PHARR – New teachers from across the Rio Grande Valley participated in a five-day immersive workshop through the New Teacher Institute hosted at PSJA Southwest Early College High School.

The New Teacher Institute is a program hosted by ACT-RGV, a local alternative certification program, and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD. The program provides new educators with a comprehensive onboarding process to support instructional skills, and classroom management, to name a few. Through the program, new educators also continue ongoing professional development and one-to-one instructional coaching during their first year of teaching.

While the majority of the attendees were teachers joining the PSJA Family, several were ACT-RGV participants hired to teach at neighboring school districts such as: Mercedes ISD, McAllen ISD, Edinburg ISD and La Joya ISD, to name a few.

According to PSJA Director of New Teacher Support Angela Salinas-Oviedo bringing in open-minded individuals to work together is beneficial.

“Really, it’s a community of teachers coming together,” Salinas said. “They actually develop tools together that are relevant to them, so they can use them wherever they go.”

As part of the Institute, which was held prior to the start of school, the week of August 6, incoming teachers were also introduced to a variety of different concepts, circumstances and exercises that qualify them for common classroom occurrences such as learning different ways to keep students engaged and creating collaborative learning.

For Rebecca Cantu, an incoming 2nd grade teacher at Alfred Sorensen Elementary in San Juan, she was grateful to attend the training.

“They’ve been really helpful and supportive,” said Cantu. “We’ve received a lot tools and strategies to use within the classroom and how to implement those strategies.”