BELTON, Texas — "As a new teacher, sometimes it's hard to see the long-term effects of the fruits of your labor," said Superintendent Matt Smith.
Belton ISD gave 66 new-to-the-profession teachers their flowers early as they celebrated reaching the halfway point of their first school year.
The district hosted its first-ever New Teacher Appreciation Dinner last week at Lake Belton High School. The event treated new teachers to a meal alongside their principal, district administrators and members of the Board of trustees, according to the district.
Each teacher also received handwritten notes of encouragement from the faculty. The appreciation dinner is just one way, the district says, it's working to encourage and support new teachers.
New teacher Rachel Cockrum says becoming a pre-kindergarten teacher at the Belton Eary Childhood School, has had its surprises but she felt more connected due to the district's mentor program.
New Belton ISD teachers participate in a mentor program called INSPIRE Academy where they learn about developing routines and procedures in the classroom, writing lesson plans, building connections with students, according to the district.
“It’s been nice to hear what other teachers are going through and how they handle things,” Cockrum said. “I have had a lot of support. I’ve learned a ton, a ton, a ton — and I absolutely love it.”
Azzie Knox, a former professional women's basketball player, is also halfway through her first year as a teacher and coach.
“It’s been fun, to say the least,” Knox said. “I went into it a little nervous because it is my first year. But just being myself is what I’ve been told to do, and it’s been working. I’m honest with them, but I care. And they work for you when you care. If I can sum it up in one word, definitely fun. It’s been fun.”
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