Mentor and Induction Programs for New Teachers
We should change the way we bring new teachers into our schools. To realize success in our schools, the proper development of teaching as a profession and achievement of learning students is critical. New educators encounter steady challenges in the starting years of their profession in their classrooms. Beginning educators are less effective when it comes to managing their students as compared to more experienced ones. This, therefore, necessitates the need for new teacher induction programs of high quality to ensure they can manage students effectively to make the education sector more successful as teacher enjoy while giving out their services hence being providing willingly. The difference between mentoring and induction is that induction is a process that is organized by the school district to support, train and retain beginning educators while mentoring is an action of helping the new teacher for his/her survival (Meister & Melnick, 2003). Many research studies have shown that this new teacher induction program increase the growth rate of the profession, provide a positive return, reduce the new teachers’ attrition rate, and it improves the learning process of students.
From an article of mentoring teachers or induction of beginning teachers in Toronto, it is established that the district school board of Toronto developed own programs for their new teachers. The goal of the program was to motivate new teachers and keep them in the teaching profession (Gray & Campbell-Evans, 2002). This act of mentoring can be done at different levels, and it can be job-embedded in school where the new teacher is working. This can take place either as a group or individual mentoring. This aims at assisting the beginning teachers to develop internal capacity for growth and learning. The mentors in this level provide support and required resources collaborating through the creation of challenges and encouraging growth and also facilitating professional vision (Christensen, 2013). The other support layer in TDSB is a family of the school where each family has a beginning team of teachers which works together with the beginning teachers’ program coordinator and family of schools to make sure their local requirements are met. These kinds of learning networks allow more sharing of knowledge intentionally and practices among colleagues.
This is more valuable when the school-based mentoring is not providing the support that is needed by beginning teachers. The last layer is central system mentoring which is available for both mentors and beginning teachers through face-to-face and professional learning through online (Meister & Melnick, 2003). This gives support through support online sharing where the beginning educators may share resources, collaborate with other new teachers and communicate with mentors and this seems to be interesting. Through the summer institute, new teachers are encouraged to stay for about three to four days in homes/grades, which are led by those older and experienced teachers. This helps in providing beginning teachers with reasonable ideas, which they can apply while in the classroom. Mentors help the new teachers to develop behaviors and skills such as making use of student work for informing practice. Mentors also assist new teachers to learn ways of analyzing work of a student on assignment, their class performance and achievements on standard tests. These new teachers will use that information to improve instructions and planning of their lessons (Christensen, 2013). Mentors may include various instructional approaches in what they practice. This will help new teachers as observing mentors while in the classroom will motivate them to do a demonstration, provide opportunities to students to practice and include reflection and application activities they also learn how to analyze and reflect on practice. This will help beginning teachers as they need to know when and reasons for using a certain technique or strategy not just how (Gray & Campbell-Evans, 2002). They learn this by observing other teachers practices with the inclusion of their mentors by errors and trials in their classes peer observation and setting feedback from their mentors.
From the article of mentoring the new teachers (South Educational Development Laboratory), the program of new teacher induction help in changing beginning teachers and also acculturate them to particular school and district setting that they will be working. It will also facilitate career enhancement by providing a way for leadership, be publically recognized and reward for skilled teachers who serves in their schools as professional developers, mentors, and contributors instructional improvement and to the curriculum.
Encouraging new teachers is a crucial strategy as it improves the retention of teachers and increases the professionalism in the teaching. Quality induction and mentoring programs provide new educators with feedback that is consistent, and they gain support from their trained mentors (Gray & Campbell-Evans, 2002). This program also inculcates new teachers into the culture of the profession in schools. If these programs are effectively implemented, they can assist in attracting, supporting and retaining highly effective teachers. Provision of high-quality programs of mentoring for new educators’ leads to decreased teachers’ turnover as it correlates with retention of new teachers. Also, it can increase new teachers’ effectiveness and hence achievements of the students. The recommendations that schools should include in their future induction and mentoring programs are; developing standards for the performance of the new teachers (Christensen, 2013). New teachers should lead by clear standards of student learning and performance any support staff together with mentors should provide more than just emotional help. Enough time for new teacher –mentor induction should be provided as mentors need enough time weekly basis to work with new teachers by helping them to develop instructional practices (Meister & Melnick, 2003). Selection of mentors should be undergoing through various processes so as for them to show excellence evidence in teaching and strong interpersonal skills. Selection of high-quality mentors is not crucial, but mentors should undergo training to increase their effectiveness in dealing with a new teacher. From the three articles, mentoring and induction program should be encouraged as they increase effectiveness in the education sector to both students and teachers as students can achieve their goals and teachers enjoy the profession they are in. If I were in charge of program creation, I would ensure that these programs are of high quality to mentoring new educators who lead to decreased teachers’ turnover as it correlates with retention of new teachers.
Christensen, E. (2013). Micropolitical staffroom stories: Beginning health and physical education teachers’ experiences of the staffroom. Teaching and Teacher Education, 30, 74-83. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2012.11.001
Gray, J., & Campbell-Evans, G. (2002). Beginning teachers as teacher-researchers. AJTE, 27(1). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2002v27n1.4
Meister, D., & Melnick, S. (2003). National new teacher study: beginning teachers’ concerns. Action in Teacher Education, 24(4), 87-94. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/ 01626620.2003.10463283