New Oakland fourth-grade teachers take a break from lesson planning under the guidance of Piedmont Avenue Elementary School teacher Dana Graham during this week’s New Hire Induction Institute. (Photo courtesy of Margaret Dunlap/Oakland Unified School District)
Each year, on the first day of school, more than 100 teachers are experiencing their first day in an Oakland classroom. The first days of school are notoriously daunting for new hires — I vividly remember the tension on Andy Kwok’s face on Day 1 of his three-year teaching career at McClymonds High in 2007.
To smooth out those first few days in the classroom and introduce new teachers to some of their colleagues (new and veteran), OUSD’s Talent Development Office held its second New Hire Induction Institute this week. About 100 new teachers came, on average, on each day of training, said Margaret Dunlap, who coordinated the event at Madison Middle School. Substitute teachers were invited this year as well; about 20-25 came each day.
About 25 mentor teachers from various grade levels and subject areas worked with the newbies on lesson planning and classroom rules and procedures. This time, the institute had more of a focus on special education training — for special ed and general education teachers alike.
I spoke with Cassie Powell, an alumna of UC Berkeley’s teacher education and master’s program who’s about to start teaching kindergarten at Peralta Elementary School. Powell said the advice she’d received was practical and made her feel ready for the first few weeks of school.
Teachers (new, veteran and substitute): How did it go for you? What did you learn this week, and what are your thoughts as you head into the school year?