Orientation: Not just for students

Marshalltown welcomes 38 new teachers

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS Woodbury Elementary teacher-librarian Sue Cahill led new teacher orientation for 38 new Marshalltown instructors Tuesday. Professionalism, student-teacher connections and community building were among the topics discussed.

In one week, Marshalltown fifth-, seventh- and ninth graders will walk into a brand new building for the start of classes; there are also dozens of new teachers who will discover the district for the first time this school year.

“We are part of a very important profession,” said Woodbury Elementary teacher-librarian Sue Cahill during new teacher orientation Tuesday afternoon. “In Marshalltown, we really strive for a professional attitude, and a professional take on how we present ourselves to students [and] how we present ourselves to the community,”

The Iowa Valley Continuing Education classroom was filled by the district’s 38 new teachers as she presented.

“The things we really stress are how to manage your first job or your experience in Marshalltown,” Cahill said. “What are things you can do to build the culture?”

While many of the new instructors came to the district straight out of college, several are bringing experience from other school districts.

“They come from Minnesota and Illinois and all different parts of Iowa, and they’re coming to work with our students here in Marshalltown,” Cahill said. “We have a really good mix of people coming into our schools to work with our kids.”

The orientation lasted most of the day Tuesday, and a variety of topics were covered, including professionalism and student-teacher connections.

“We’ve talked about making social contracts and setting the stage for your class expectations,” Cahill said. “Research shows that the teachers have to be connected to the students more than just providing them content information.”

One tip she gave at during the presentation was to get students moving.

“Kids will remember things when you get them moving!” Cahill said.

First impressions are important in the professional world, and she said she was impressed with how the group of instructors presented themselves during the training.

“I’ve seen very good interaction from people, their hearts are here for the kids,” Cahill said, adding many of the participants introduced themselves by talking about their passion for teaching and connecting with students. “By being professionals, we build that relationship with our community.”


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com