Updated: 08/11/2014 6:53 PM
Created: 08/11/2014 4:57 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson
Teachers new to Minneapolis Public Schools are spending some time in the classroom two weeks before students head back to school.
This year, the district hired more teachers than ever before. Around 400 teachers are in the middle of two days of orientation to get them acquainted with their new district.
Instructor Jenn Heuertz is taking this group of elementary teachers through professional development skills. One of the new teachers, Janelle Hendricks, never intended to be a teacher. She wanted to be a Psychologist.
"I took a career class in college where you explore different careers, and I studied teaching, and it was like a door opener," she said.
Now she is one step closer to teacher her first grade class.
"A lot of pressure but really exciting," Hendricks said.
The district says 1,300 teachers applied for the open positions from local charter schools and cities like New York and Chicago. Deray McKessom says calling the 400 new teachers is a bit of a misnomer because some of the teachers are seasoned but new to the district.
"It's actually like split. So we're bringing in about 400-450 new teachers and it's pretty much split down the middle," McKessom said.
At orientation Monday teachers were broken up in elementary and secondary, as well as experienced or new to the profession.
"They are learning some core skills around behavior management and lesson planning," explained McKessom.
After two days of meetings they all transfer to their assigned schools. The school with the largest number of new teachers is Richard Greene Central. McKessom says there is a risk that some teachers may decided to leave.
Hendricks is assigned to Lucy Laney Elementary. She says she can't wait to write her name on the board.
"Really excited to do that in my classroom and start the year out right," she said.
The new teachers didn't pick their schools. Instead the principals of each school picked whom they wanted as teachers.