Our induction program
has proved to be
one of our best investments.
Every district should
absolutely be doing it.
- Kathryn Robbins, Superintendent
Leyden High School District 212
Franklin Park, Illinois
testing, the hottest issues in education today are the shortage
of teachers and new teacher training. Go to www.educationnews.org
each day and you will see this is true. The most effective schools
and districts recognize these critical issues and do something about
them-they induct, more than mentor, their new teachers. Their results
are increased retention of more highly qualified, capable,
competent new teachers. Kathryn Robbins is only one of
many who willingly and proudly shares her districts' induction successes.
This book has been very simple to write yet extremely difficult
to finally produce. Examples of promising new induction
programs appear daily. Thus we have not lacked for material in writing
this book. The problem is that we constantly encounter new examples
of induction programs with exciting improvements and new twists.
Here are just a few examples:
- Clark County Schools of Nevada have a new teacher welcome
center that assists teachers in securing car loans and
finding housing or other needs.
- New Haven Unified Schools of California do most of their recruiting
over the Internet.
- Blue Valley Schools of Kansas won the NEA-AFT Saturn/UAW Partnership
Award for their program, which is a cooperative effort
between the school district, the National Education Association,
and the University of Kansas
- Community Consolidated School District 15 of Illinois has a
four-year induction program that prepares its teachers to apply
for national board certification.
- When tiny Glades County, Florida, with less than 100 teachers,
started a new teacher induction program, they invited the veteran
teachers to attend, and almost all of them came.
- Jack Raines, a high school principal, started an induction
program and saw his referral rate drop from 133
students to 2 after the first grading period.
- CalStateTEACH sends a mentor and college instructor to your
school. House calls?
- North Carolina offers high school seniors a $26,000 college
scholarship to become teachers.
- New Leaders for New Schools aggressively recruits and provides
rigorous hands-on training for extremely talented
people to become urban school principals.
On the other side of the coin, far too many school districts either
are doing nothing for their new teachers or are just giving them
a "buddy" or "mentor." Is this sufficient support?
Hardly! For this reason, it was important to produce this book,
with the intention of helping even more new teachers succeed with
the help of an induction program.
If by chance you are a novice teacher and are reading this book,
use this chapter to discover the exemplary school districts who
truly want you to realize your potential and succeed. Apply for
employment to these districts as they will nurture you, care for
you, and train you.
The North Carolina
Plan for Creating Effective Teachers
- Teaching Fellows Program: This program
offers $26,000 four-year college scholarships to 400 graduating
North Carolina high school seniors.
- District induction: The state provides
three days of pay for all new teachers to attend an induction
program before school begins. Stipends for mentors are also
provided for one year.
- Teachers' union: The North Carolina
Education Association sponsors programs for new teachers
and works in concert with school district induction programs
to help new teachers succeed.
- University support: At the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, professors from the university's
education department provide problem solving support to
graduates during their first years on the job. This program,
the Lighthouse Project, fosters on-line discussions that
assist young teachers while keeping education professors
up to date on the realities of today's classrooms.
- Public School Forum: This is a public
organization that helps shepherd the Teaching Fellows Program,
providing summer conferences for the fellows. The Public
School Forum has produced a highly recommended publication
that offers practical, proven suggestions for induction
programs- A Profession in Jeopardy: Why Teachers
Leave and What We Can Do About It.1
- Teacher Academy: Funded by the North
Carolina General Assembly, continuous learning for professional
development is provided on 10 campuses. The curriculum is
organized by teachers, for teachers and administrators.
- National board certification: The state
pays each candidate's $2,000 fee, provides up to three days
of release time for candidates to prepare, and gives a 12
percent annual pay increase to those who achieve certification.
As a result of this commitment, the state now leads the
nation in the number of national board certified teachers.
North Carolina has 2,377 national board certified teachers,
about one fourth of the nation's total.
- The Southeast Center for Teaching Quality:
Housed at the University of North Carolina, the center engages
in research and publications designed to enhance opportunities
for all students to have competent, caring, and qualified
teachers. They are available at www.teacherquality.org and
their publication, Recruiting Teachers for Hard-to-Staff
Schools, is highly recommended.