Fresh out of college, James Brooks is stepping out of one classroom and into another.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Brooks said. “I’ve been working at this for a long time.”
The soon-to-be American history teacher was one of more than 400 new KISD educators welcomed at the district’s annual new teacher induction event Monday morning.
Held this year at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, the induction gave new educators preparing to start their careers at KISD a chance to learn more about the district and the staff and services available to them after classes begin.
“We have put a system in place to help our new teachers be successful and effective,” said Jo-Lynette Crayton, executive director of elementary schools.
Providing that kind of support for new teachers is a key element to keeping them around, Crayton said.
“We want them to know where they can go and who they can talk if they have questions. We want them to know what
resources are available to them,” Crayton said.
Of the district’s more than 6,000 employees, about 46 percent of those are teachers. To date, the district has hired 415 teachers for the 2013-14 school year. Those new teachers include educators like Brooks — who are new to the job — as well as teachers who have taught in other districts, but are new to Killeen.
Robert Muller, the district’s superintendent, said the support put in place for teachers was part of the district’s mission to provide a quality education for its students. “Our vision is very simple. Student learning equals success,” Muller told the audience at the event. “Our mission is to teach. That’s what we are really all about.”
The event kicked off what will be a weeklong program of mentoring and preparation for the upcoming school year. While the new educators may have a lot of work ahead of them, KISD teacher of the year Lala Aghaian said their choice to come to KISD was a good one.
“Let me assure you: You have picked a wonderful, wonderful district,” said Aghaian, who teaches at Trimmier Elementary School. “You will be the one person who influences where (students) go.”
Muller urged the educators in attendance to try to make meaningful connections with students, and to give their best to their job each day of the school year.
“Every day is important to your students,” Muller said. “So give them your best every day.”