Being a new teacher can be overwhelming—which is why the Manchester Education Association (MEA) made a special effort this year to welcome new teachers to the district and help them get to know one another. Last Tuesday, on the eve of new educators’ first day, MEA leaders hosted a bowling event that allowed new teachers to socialize in a low-key setting.
“This event allows our new teachers to build relationships with their colleagues,” said MEA President Shelley Carlson. “It’s nice to see their nerves go down. It also gives them a chance to meet our Executive Board face to face and learn that we’re not scary people behind a computer screen.”
[CEA President Kate Dias, at right in photo above, is the past president of the Manchester Education Association and stopped by the social to meet new Manchester teachers, including Jennifer Loo, Sarah Wang, Madison Chamberlain, Sean Sharp, and Amarys Miralles-Castro.]
“I love welcoming our new teachers,” said Executive Board member Jill Kilgus. “It’s nice to see them mingling—none of them really knew each other before today.”
She added, “Giving them a warm welcome with a nice social event right before they start is a great way to build excitement about teaching.” Given that the new teachers were facing eight days of orientation and professional development, Kilgus said that the social was a great stress reliever.
Katie Tetrault and Sabrina Torres are two of Manchester’s more than 70 new teachers. They are both beginning their careers after student teaching last year during the pandemic.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the kids and their families,” said Tetrault, who will be teaching kindergarten at Martin Elementary. “I don’t know whether this will be a more normal year for schools.”
Torres, who is teaching at Waddell Elementary, described the uncertainty about how the pandemic will affect schools this year as stressful but said she is eager to be with her students. “I’m excited to get to know the kids.”
Kilgus said that MEA has always hosted a new teacher luncheon, which it did again this year, but the bowling social was new for 2021. The MEA’s new teacher luncheon on Friday was catered by a local restaurant and offered raffle prizes and survival kits for new teachers.
School in Manchester starts on September 8th for grades pre-K through 5, as well as 7 and 9, and September 9th for grades 6, 8, and 10-12.