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Year begins for about 280 new teachers in Wichita school district

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 5:33 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The first day of classes for Wichita Public Schools students is a little more than a month away, but Monday (Aug. 3) brought the first day for about 280 new educators in the district, learning remotely how to get ready for the 2020-2021 school year.

“This will by like trial by fire for sure, just throwing a first-year teacher in there, but I think this is definitely going to be a growing experience for myself, as well as the students,” Mayberry Cultural Fine Arts Magnet Middle School Orchestra and Choir Teacher Panya Amphone said.

Amphone started teaching last spring, but due to COVID-19, his first semester in the classroom was cut short.

“This year has been kind of interesting versus last year when I was student teaching, the difference being the emphasis on the virtual classroom management and behavior management,” she said.

Amphone is now getting everything arranged for his first full year as an orchestra and choir teacher ant Mayberry Middle School.

“Meeting the kids, I’m looking forward to building those relationships,” he said.

The Wichita school district is also changing how it’s orienting Amphone and about 280 new teachers.

“Usually our new staff is a completely in-person event. It’s also most like a big party we have,” Wichita Public Schools Executive Director of New Teacher Induction Tammy Martin said.

For the first day, the process is entirely remote with instructors virtually coaching new staff for the new learning environment.

“Something we hope the new teachers take away is some strategies and skills (for) if they have students in-person in the classroom, but also things that can transcend into a remote-learning situation.”

Amphone said what’s also helping him settle is the experience he’s able to learn.

“These veteran teachers have really taken me under their wing,” he said. “Even prior to (Monday), throughout the whole entire summer.”

All of Wichita’s teachers are to report to school Wednesday, which will be a remote day of professional development for staff. The educators will start in-person training Thursday. The first day of classes in USD 259 is set for Sept. 8.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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