Carroll welcomes 150 new teachers to school system

August 10, 1998|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

For 150 newly hired teachers in Carroll County, the 1998-1999 school year begins today with a welcome luncheon that launches a week of orientation activities.

Their schedule includes: meeting each other, Superintendent William H. Hyde, school board members, principals and supervisors; becoming familiar with the curriculum; and attending workshops on classroom management and school policies.

The purpose of the six-day program, which runs this week and Aug. 21, is to give first-time teachers a chance to ease into their jobs before classes begin in two weeks.

"What we offer is some support for the teacher," said Barry Gelsinger, Carroll's director of curriculum and staff development. "We let them know [that] how they're feeling is normal, that it's OK to be a little bit nervous and afraid and that we're here to help them.

"It's just to give them a running start, so that when all the other teachers return, they'll feel like a part of our organization," he said.

When he joined the Westminster High School staff in 1974, Gelsinger said, he would have benefited from a teacher-orientation program.

"It was totally overwhelming," he said. "My first week I asked my department chair where the curriculum was and she got six huge books, plopped them in my arms and said, 'Here, write your own.' "

Times have changed.

The first orientation event is a luncheon at North Carroll High School, an opportunity for new teachers to meet school board members and school officials.

"Sometimes this is the only time they get to see who the board members are, and it's a chance for board members to see who we hired," said Stephen Guthrie, supervisor of human resources for county schools.

Although school officials are still hiring teachers, Guthrie estimated that about 150 teachers will join the Carroll system this year, creating a teaching staff of about 1,680. That includes replacements for teachers who have retired or resigned and 61 additional instructional positions to accommodate a growing student enrollment.

Pub Date: 8/10/98

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