynn Powell, first year teacher at River Road Middle School.

Region 16 is also seeing many enter the field who never thought they would become teachers.

“They have no formal training, they went to college to be something else, so they’ve decided to become a teacher and so the first year teacher academy is basically a crash course training on how to become a teacher, so I think those teachers find it incredibly helpful,” said Dawson.

One first year teacher at Amarillo High School, Angelica Garcia, believes these new teacher dynamics could help with the ongoing teacher shortage.

“It’s hard to keep a classroom going without having the numbers, I have a class of 34 kids every single class period and that used to be only 20,” said Garcia.