The demands placed upon a first-year teacher can be daunting. Not only are there adjustments typical to any new job – learning a role, fitting into a work place with colleagues, finding your voice as a professional – but there are also lesson plans to write, a maze of rules and regulations to follow, and dozens of young eyes looking to you for knowledge and guidance.
Thoughtful leaders of the school districts I work with commit extensive time and resources to help new teachers at this pivotal time. New Hire Mentoring programs create a supportive structure for teachers to manage and thrive in their new roles as educators. One client of mine, Dr. Lisa Dana of Danvers Public Schools in Massachusetts, worked with K12 Insight to survey new teachers at the end of 2010-11 to see what worked best about the district’s mentoring program and where there might be room for improvement.
Last year’s project yielded interesting results. While some aspects of the program were praised, others were found wanting. Dr. Dana met with her leadership team last summer to review the results and incorporate teacher feedback into the program for this school year. Now that June is approaching, it’s time to evaluate the 2011-12 program, using last year’s benchmarks. Now it gets really interesting.
The systemic approach administered by K12 Insight is crucial to driving continual improvement in these key programs to help teachers when they need it most.