Harlingen CISD held a New Teacher Institute at the end of August. Every year the school district welcomes new teachers. Some are new to the profession, some transfer their experience from a different role within the district, and others join from different school districts, cities, or states.
In previous years, the event has taken place at Cano Freshman Academy. However, this year the event was hosted virtually instead.
The first day of this orientation consisted of training where expectations, online platforms, and other important information was discussed. On the second day, the new teachers were introduced to the HCISD Board of Trustees, the Senior Team, and Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos.
Members of the board who were present in the virtual meeting addressed the group with messages filled with excitement, inspiration, and well wishes as they welcomed the new members of the HCISD family.
“It is more important now more than ever to want to lead with the heart, and that passion that you guys bring for teaching,” Board President Eladio Jaimez said. “Whatever it is that you are teaching, whether that is math, science, theatre, dance, whatever it is, you are here because you have a passion for that field. You have a passion to want to reach your students and impact them, and we are here to support you.”
Board member Dr. Belinda Reininger shared the impact an educator can have on students. She asked the new teachers to think back to their childhood and how at different stages in their lives, they might remember who the mayor, the U.S. President, YouTube star, or the first NFL draft pick was.
“But probably the people that every single one of us remembers throughout that childhood time is the teacher, the one who really made a difference for you,” Reininger said. ” So, when you think about the impact that you have on children, it’s monumental. It beats the President of the United States. It beats the first-round draft pick. You are the superstars, and we love that you’ve chosen to launch that superstar career right here in HCISD.”
At one point, the educators were asked to introduce themselves and explain why they chose to work at HCISD.
Eager teachers filled the screen as they listened intently to their peers. One educator shared her transition from student to teacher.
“I was a student of HCISD not too long ago,” Vela Middle School Theatre teacher Julia Bender said. “I am super excited to give back to the district that has given me so much.”
The teachers who spoke had varied experiences and diverse backgrounds, but they each shared a very similar reason for joining HCISD.
“Every person that I spoke to was friendly, very communicative, very open, and I loved that about HCISD,” fifth-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary Janet Vela said. “It made me think–that’s where I want to work.”
Before exiting the meeting to let the new teachers continue with their orientation, Dr. Cavazos left them with an inspiring message.
“Enjoy the moment,” he said. “Get settled into the profession you have chosen. Life has a way of revealing your path and your journey from this moment forward. If you are enjoying what you are doing, then the kids in your class are also going to enjoy being in your class.”