No more science for Souza

No more science for Souza

Countdown to Prom

by Taylor Burns

On Dec. 10, PCM staff members were informed the district had received the Teacher Leadership and Compensation grant for $328,000. With this grant came four different teacher leadership roles: Instructional Coach, Model Teacher, Mentor Teacher and technology Integration Specialist. Instructional Coaches who applied will no longer be in the classroom.
The Instructional Coach will work with teachers full time by providing instruction and classroom support. There are three positions for this role: One at the high school, one at the middle school and one shared between the two elementary schools in the district. These employees will receive an extra stipend of $10,000.
This is where Science Teacher Mrs. Kristen Souza comes in. Earlier in the year, she applied for the Instructional Coach position at the high school. On Feb. 11, Superintendent Mr. Brad Jermeland sent an email out to staff announcing who received the Instructional Coach positions for each building. Souza was one of them.
“I’m in grad school right now for administration, and I thought this was something that would be good to try out. Kind of a nice transition maybe to what I might eventually decide to do,” she said.
To apply for the Instructional Coach position, Souza had to go through three “rounds.” The first was an initial application online, just like a job application with a series of questions. She made it through that round after her application was looked at by a committee of district staff members. The next round was creating a video submission, like an online interview. She answered three questions, recording herself on her laptop, and she made it through that round. The last round was an interview with a panel of all for district principals and one teacher from each building. They had a series of 15 questions for her to answer.
“I’m excited to be in other classrooms and see how other classrooms operate. I’m not teaching math or anything like that, just working with the teachers,” Souza said.
The position is just like a one-year teaching contract. The school board has the option to renew the contract, just like with a teacher.
Although this is an exciting new position and job for Souza, she said, “I’m going to miss the fact that, since I’m not in the same classroom with the same kids all the time, I’m going to miss the connection with the students. That’s one of the things I love most: The connection with students. I’m going to miss teaching science, but that is secondary compared to the relationships that I have with students.”
Souza does want students to know she is still accessible because she will be in the building, but no longer an everyday teacher.
“The fun thing is that it’s still working towards the same goal: Increasing student knowledge and increasing student achievement,” she said. “I’m just doing it in a different way.”