All it takes is a single day in Irving ISD to see how this district is changing the game of education. Take it from Karen Ugochukwa, who has served as an Irving ISD Guest Educator for the past four years.
Each day, she gets into her car to drive to a different campus to teach in a new classroom. As a Guest Educator, or substitute, she has had the opportunity to teach a wide variety of subjects at almost every grade level.
“It’s such a variety! For me, it’s so exciting,” says Ogochukwa. “It’s like a box of chocolates. You don’t know what you’re going to get, but you know it’s going to be good.”
Ogochukwa knew as a young child that she would grow up to be a teacher, and the Guest Educator program in Irving ISD has provided the perfect opportunity for her to learn and teach in the classroom setting on a flexible schedule.
“What I like about it the most is the flexibility, and I get the chance to be around kids and a learning environment. We all grow together and exchange knowledge,” says Ogochukwa.
Beyond its flexibility, the Guest Educator program offers an abundance of benefits for every district guest educator, from teachers and paraprofessionals to facility and food service professionals. At the most recent board meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to increase Guest Educator pay by 20 dollars per day.
“We offer a competitive pay rate including additional pay on Monday and Fridays, extra pay for approved long-term assignments, and the opportunity to earn $500 or $1,000 bonuses at the end of the school year,” said Ashly Witek, Director of the Guest Educator Program. “Positively impacting student lives, learning, flexible scheduling, professional development and networking opportunities are just a few reasons Irving ISD should be your district of choice.”
Even with remote learning, Guest Educators have many opportunities to grow professionally and serve students. Participants are offered a variety of professional development, from classroom management tips to resources for teaching specialized learning courses. In preparation for the 2020-21 school year, Ugochukwa armed herself with tools to best serve her students in her remote classroom.
“[Remote learning] opened a whole new avenue for me to learn about different programs and softwares, things that can help kids to learn. I love that I’m constantly learning,” says Ugochukwa.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more or applying for the Irving ISD Guest Educator program, visit www.IrvingISD.net/GE. Also check out the @IrvingISDCareers page and #IISDGEJobs hashtag on Twitter for more information and updates.