Region 16 First Grade Teacher Academy Helps New Teachers Succeed

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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) — Many teachers say teaching today is different than it was many years ago.

Region 16 strives to prepare first-grade teachers, ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed.

There are approximately 125 teachers currently in the freshman teaching academy to Region 16.

The academy met for the first time this week to discuss how to become an effective teacher and its 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 handle stress during your first year,” said Kyle Dawson, who leads the first year teaching academy of the region 16. .

First-grade teachers say there are new challenges with teaching that haven’t been seen in the past.

“We’re dealing with student and family dynamics that didn’t exist back then, so creating these kinds of academies and trainings where we learn how to properly communicate with parents and families, making sure that students are supported by emotional learning skills, this is the best way to support our students and create better future adults,” said Carlynn Powell, Grade 1 teacher at River Road Middle School.

Region 16 also sees many teachers entering the field who never thought they would become teachers.

“They don’t have any formal training, they went to college to be something else so they decided to become a teacher and so the freshman teacher academy is basically a crash course on how to become a teacher , so I think those teachers find it incredibly helpful,” Dawson said.

A first-grade teacher at Amarillo High School, Angelica Garcia, thinks this new teacher dynamic could contribute to the current teacher shortage.

“It’s hard to run a class without having the numbers, I have a class of 34 kids each term and there were only 20 before,” Garcia said.

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