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TWU New Teacher Academy provides mentoring support for beginning educators


DENTON— Teachers who are just getting started in their careers received advice and words of encouragement during the second annual New Teacher Academy, held this week at Texas Woman’s University.

A report issued earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences showed that teachers who were assigned first-year mentors stayed in the profession at a higher rate than those who did not have mentors. The TWU New Teacher Academy is focused on providing mentoring support and professional development for recent TWU graduates who are in the first three years of their teaching careers.

Approximately 60 teachers who will enter Texas classrooms this fall attended the event, which took place on the university’s Denton campus.

Keynote speaker Devin Esch, a 2013 TWU graduate who was named Lewisville Elementary Teacher of the Year during her first year of teaching, also provided a dose of reality.

“If you think it’s a job where you’re going to show up at 7:30 in the morning and you’re going to leave at 3:30 in the afternoon, you are so wrong,” Esch said.

However, she added that it’s also one of the world’s most rewarding professions.

“It’s a job I absolutely love,” Esch said. “You’re changing lives.”

Session topics included tips and tricks to survive the first year of teaching, classroom management and supporting high-quality instruction for English Language Learners.

Paula McMillion, first-year principal of Joe K. Bryant Elementary School in Anna, cautioned the new teachers to monitor their social media.

“Administrators look at that,” she said. “There have been people I haven’t hired” due to inappropriate photos on their social media sites.

She also highlighted websites that could help them with classroom management.

McMillion, who received her master of education degree and principal certification from TWU, said programs like the New Teacher Academy provide valuable tools to those just entering the field.

“They’re definitely getting a really good overview of what they’ll need to be successful,” she said. “TWU does a great job of preparing teachers for the work force.”

Aleshia McMorris of Dallas, who just graduated in May, agreed, saying she values the “one-on-one attention you get with professors.” The New Teacher Academy, she said, is “a bonus – definitely worth the while. I learned some great tips on classroom management.”

Sarah McMahan and Rebecca Fredrickson, associate professors of teacher education at TWU, modeled the academy after a program at McMahan’s alma mater. However, they tailored it to meet the needs of recent TWU graduates in teacher education.

“Our research areas focus on preparing preservice teachers to meet the demands of the 21st-century classroom, and the academy is one support to aid in new teacher induction,” McMahan said. “We firmly believe that supporting our recent graduates into their first few years of teaching will increase the likelihood they remain in the profession.”

Media Contact:

Karen Garcia
Senior Writer

page updated 5/9/2016 4:57 PM