On Tuesday, August 24, 2021 Superintendent León welcomed more than 350 new teachers to the district during this year’s New Teacher Orientation. Entering his third year at the helm of New Jersey’s largest school district, Superintendent León stated “I have the most incredible job; being able to claim that I am living my dream and teachers, like you in Newark, are responsible for this reality,” he added, “You are critical because as teachers, you have the power to create the most incredible educational experience for your students and in order to unlock the genius in others, you have to first unlock the genius in yourselves”.
This year’s New Teacher Orientation consisted of a two-day program designed to set expectations and prepare new teachers for the start of the school year. On day one of the orientation, teachers were introduced to required readings, and expectations that they would soon fulfill in their roles as educators in the district. On day two, teachers visited their new schools and were able to physically view their classrooms. Upon arrival, they were introduced to the district’s 4-step ingress procedure and were allotted the time to get acquainted with their new schools.
As the district prepares for the start of the school year, all teachers will be expected to familiarize themselves with the Safe Return Plan and follow established district protocols, which include submitting negative COVID-19 test results, wear masks, ingress/egress procedures, and practice social distancing. In preparation for the return of in-person instruction, it is of the utmost importance that all protocols are executed in full – which was reinforced at the New Teacher Orientation.
First-time teacher, Ejonas Gjata said, “I feel very lucky with the school and staff that I have been placed with. Right off the bat, I sensed we shared a level of confidence in one another and there is a lot of trust and support. We also share like-minded goals and a common passion in regards to all that we hope to instill in our students.”
The sentiment was shared amongst other newcomers to the district. “To take on the task that we do as educators; I am undeniably nervous, but at the same time very excited. I feel confident that the support systems are already in place, and I have people around me to help me get through it” stated Tristan James.
Superintendent León also took the time during orientation to announce the start of his Black Men Rising Coalition initiative; a program designed to pipeline Black male educators into leadership positions within the district. While this new initiative has been long-awaited, he also mentioned the impending start of the Latino Men Rising Coalition which will soon commence with the same goal, to uplift male educators of color.
“I share in the Superintendent’s excitement in welcoming this new cohort of talented teachers, who are ready to share their knowledge with our students” said Board President Haynes.
The long awaited first day of school is Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
For more information, please contact:
Nancy J. Deering,
Communications, Acting Director