It was a little bit like the first day of school yesterday, except the students were all teachers -- more than 600 of them crowded into an auditorium to receive encouragement and advice as they embark on careers in the Baltimore County system.
"There are so many ideas being shared here and anything will help for the future," said Liza Rosenthal, a rookie teacher who in less than two weeks will preside over a class of first-graders at Chase Elementary.
"I'm a little nervous, but I'm comfortable with the school I am going to," she said.
The teachers assembly in the Randallstown High School auditorium began a two-day orientation program of workshops and lectures from veteran educators, as well as greetings from their boss, Superintendent Anthony G. Marchione, who reflected on his first days in a county classroom more than 40 years ago.
"A teacher affects eternity," he said, quoting 19th-century historian and author Henry Brooks Adams.
"There's one key element in inspiration that is available to all of us and that is the quality of enthusiasm," Marchione told his new teachers. "You need to become a student of what you teach and be happy about being able to teach others what you know."
Mary Jacque Marchione, director of staff development for the school system and wife of the superintendent, said the teachers would receive an overview of the curriculum and meet with other teachers, administrators, guidance counselors and selected mentors.
The new teachers received a stipend for attending the two-day event and seemed eager to begin teaching, Mrs. Marchione said.
"You can feel the electricity in the air," she said. "They just want to get at it."
Melissa Eick worked last year as a substitute teacher at Mars Estates Elementary School in Essex and was recently hired to teach third-grade there. Eick said that while she was familiar with the school and had some experience in the classroom, the orientation gave her more confidence about teaching.
"This year I'm going to have more responsibility," Eick said. "I'm hoping this will help me get organized and stay organized."
With 15 years' experience at eight different schools and institutions, William Hughes can hardly be considered a rookie. But Hughes, a former instructor at Morgan State University, said the program helped to initiate him into his new job as head football coach and physical education teacher at Randallstown High.
"There are some new faces, but the thoughts about education have remained pretty much consistent," Hughes said. "Teaching at the high school level will give me the opportunity to shape the leaders of the next century."
Pub Date: 8/14/96