Students For The Week

El Campo ISD hired 41 classroom teachers over the summer including Andrea Callaghan, left, and David Wilson, right, who attended training earlier this week at El Campo Middle School. The new teacher training featured rotating lessons on various classroom skills and was organized by the district’s eight instructional coaches, including Natalie Gwosdz, who is pictured center.

El Campo ISD desks were filled with eager learners this week, even though no children were in sight. Instead of traditional students, newly-hired teachers attended orientation at the middle school to prepare for the upcoming school year, which begins in one week.

ECISD’s new teacher orientation was held on Monday and Tuesday, with eight sessions total covering specific education topics like classroom management and student engagement.

For the 2020-2021 school year, 41 new teachers were hired by the district.

“We’re seeing good things from this group already,” Assistant Superintendent Dolores Treviño told the newspaper Monday.

Teachers learned how to start and end a class in ways that keep students engaged, how to prepare adequate lessons for a substitute teacher and more. They completed some lessons through group activities while others required note taking.

The training was organized and taught by the district’s eight instructional coaches, some of whom were hired during the 2020-2021 school year, while others have been in the position for multiple years.

“The instructional coaches researched what would be best to teach, and they will continue to guide the teachers throughout the school year,” Treviño said.

An instructional coach is hired to provide training and expertise to teachers and to help improve students’ academic performance. ECISD currently employs eight instructional coaches.

“This training is setting the stage for the best of the best in El Campo,” Instructional Coach Natalie Gwodz said.

Going into the 2021-2022 school year, administrators were looking to redefine the roles of instructional coaches. One coach each will be assigned at Myatt Elementary and Northside Elementary, and two each at Hutchins Elementary, El Campo Middle School and El Campo High School.

“I’m excited to see all these eager new faces,” Instructional Coach Shelby Gadeke said. “The training has been going well, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll bring to ECISD.”

In previous years, ECISD instructional coaches helped teachers based on specific academic subjects. In the new school year, the coaches will be assigned to a specific campus, but provide assistance to all teachers, regardless of class content.

Professional development days for ECISD employees are today, Wednesday, Aug. 4 through Monday, Aug. 9 with the first teacher work day being Tuesday, Aug. 10.

Louise ISD teachers begin working Monday, Aug. 9, and the first day of school is Wednesday, Aug. 18.

Teacher inservice begins Friday, Aug. 6 for St. Philip Catholic School teachers, and the first day of school for SPS students is Wednesday, Aug. 11.

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