New teachers get TIPS on the district |

New teachers get TIPS on the district

Director of curriculum and instruction Lori Gardner addresses a group of approximately 35 new teachers. During a three-day training session last week they learned about different programs in the district and resources available to them.

Earlier this week curriculum director Lori Gardner was found teaching teachers the ropes.

Approximately 35 new instructors gathered at the Park City School District Office to learn about different programs, policies and support systems.

The Teacher Induction Program System or TIPS was created after the State Office of Education began to require districts to provide training and support for new teachers, Gardner said.

TIPS trainer Kathy Anderson explained the program was put in place to, in part, fill requirements of the No Child Left Behind initiative.

Every state has developed a three-year program, known as the Entry Years Enhancement Program. Park City’s version of this is TIPS, she explained.

"These three days have just been a whirlwind," Gardner said.

The days covered everything from an introduction to the Park City Education Association to payroll and sick leave. Teachers met for a pancake breakfast with school board members and also got a bus tour of the district.

"They had a great time. They’ve appreciated getting to know other people who are going to be new in the district," Gardner said.

Teachers who receive a lot of initial support are more likely to stay, helping with retention and avoiding shortages that plague the rest of the state.

"The stronger the induction program, you won’t see people leaving because they’re unhappy," Gardner said.

Several of what Gardner calls master teachers were on hand to give presentations and answer questions including Anderson, Ginny Etheridge and John Hall.

Anderson agreed with gardner about the training as key to retaining teachers.

"The goal of these trainings and support is to keep new

teachers in the profession longer," she said.

Like these masters, some of the new teachers already have some experience under their belt.

"Out of the 30 people, only 4 or 5 are brand new teachers," Gardner said.

Anna Williams has been a teacher for 10 years and will be starting at Park City High School as a teacher for those students who are still learning English.

She moved to the area with her husband, who is a Delta pilot.

"I’m impressed," she said of her first impressions of the district.

Williams added she is looking forward to starting work and being an advocate for the Latino community in Park City.

The information she learned during the three-day TIPS training was very informative, she said.

"We all usually have training of some kind, but this one is a little more comprehensive," Williams said.

Laura Hayes will be starting work at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School as a fourth-grade teacher. She has been in the area for a month now after relocating from Conneticut and has been teaching for 9 years.

She said she was very impressed with how accessible all of the people in the district are and is looking forward to beginning work, "especially now that I’ve seen the school site."

The training is intensive but she said they were creative in finding ways to make it enjoyable, like turning one of the lessons into beat poetry.

"This has been fun," Hayes said.

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