BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — New teachers for the Bismarck Public School District got together Monday, not only to meet their mentors but to learn more about the support the district will be providing to those new to teaching.

Bismarck Public Schools hosted a new staff orientation to welcome new teachers to the district.

The orientation gave teachers a chance to meet others in their field and to learn about the BPS community.

Teachers were introduced to the district’s strategic plan and overall goals.

At Monday’s event, BPS stressed the importance of its teacher support program, and why it decreases the chance of teachers leaving the profession.

“Having a mentor actually increases the longevity of a career, so that people feel supported in the work that they do,” said Tara Olson from the Learning Design and Innovation Department.

Olson says the program isn’t new to the district but throughout the years have increased their resources and support for local teachers.

“It’s important to note that it doesn’t just end here, we have other opportunities throughout the year for continued opportunities for mentors and teachers to get together. And we will also have learning events with dinner, and it also gives the chance for the community to get involved,” said Olson.

Two new teachers to the district are a mother and daughter duo.

Gerri Schmid, and her daughter Emily, are excited to begin teaching in the BPS district as well as supporting each other this school year.

This is technically Emily’s third year of teaching, but it will be her first year teaching in her hometown district.

“I’m very excited to be back in town, and I’m excited to share these experiences with my mom having my first year back in town and having her first year as a Special Ed teacher,” said Emily Schmid, a teacher for BPS.

Despite reports of many teachers leaving the profession, Emily says there is so much support out there for teachers.

She says she’s lucky to have started teaching even with COVID-19 impacting the nation.

“I always tell myself I’m lucky because I only know chaos. I’ve never had, ‘This is what a normal school year looks like.’ And everything is starting to slow down more,” said Emily.

Emily says for those hesitating about making the jump to the teaching world, just do it.

“I think just going into it knowing there are so many people that are going to support and guide you. Bismarck Public Schools is amazing giving us mentors that have had some experience in these last few years and they are going to be there to support and guide you,” Emily added.