Carol A. Bartell; foreword by Linda Darling-Hammond

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the main goals of the New Teacher Induction program?

A: By implementing a city-wide mentoring program for all beginning teachers we aim to impact teacher retention, teacher practice, student achievement, and school culture. We are also standardizing the way that our school system supports its new teachers.

Q: What are the advantages of a full-time mentor?

A: Full-Time mentors are able to focus all of their attention and time on the development of beginning teachers. The model also allots for time for mentors to participate in high quality, on-going, professional development that provides structured support and guidance to the mentors. Mentors attend Mentor Academies which take place four times throughout the year. They also meet twice a month at Mentor Forums where they are able share their experiences from the field and collectively problem solve while simultaneously building small learning communities.

Q: How are mentors selected for the position?

A: The Regional Director of New Teacher Induction and the UFT Teacher Center Mentor Liaison in each region and District 75 will be setting up selection committees that will be responsible for selecting mentors regionally. Last year, 17% of the applicants were selected for the position.

Q: What is the role of a principal in this new model?

A: A mentoring program can only be successful if it is supported by the building principal. Therefore, the Santa Cruz model encourages mentors to build strong relationships with principals and supervisors in their building. Because the work of mentors is confidential, mentors receive guidance and training to support appropriate communication about their work with teachers. We also encourage principals to help facilitate possible classroom visits to exemplar veteran teachers in the building. The Regional Director of New Teacher Induction is the principal’s direct liaison to the program and to the mentors working in a building. We strongly encourage principals to be in contact with them throughout the summer and academic year.

Q: How will mentors be assigned and matched to schools?

A: Although the process of matching and placement is a complicated and arduous one, we try to match by level and content area wherever possible. Mentors may be assigned to the school that he/she is leaving if the principal, mentor, and regional director consent. The Regional Director of New Teacher Induction work to ensure that the mentors and teachers are matched appropriately.

Q: To whom do mentors report?

A: Mentors report to the Regional Director of New Teacher Induction.

Q: With how many teachers will each mentor work?

A: The ratio of mentor to teacher is 1:17.

Q: How will this initiative be funded?

A: The Division of Human Resources pays for the salaries of the full-time mentors in addition to the training and support that they receive. Principals do not need to spend money from their own school’s budget for this new teacher induction program.

Q: Retirees have traditionally served as mentors in the past, what will be the role of retirees now that the model has changed?

A: This model calls for full-time mentors. In the event that there are gaps and additional needs that cannot be met by full-time mentors, retirees can apply. Retirees will be required to attend all Mentor Academies and Mentor Forums.

Q: How is this mentoring program different?

A: This program will use full-time mentors. The professional development is standardized across the city. It is founded on a formative assessment system that is objective and data based, responsive to teachers’ developmental needs and is guided by professional teaching standards. Mentors use student work and data to focus conversations and reflection with beginning teachers.

Q: What is the difference between the mentor and the coach?

A: Coaches are content focused (literacy and math) and are assigned to a building. Mentors are focused on the early development of teaching strategies and classroom management. They are assigned to specific teachers. Both mentors and coaches share the role of supporting the development of best practice and influencing the culture of a school. Coaches and mentors work in joint collaboration as often as possible. Mentors serve as an additional resource to beginning teachers.

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about the program?

A: You can call the Regional Director of New Teacher Induction (see attached for names and contact info). There is also a central office of New Teacher Induction. The Director of New Teacher Induction is Kathy Bocchino and the Program Officer is Nitzan Pelman. Feel free to call us at 718-935-4181.

Supporting new teachers: are induction programs worth the cost?(ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION)(Report)


District Administration


September 1, 2007


Maciejewski, Jennifer

ALTHOUGH MANY FIRST- AND second-year teachers will put on a brave face for their colleagues and administrators, a glimpse of professional woes can be found by browsing beginning teachers' online message boards.

"I had so little support," says one first-year teacher on's Beginning Teachers chat board. Despite repeated requests for a lesson demonstration to help her understand the district's complex reading program, the professional development reading coach did not come into her classroom until nearly a month after she failed her first formal reading evaluation. "By January, I was burnt out and stopped handing back homework, stopped asking for any help and stopped caring."

"This was my first job, and I was not receiving any support at all," echoes another first-year teacher, whose contract has not been renewed for the 2007-2008 school year, on the Beginning Teachers chat board. "I struggled with the curriculum. Now that it's starting to make sense, I'm not getting the chance to prove that I can do the job."

Chances are, your district has heard similar complaints during exit interviews for years.

The Need for Induction Programs

When faced with the traditional sink-or-swim induction program, nearly 30 percent of new teachers will sink, leaving the profession within the first three years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those who swim often follow a similar pattern of development: "Your first year will be rough," asserts one third-year teacher on the Beginning Teachers chat board. "The second year will be better. By your third year, you should begin to feel like you can make it. My school has no 'new teacher' program. ... I would like to see more support for new teachers. I think it would make a huge difference."

Education experts agree. Nationwide, teacher induction programs, for the most part, remain "underconceptualized, underfunded and underresourced activities," says Barnett Berry, founder and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality, a research-based advocacy organization. Less than half of the states fund any new teacher induction program, and those that do rarely have all the components necessary for ensuring high quality. "If there's anything that we probably could do and should do to improve the quality of teaching and ensure the stability of the workforce, it is to provide better, more substantive support for our newest teachers," Berry says.

Studies demonstrate the positive effects that strong new teacher induction programs have on attrition rates and student performance. For instance, in Chicago Public Schools, novice elementary school teachers who received strong mentoring were 25 percent more likely to plan to remain in the same school, according to a 2007 report by the Consortium of Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. Likewise, beginning high school teachers who received other supports, such as regularly scheduled collaboration with other teachers, observation of their teaching with feedback, and the principal's support and encouragement, were 50 percent more likely to remain in their schools than their colleagues who received little or no support.

Superintendent Maria Ann De La Vega notes that Ravenswood City School District in Palo Alto, Calif., went from a 75 percent teacher turnover rate to an 87 percent teacher retention rate within three years of beginning its partnership with the New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a national nonprofit organization that works with districts to create new teacher and new principal induction programs. In addition, the district is seeing significant gains in student achievement since the program started: The number of students scoring as "proficient" in algebra has doubled, and the schools have seen 100-point gains on state achievement tests.

Fred Williams, executive director of recruitment and retention at Durham Public Schools in North Carolina, has seen similar results using the New Teacher Center model. After the program's first year of implementation, there was a 38 percent decrease in beginning teacher turnover. Also, when the district compared the performance of students taught by veteran teachers with beginning teachers in the program, the results revealed some new teachers demonstrating greater student achievement gains than their more experienced colleagues.

Likewise, after Oakland Unified School District in California introduced its state-funded Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) induction program in 2004, its retention rate rose from 50 to 75 percent. But Lisa Spielman, BTSA induction coordinator, cautions that induction programs are only part of the equation. If there's a lack of student discipline resources available at the school level, then both beginning and experienced teachers alike will feel stressed and burned out.

Analyzing the Costs

For a new teacher induction program to be effective, Ellen Moir, executive director of the New Teacher Center, believes it needs several key components: extensive mentor training and support; contextualized, classroom-based mentoring, including using a formative assessment system to monitor the beginning teacher's growth and development without threatening his or her job security; opportunities for beginning teachers to observe experienced teachers teaching; a chance for beginning teachers to network with each other, share their experiences and develop problem-solving strategies; and professional development for new teachers that includes having a mentor available who can translate the theory into classroom practice.

Although funding an effective program is not cheap, Moir believes that such programs virtually pay for themselves in the first five years. Using actual data for a medium-sized California school district, the New Teacher Center conducted a five-year cost-benefit analysis of the induction program. As expected, the district faced significant upfront costs to support its 119 new teachers over the first year. The project cost $6,606 per teacher: the district paid $2,300, the state supplied $3,665 as part of the BTSA program, and the beginning and mentor teachers and principals contributed the equivalent of $640 in total in personal time to participate in after-school meetings.


Lori Cochran Susan Reese


A Successful Induction into the Teaching Profession


Techniques (Association for Career and Technical Education) 82 no6 25-7 S 2007


    The teacher most likely to leave the profession is the new teacher according to much of the latest research. A recent report on research into teacher recruitment and retention by the Education Commision of the States (ECS) notes that teacher attrition is most severe among teachers who have been in the classroom for only four to five years. Other statistics reported by ECS that are of interest to career and technical education (CTE) teachers attrition is greater among middle school and high school teachers than among elementary school teachers, but retention rates of alternative-route teachers are comparable to--or may even exceed--those of teachers who entered the profession through traditional preparation programs.

    There is some evidence to suggest, how ever, that teacher induction and mentoring programs can play a role in keeping new teachers in the profession by assisting them in navigating what can sometimes be the rough waters of their first years of teaching.

Helping New Teachers in Missouri

    The Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE) has established teacher support systems intended to help new teachers succeed. These include the New Teacher Institute (NTI) and a two-year induction program that includes mentoring for the new teacher. NTI has been in existence for more than 40 years and is designed to be a sort of teacher boot camp. It helps mostly individuals who are coming to the teaching profession from business and industry--and do not have a BS degree in teacher education--to become better prepared to teach in the classroom.

    As a yearlong comprehensive professional development program, NTI has three main goals: to develop the pedagogical skills of new CTE teachers; to identify resources to support new CTE teachers; and to establish a support network for new CTE teachers. While most of those attending NTI will be teaching health occupations or trade and industrial education, the rest may be teachers in any other CTE area. The purpose of NTI is to teach them to be better teachers--no matter what their content area.

Support Through Mentoring
    The newer element of the Missouri induction program is the mentoring aspect. It was added when the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) awarded a grant in 2003 to the University of Central Missouri (UCM) to establish MCCE. The center is located within the College of Education, Department of Career and Technology Education at UCM in Warrensburg.
    The Missouri Career Education Mentoring Program pairs experienced teachers with new teachers. The mentor and protיgי work together throughout the school year. While NTI puts new teachers from various areas of CTE together, the mentoring program pairs those in the same content areas. Their are also content expects for the different fields of CTE. For example, Lori Cochran, the director of NTI, also serves as one of the trade and industrial content experts. The content experts facilitate delivery of the program and the content, and oversee the mentors and new teachers to make sure they are successfully completing the structured experiences. The content experts also serve as liaisons between DESE and the mentoring team.

    The first-year experiences focus on program standards for student achievement. A list of sample experience is provided, but the mentor and protיgי may also design their own. The mentoring team creates an action plan for the year, and the plan may be revised during the year to reflect the new teacher's progress and growth, but the changes must be shared with the content expert. A checklist is made at the first meeting of the mentoring team to help establish structure. A planning calendar is also provided to the mentoring team to help them keep track of their target dates and work to be completed during the year.

    An on-site visit may be made during the school year, with a report completed by the person making the visit. In the spring, an online evaluation form is sent, to all participants, and this form is completed and submitted to MCCE.
    The second year of the program focuses more on improving instruction, enhancing professionalism, and refining activities begun in the first year. The second year also includes independent experiences that relate to the new teacher's content area program standards.

Helping Ease the Burden
    For teachers coming to the classroom from industry, the first few years can be an overwhelming experience. Missouri is one of the states that has made the teaching certification requirements much more rigorous. Changes made two years ago mean these teachers may have to take six college courses during their first three years of teaching. Rather than making a mentoring program seem like just one more thing to add to their workload, MCCE tries to integrate it with their college courses in the hopes that the support and guidance the new teachers receive will make it easier for them and not add to their burden.
    While MCCE provides the materials and the support staff, the true success of the mentoring program depends upon the relationship between the new teacher and the mentor. There must, be open, continuous two-way communication between the pair, and they must both be completely invested in the success of the new teacher. The mentor provides the advice, information and emotional support, but the new teacher must play an active role in ensuring his or her own growth and future success in the classroom.

    While teaching may be a new career and a whole new experience for these business and industry transplants, many of them have been a source of amazement for the MCCE staff. When the experienced educators see a new teacher with a natural ability for teaching and a dedication to the success of the students, they know they must do everything they can to keep that teacher in the classroom. NTI and the Career Education Mentoring Program are two of the ways they are working to do just that.


    Lori Cochran is the director of the New Teacher Institute of the Missouri Center for Career Education. She can be contacted at
    Susan Reese, is a Techniques contributing writer. She can be contacted at

Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, Issue #60, March 11, 2007. © by CJEAP and the author(s).


Darling-Hammond, Linda


Teaching as a Profession: Lessons in Teacher Preparation and Professional Development


Phi Delta Kappan 87 no3 237-40 N 2005


    In the global era, teachers must have the preparation and skills to teach students to the highest standards. U.S. efforts to improve teacher education have resulted in some excellent opportunities for educators to learn and refine their craft, but, as Ms. Darling-Hammond indicates, systemic reform has proved elusive. She suggests looking to our international counterparts for guidance.

    AROUND THE world, the importance of education to individual and societal success has increased at a breathtaking pace as a new knowledge-based economy has emerged. As a consequence, most countries have been engaged in intensive reforms of their education systems, and many have focused especially on improving teacher education, recognizing that preparing accomplished teachers who can effectively teach a wide array of learners to high standards is essential to economic and political survival.

    In the U.S., a growing consensus about the importance of teachers has led to reforms of teacher education, the development of professional teaching standards, and the No Child Left Behind requirement that schools employ only "highly qualified teachers."
    Among the resulting innovations are teacher education models that allow more extensive study of specific disciplines, along with more intensive clinical training in schools. Some new models are one-or two-year graduate programs that serve recent graduates or mid-career recruits. Others are five-year programs that begin during the undergraduate years. Because the graduate year in these models allows students to focus exclusively on the task of preparing to teach, such programs make possible yearlong school-based internships that are tightly integrated with coursework on teaching.(FN1) Many of these programs have joined with school districts to create professional development schools, which -- like teaching hospitals in medicine -- provide sites for state-of-the-art practice as well as for training novices, offering professional development to veteran teachers, and conducting research. And research has shown that many of these schools have improved teaching practice and student achievement, while building professional knowledge.(FN2)

    Many states have strengthened licensing standards in an effort to ensure that teachers are able to teach learners from different backgrounds and with various levels of preparation to meet challenging new content standards. And the standards and portfolio assessments of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards have stimulated interest worldwide, as other countries are seeking to develop similar systems for supporting the in-depth study of teaching and for offering the recognition of excellence.

    At the same time, however, some political forces oppose the professionalization of teaching and argue for reducing the "barriers to entry" posed by standards for preparation.(FN3) As budget crises have caused many poor districts to lower standards in order to fill teacher vacancies, teachers access to knowledge -and students access to well-qualified teachers -has become more unequal than ever before. While a growing number of teachers are prepared in rigorous new programs, others enter the profession through alternatives that provide few courses and no student teaching. At least 50,000 individuals enter teaching each year without training, and most of them are assigned to teach the nation's most vulnerable students in the highest-need schools.(FN4)
    Finally, professional development in most districts still consists primarily of one-shot workshops, rather than more effective problem-based learning that is built in to teachers ongoing work with their colleagues. As a result, many U.S. teachers enter the profession with inadequate preparation and then have few opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills over the course of their careers.

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