Exemplary Induction Programs
new teachers became more successful and they were all
coming back the following year. This had never happened
until we implemented an induction program.
- Elmo Broussard, Superintendent
Lafourche Parish Public Schools
this can happen in one school district, it can happen in yours and
thousands of others. This is truly not rocket science.
Nor is it a mystery. What is mysterious is that we continue to do
what doesn't work.1
For systematic training and support to occur, the Project on the
Next Generation of Teachers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
says what is needed is sustained School-Based Professional
Development. They state:
The questions and uncertainty that new teachers bring to school
require far more than an orientation meeting, a mentor in the building,
and a written copy of the school's
What new teachers want in their induction is experienced colleagues
who will take their daily dilemmas seriously, watch them teach and
provide feedback, help them develop instructional strategies, model
skilled teaching, and share insights about students' work
Therefore, what new teachers need is sustained, school-based
professional development guided by expert colleagues, responsive
to their teaching, and continuous throughout their early years in
Principals and teacher leaders have the largest roles to
play in fostering such experiences.2
We know that inadequately prepared, poorly supported teachers leave
the profession at staggering rates. The reason is obvious: lack
of training, lack of support, and lack of success. We know that
well prepared, supported teachers remain in teaching and enjoy
rewarding, successful careers, making a positive impact on the lives
of countless children.
There is a need for
instructional training system for beginning teachers
in order to help them become effective professionals.
We know that highly successful schools and school districts
are successful because they TRAIN, SUPPORT, and RETAIN the most
effective teachers. The first and most important step they
take is to provide a structured induction program for their new
The Induction Process
Although induction programs differ because they cater to the unique
cultures and communities they serve, all have some commonalties.
They all teach the following:
- Effective classroom management procedures and routines
- Effective instructional practices
- Sensitivity to and understanding of the school community
- Lifelong learning and professional growth
- Unity and teamwork among the entire learning community
The primary focus of the induction process is on instructing teachers
in techniques that will help them to help their students be successful.
Thus classroom management and instruction take center stage.
The focus is on training and the major role of the trainers is
to immerse new teachers in a district's culture and to unite them
with everyone in the district to form a cohesive, supportive instructional
team. New teachers quickly become a part of the district "family."
A major feature of the induction process is the use of demonstration
classrooms in appropriate grade levels or subject areas. A master
teacher, many times one of the mentor teachers, simulates the way
a classroom should be arranged and managed for the first day of
school. The new teachers invariably sit in awe as they learn firsthand,
from the experts, how to start school successfully.
At the end of the induction week, there is usually an awards ceremony
and a civic function where all the new teachers receive certificates
along with welcome packages from community supporters. Because the
induction process stresses lifelong learning, the best new teacher
induction programs continue for several years.