The 30 newly hired educators took a bus tour of Plymouth, including the district’s seven schools. The tour had been a part of the annual training for several years, but had been deleted for a couple of years.
Assistant Superintendent and the tour guide, Dan Funston, said, “This year PCSC administrators decided the bus tour is invaluable, so we decided to bring it back.” He added, “Not only does the tour help our new teachers get acclimated to the area, but it helps then see and learn about all of our schools within the corporation.”
Several of the teachers are new to the community and others will be commuting from South Bend, Ft. Wayne, Winamac, and Niles.
Funston said, “The goals of the tour are to orient the new teachers to the wide range of environments our students come from, in addition to introducing them to some of the main businesses and city center.”
They were treated to a luncheon at a favorite local restaurant, Opie’s Deli. The meal was provided by PEA (Plymouth Education Association). PEA President, Laura Kruyer, Kruyer said, “It is all about building relationships and making those connections.” “It goes to the fact as to whether we want to retain quality teachers.”
Kruyer said she and the other PEA officers shared information about the professional organization. Membership in PEA is voluntary, but by law, nonmembers do receive wages and salaries negotiated by PEA as part of the Master Contract. However, only members of PEA receive ISTA (Indiana State Teachers Association) legal services and protection, the right to an association representative in disciplinary matters, a $1 million professional liability insurance policy, and group discounts, according to Kruyer.
ISTA has some 40,000 and is a recognized influence in the General Assembly and in educational policymaking.
Kruyer said they support the mentoring program of PCSC that helps teachers “find their footing”. She said, “We want teachers to not just survive, but to thrive.”
Carol Anders Correspondent