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Teachers train for school

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

As her first-graders file into the classroom, new teacher Karen Gould expects the first few moments of class to be full of excitement and confusion.

So she developed a plan to curb the chaos.

She’s going to keep the students busy writing as many letters of the alphabet as they can.

“The day will start off a little easier,” she said.

Gould was among 45 newly hired teachers to the Carson City School District who met Monday for a day-long training at Carson Middle School.

“I was kind of apprehensive about it in the beginning,” said math teacher Jenn Tartan. “But it was 10 times better than what I thought. In college, all you got was theory. We’ve learned things here we can walk away with.”

Among topics covered, coordinator Carol Harris discussed the importance of teaching throughout the entire day.

“When kids come into the classroom, the teacher should have a plan for how to teach them from bell to bell,” she said. “We want to have highly effective teachers.”

Harris, the district’s professional development coordinator, meets each year with new teachers to outline teaching strategy.

“They find out what the expectations of the school district are,” she said. “They become aware of what good teaching is. We want good teachers.”

Training will continue today and teachers will be introduced to mentors set aside at each school to help guide them through the first year.

Mark Wurtzel left his home in New York to become the choir teacher at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.

“I’m a skier so I fell in love with it out here,” he said. “I love the people, the snow, the mountains. I look at it as a big adventure.”

A recent college graduate, it will be Wurtzel’s first teaching job.

“I’m nervous but I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole life and I’m ready to get started.”

Although it will be Dana Levins’ first year as a full-time teacher, she has spent the last 16 years in the classroom as a parent and substitute teacher.

She can’t wait for school to start when she will be a fifth-grade teacher at Empire Elementary School.

“Not only is this my dream position, but it’s my dream school,” she said. “I am walking on Cloud 9.”