Superintendent Kimberly Hill told Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) 124 new teachers it’s okay to be nervous. “Anyone who cares is going to be nervous,” she said.
New teachers started their jobs Monday with an orientation and a welcome to Charles County Public Schools. So far this school year, CCPS has hired 124 teachers, including 61 secondary and related arts, 31 elementary, 23 special education, five counselors, one administrative assistant, one speech language pathologist and two school psychologists.
Charles County’s newest teachers gathered Monday through Wednesday at North Point High School to learn their role as teachers and for many, about their new home. While some new teachers grew up in Charles County, others moved here this week from New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and other states.
“You are now starting your career as a teacher. There is no more powerful job in the world,” Hill said, asking teachers to think back to their favorite teacher and how that person made them feel. “You have the power to be that person for children,” the Superintendent said.
Board Chairman Roberta Wise, a retired CCPS teacher, said she still misses the classroom. “Something about teaching keeps you young,” she said. Wise encouraged teachers to find exciting ways to reach students while maintaining a professional relationship with them.
Mary Bailey, the 2013 CCPS Teacher of the Year, said no two days in her 27 years of teaching have been the same. “Never underestimate what you say to a child and the importance of the impact it can have on them,” Bailey said as she shared a story about a former student who made a life-saving decision after rereading a positive note from her former teacher.
The number of teaching vacancies changes daily as the human resources department works to hire highly qualified teachers. The number of highly qualified teachers in CCPS classrooms rose to 96.1 percent last school year, continuing an upward trend. In addition to new teacher hires, CCPS is contracting with six new speech language pathologists and three occupational therapists from agencies.
Hard-to-fill areas this school year, according to Connie Armstead, executive director of human resources, are special education, math, science, computer science, Spanish, library media specialists and tech. ed. teachers.
“No profession is more rewarding than teaching” Elizabeth Brown, president of the Education Association of Charles County (EACC), said at the conclusion of the morning program.
Returning teachers start on Monday, Aug. 19 and school opens for students on Monday, Aug. 26.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.