Supporting new teachers: are induction programs worth the cost?
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 teachers.net'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 according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the National Center for Education Statistics The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), as part of the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), collects, analyzes, and publishes statistics on education and public school district finance information in the United States; conducts studies . 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 Induction (educator)
Induction is the support and guidance provided to novice teachers and school administrators in the early stages of their careers. Induction encompasses orientation to the workplace, socialization, mentoring, and guidance through beginning teacher programs, for the most part, remain "underconceptualized, underfunded un·der·fund
tr.v. un·der·fund·ed, un·der·fund·ing, un·der·funds
To provide insufficient funding for.
underfunded adj → infradotado (económicamente) and underresourced activities," says Barnett Berry, founder and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. 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 Noun 1. attrition rate - the rate of shrinkage in size or number
rate of attrition
rate - a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit; "they traveled at a rate of 55 miles per hour"; "the rate of change was faster than expected"
and student performance. For instance, in Chicago Public Schools Chicago Public Schools, commonly abbreviated as CPS by local residents and politicians, is a school district that controls over 600 public elementary and high schools in Chicago, Illinois. , novice elementary school elementary school: see 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 Chicago School
Group of architects and engineers who in the 1890s exploited the twin developments of structural steel framing and the electrified elevator, paving the way for the ubiquitous modern-day skyscraper. 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 de la Vega is a common surname in the Spanish language meaning "of the plain" and may refer to: People
(arranged by date of birth)
Palo Alto (păl`ō ăl`tō), city (1990 pop. 55,900), Santa Clara co., W Calif.; inc. 1894. Although primarily residential, Palo Alto has aerospace, electronics, and advanced research industries. , 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 The University of California, Santa Cruz, also known as UC Santa Cruz or UCSC, is a public, collegiate university, one of the ten campuses of the University of California. , a national nonprofit organization Nonprofit Organization
An association that is given tax-free status. Donations to a non-profit organization are often tax deductible as well.
Examples of non-profit organizations are charities, hospitals and schools. 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 pro·fi·cient
Having or marked by an advanced degree of competence, as in an art, vocation, profession, or branch of learning.
An expert; an adept. " in algebra algebra, branch of mathematics concerned with operations on sets of numbers or other elements that are often represented by symbols. Algebra is a generalization of arithmetic and gains much of its power from dealing symbolically with elements and operations (such as has doubled, and the schools have seen 100-point gains on state achievement tests.
Fred Williams Frederick Ronald (Fred) Williams is an is an Australian painter and printmaker.
He was born in 1927 in Melbourne, Australia.
He was one of Australia’s most important artists, and one the twentieth century’s major painters of the landscape. , executive director of recruitment and retention at Durham Public Schools in North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. , 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 Oakland Unified School District is a public education school district which operates elementary schools (K-5), middle schools (6-8), and high schools (9-12) in Oakland, California. in California introduced its state-funded Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA BTSA Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment
BTSA Bonus to Selling Agent
BTSA Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment
BTSA Seaman Apprentice, Boiler Technician Striker (USN Rating) ) 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 Ellen Moir is the founder and executive director of The New Teacher Center, based at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Established in 1998, the Center is devoted to the development, induction, and mentoring of beginning teachers. , 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 Formative assessment is a self-reflective process that intends to promote student attainment . Cowie and Bell  define it as the bidirectional process between teacher and student to enhance, recognise and respond to the learning. 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 cost-benefit analysis
In governmental planning and budgeting, the attempt to measure the social benefits of a proposed project in monetary terms and compare them with its costs. 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.
But the investment has paid off. After five years, data from the center shows that the $13,000 price tag of a two-year program yields about $21,500 in benefits to the student, state, district and society, from the district's recruitment and orientation savings to students' achievement gains, generating an $8,500 return on investment per new teacher.
On average, teachers in an induction program have a 2 percent attrition rate, compared to the state average of 4 percent, and only 17 percent of the benefits carne from reducing teacher attrition Attrition
The reduction in staff and employees in a company through normal means, such as retirement and resignation. This is natural in any business and industry.
However, nearly half of the benefits came from increasing teacher effectiveness. Further analysis of the students' test scores showed that first- and second-year teachers in the induction program were as effective as fourth-year teachers who had not previously been in the program. Not only do students benefit by having a more effective teacher, but the district receives the equivalent of a fourth-year teacher while paying a beginning teacher's salary.
New teacher induction programs benefit experienced teachers as well, since mentors must participate in extensive training to learn how to meet the needs of adult learners Adult learner is a term used to describe any person socially accepted as an adult who is in a learning process, whether it is formal education, informal learning, or corporate-sponsored learning. , that is, the new teachers. Instructing and assessing new teachers is very different from teaching 20 first-graders, and teachers with 25 years of classroom experience don't intuitively know how to do it. If the mentors aren't trained, the programs will be far less effective, with the mentors trying to be buddies or simply leaving the new teachers floundering because they don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. how to explain the components of effective teaching.
"They love and are passionate about the position," Williams says. "It has given remarkable teachers the opportunity to do something else--to share some of the insights that they have gained over time, to really engage in very serious and thoughtful professional development, to nurture their own abilities."
Building District Programs
Despite their demonstrated benefits, many districts resist implementing comprehensive new teacher induction programs because it costs too much to fund all of the requisite components. After all, if a district is struggling to pay for enough teachers for every classroom, it will be tough to find an additional $13,000 for a two-year induction program for each new teacher. When it adds the cost of extending the program to the recommended three years and including a modified version for experienced, but new to the district, teachers, the price tag goes from expensive to cost-prohibitive.
To cut costs, some districts build their own teacher induction programs in-house. Columbus Municipal School District The Columbus Municipal School District is a public school district based in Columbus, Mississippi (USA).
In addition to Columbus, the district also serves the children of Columbus Air Force Base military personnel. , a 4,000-student district in Columbus, Miss., developed two years ago its new teacher induction program, Strategic Training for Academic Results (STAR), based on a similar program in Flowing Wells, Ariz. In the program, which is funded with federal and local monies, novice and experienced teachers attend summer and monthly professional development workshops and work with a trained instructional coach who observes their teaching and offers feedback.
Although the district is seeing impressive results, says Melinda Lowe, professional development coordinator, it still shows a high teacher turnover rate due to military-related transfers at the nearby Air Force base. Out of the 62 first- and second-year teachers who participated in the program, six will be leaving.
Instead of military transfers, it's the high cost of living that contributes to teacher turnover in Fairfax County, Va., where many new teachers must work a second job to afford living there. Though reducing attrition remains a core goal of the district's new teacher induction program, Sharon Mullen, director of professional practice and training for Fairfax County Public Schools The Fairfax County Public Schools system (abbreviated FCPS) is a branch of the Fairfax County government which administers public schools in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. , acknowledges that improving the effectiveness of new teachers has assumed a larger role over the last five years: "Our job now is to make teachers better faster because they may not be staying for a long time, but they do have those kids in front of them."
The district's homegrown home·grown
1. Raised or grown at home.
2. Originating in or characteristic of a locality: "Rock is homegrown music in the United States, evolved from blues and country and Tin Pan Alley" teacher induction program, Great Beginnings, now serves as a model program for other Virginia districts. All teachers new to the 165,000-student district participate in the program, with novice elementary teachers staying in the program for three years, beginning high school teachers following a two-year path, and experienced teachers who are new to the district undergoing a year-long induction. To further cut costs, the district uses a renewable federal Title II grant for the mentor resource teacher component of Great Beginnings. After undergoing training to become a mentor, recently retired teachers and those on childcare leave visit the schools weekly to work with novice teachers by observing their teaching or modeling lessons.
While Columbus and Fairfax developed and implemented a program, other districts still struggle with new teacher induction and limited resources. Budget cuts have led to fewer new teacher coaches in the School District of Philadelphia The School District of Philadelphia is a school district based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that includes all public schools in the city of Philadelphia. Established in 1818, it is the eighth largest school district in the nation. .
A former new teacher coach, Suzanne Newman, is known as a "school growth teacher" at the district, working with experienced and beginning teachers, leading professional development courses, analyzing student assessment scores to help teachers drive their instruction and observing classroom teachers.
"When funds need to be cut because administrators or the board think there's too much 'fluff,' it's the people whose job descriptions are not immediately touching the students that get the boot because we look like we're disposable," she says. "It's such a shame, but sometimes it takes too long to see the impact."
Some districts, like Durham, use grants to pay for an established, research-based program, creating self-sustainability. At Durham, whose three-year grant from Duke University and the Duke Endowment ends next year, six staff members are being trained to serve as mentor trainers endorsed in the New Teacher Center model, which allows the district to use in-house staff and the center's materials to create professional development courses.
"The human cost is still there," Williams says. "But we anticipate that there will be fewer and fewer beginning teachers because they will be staying in the profession longer, and thus the need to hire more begins to reduce, and the number of mentors ultimately will be reduced. The ultimate signal of success is that you make yourself obsolete."
Tools for New Teachers, Mentors and Administrators
Are you looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. a professional development program for mentor training? Do you want to point new teachers to an online support community? Do you have a new teacher induction program in place but need additional materials? If so, check out these Web-based resources.
www.sde.ct.gov/sde/taxonomy/ct_taxonomy taxonomy: see classification.
In biology, the classification of organisms into a hierarchy of groupings, from the general to the particular, that reflect evolutionary and usually morphological relationships: kingdom, phylum, class, order, .asp
Resources for beginning teachers, mentors and other school district personnel related to Connecticut's comprehensive induction program for new teachers.
Using a case-based, slice-of-life approach to instruction, districts hire CaseNEX to provide online professional development courses that allow new teachers to work with each other and a trained facilitator to find solutions for realistic problems dealing with assessment strategies, classroom management and curriculum design.
Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention & Advancement (CERRA CERRA Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement (South Carolina, USA) )
A national model for teacher recruitment, CERRA's programs, which are free for South Carolina South Carolina, state of the SE United States. It is bordered by North Carolina (N), the Atlantic Ocean (SE), and Georgia (SW). Facts and Figures
Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15. districts, support new and mentor teachers. A CERRA Web portal See portal. is in the works to facilitate communication between the participants and CERRA's staff.
Part of the U.S. Department of Education, this Web site provides teachers and administrators with free education publications and issue briefs.
Ideas for New Teachers and Education Students
The site offers "how-to" information on lesson planning and writing objectives as well as ideas about management and different instructional methods.
Supporting student, substitute and new teachers, as well as administrators and mentors, this resource links to a plethora plethora /pleth·o·ra/ (pleth´ah-rah)
1. an excess of blood.
2. by extension, a red florid complexion.pletho´ric
1. of related Web sites and features books, Web seminars, staff development in-services, online mentoring and networking message boards.
LEARN North Carolina
A program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public, coeducational, research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. Also known as The University of North Carolina, Carolina, North Carolina, or simply UNC School of Education, this K12 resource includes online professional development courses and ideas, classroom materials and advice for new teachers.
Mentoring in the 21st Century[TM] Resource Kit
This kit provides the tools schools and districts need to design and implement a comprehensive mentoring program.
The New Teacher Center
Home of the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project, the New Teacher Center works with districts across the country to establish effective induction programs for the first two years in practice, using a formative assessment model and providing professional development and support for new and mentor teachers.
A New Teacher Guidebook
This new teacher survival guide offers management and discipline tools, sites to visit and advice on how to organize.
in full Public Broadcasting Service
Private, nonprofit U.S. corporation of public television stations. PBS provides its member stations, which are supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by commercials, with educational, cultural, TeacherLine Peer Connection
Set to launch this month [September], this fee-based service provides instructional coaches with a searchable database Refers to databases on the Web that are searchable by typing in a query. The term is quite redundant because all databases are searchable. In fact, that is one of their major features. of resources, such as videos, articles and online interactives from PBS TeacherLine resources; embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. tutorials designed to help teachers shift from child-centered to adult-focused instruction; and an online discussion board. Although the pilot program set to launch this fall is customized for middle school math teachers and coaches, it will be expanded to include other content areas and grade levels, and it will eventually access the entire library of PBS online resources.
Providing support to teachers of all experience levels, this Web site features podcasts of best practices, K12 lesson and unit plans, ideas for incorporating the latest technologies into the classroom, and links to other online resources.
Using a peer-support model, this site features an extensive library of lesson plans and classroom projects, grade- and subject-specific listservs, and chat rooms for teachers and administrators alike.
With everything from Web-based mentors and professional development courses to streaming videos A one-way video transmission over a data network. It is widely used on the Web as well as company networks to play video clips and video broadcasts. Computers in home networks stream video to digital media hubs connected to a home theater. and podcasts demonstrating best practices, this site is a one-stop shop One-Stop Shop
A company or a location that offers a multitude of services to a client or a customer. The idea is to provide convenient and efficient service and also to create the opportunity for the company to sell more products to clients and customers. for new and experienced teachers alike.
This K12 Web site includes over 12,000 pages of classroom-ready lessen plans and printable print·a·ble
1. Capable of being printed or of producing a print: printable negatives.
2. Fit for publication: printable language. quizzes and worksheets as well as a wide variety of professional development resources that cover topics from survival tips for elementary school teachers to assessment strategies.
Steps for a Successful Teacher Induction Program
* Secure funding by winning grants, creating local bonds or sales taxes sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government. , matching government funds or reallocating district resources. Build in release time for mentors to observe new teachers as well as for new teachers to observe other teachers in their content areas.
* Use formative assessment to monitor the new teachers' growth and development over the course of the school year in addition to formal evaluations.
* Offer targeted professional development sessions for new teachers that cover everything from classroom management to assessment, and make a mentor available to help translate theory into actual classroom practice.
* Differentiate instruction for beginning teachers who are new to the profession and experienced teachers who are new to the district.
* Set regular meetings throughout the year for new teachers to network with each other, share instructional strategies and find solutions to their specific problems.
* Teach the mentors what they need to know to be effective in their new role, from assessing the new teacher's development to serving as ah instructional coach.
Center for Teacher Quality
Columbus Municipal School District
Durham Public Schools
Fairfax County Public Schools
Oakland Unified School District
Ravenswood City School District
School District of Philadelphia
Jennifer Maciejewski is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.