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July 25, 2017 06:46 AM

About Half Of Sioux Falls School District Hires Are First-Year Teachers

Sioux Falls

With just over a month left of summer, the Sioux Falls School district is already gearing up for the fall.

And that means hiring new teachers.

Out of the 129 new hires for the district, about half of those are first-year teachers. While the district says this is typical, the veteran teachers in the district are prepared to help those brand new to the profession.

"I think that a lot of young teachers bring a new fresh perspective," Washington High School teacher Jamie Van Sloten said. 

Once September 5 rolls around,  Van Sloten said she will be ready to help fresh faces to the classroom. 

"I look back to when I started teaching and I just think of the people within my own department who have helped me so much. And gave me ideas, gave me support, whether that's actual instructional strategies or just saying, 'Hey if you need anything, I'm here for you,'" Van Sloten said. 

She's a 10-year teaching veteran and will now be a resource to those brand new to the profession. 

"I know here at Washington we rely on our own teachers to give instructional strategies, and so that's really beneficial," Van Sloten said. 

Relying on help from within the district, is something Human Resources Director Becky Dorman says will be beneficial for the more than 60 first year teachers joining the district this fall. 

"That really molds our professional development, where we have instructional coaches, that work hand-in-hand with these brand-new teachers because we do know that they need additional support coming into our classroom so we do know that we hire a large number of them," Dorman said. 

And for Van Sloten, learning is a two-way street. 

"Just sitting through the interviews I use a lot of apps, I use a lot of technology, in my classroom, but I got three new ideas just on sitting in on an interview for people who aren't even hired yet within the district," Van Sloten said. 

"I believe our instructional coaching model is second to none in the area. Just the support staff that we're able to help you get started on the right foot will benefit you your entire career," Dorman said. 

The district will have even less time to hire for next year of Fall 2018 since the new start date was pushed up to August 23, which is about two weeks earlier than this year.

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