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© 2003 Harry K. Wong Publications, Mountain View, CA
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New Teacher Induction: Print Page

More Induction Programs

Principals Need to Be Inducted Too!

I was given a set of keys and told to take over the school. There was no induction program for principals-not even a mentor.

- Name Withheld Upon Request

  • More than half of the nation's 92,000 principals are expected to retire or quit in the next five years.18
  • The average age of principals in the United States is close to 50 and 40 percent of all principals will probably retire within the next decade.
  • Among principals in Iowa who are eligible to retire by 2003, an astounding 93 percent plan to do so.19

This is my first year in a new job. I am a principal of a building and I am the curriculum director of the corporation. I am finding that I am in need of an induction program for myself. I hired two new teachers this year. They need help, yet I am not able to help them as much as I would like because I am trying to figure out my own job. To further complicate the matter, we have a new superintendent. Guess what? He can't help me because he is trying to figure out his new role. The domino effect is endless and unnecessary (to a degree) in my opinion. If we had an induction program, it would solve a lot of problems.

-Doug Ballinger
 Principal and Curriculum Director
 LaFontaine Elementary School, Indiana
New Zealand
Induction Course for Principals

New first time principals are taking part in the first principals' induction course being held in Auckland this year (2002).

Education Minister Trevor Mallard says,

"The principal is the critical factor in the success of a school. From an education standards perspective, if we can help principals do their job better, we will make a huge difference in the quality of education across all our schools. Many experienced principals think back and say, 'If I had known then what I know now, it would have been a lot easier.' I believe that if principals are better prepared, we will have better schools and better learning."

Other aspects of the initiative include these:

  • Laptops for principals (starting with the new principals)
  • A dedicated portal for principals and administrators providing essential information and services
  • A private online network for principals

Trevor Mallard says that the four day residential course is designed to support new principals in understanding their role as educational leaders, clarify how they should monitor school culture, and build strong internal and external relationships.20

North Carolina
Leaders for a New Millennium

All companies have management training classes. Some school districts have seen the light and are now training their own principals to combat a shortage. It's training, not mentoring. If mentoring is the answer to all of education's teacher woes, then who will be the new principal's mentor and what and how will this person mentor when the district does not even have a plan for training administrators?

The National Association of Elementary School Principals estimates that 40 percent of the 93,000 principal positions in the U.S. could be vacant by 2006.21 School systems nationwide have instituted training programs to groom aspiring principals. For example, North Carolina's Wake County reimburses teachers who participate in its Leaders for a New Millennium program for 50 percent of their costs to take required school leadership classes.

Principal Internship Program

Effective principals are not born-they are trained. Though successful classroom experiences and a thorough understanding of curriculum and instruction are vital to becoming an effective administrator, they are not enough. Being an administrator requires certain skills that are not acquired even from the most successful teaching experiences. This premise is the underlying thrust of the Louisiana Principal Internship Program, an induction program for principals. The mandatory program, which is a collaborative effort between the state's Department of Education and Southeastern
Louisiana University's Colleges of Education and Business, provides new principals with two years of ongoing training and support in the areas of leadership and management.

The Louisiana Principal Internship Program is structured to align current state mandates and initiatives, research on leadership development, and the "Standards for School Principals in Louisiana." The major components of the program focus on school improvement processes and school accountability. The goal is to link leadership more closely to productive schools and enhanced student achievement. The program is designed to do this:

Nurture, guide, and develop the leadership skills of beginning school administrators

  • Lead the interns through best practices and research related to student and school improvement
  • Assist in connecting networks and communities of administrators
  • Understand the relationship between leadership and learning
  • Assist administrators in the development of the school's improvement plan
  • Assist new school leaders in the development of a personal administrative portfolio

During the two-year program for new principals and assistant principals, the main component is participation in a yearlong online professional development course powered by Blackboard, a national e Education software platform.22

The Year-1 course is seven modules based on the "Standards for Principals in Louisiana" and the "Interstate School Leaders Licensure Commission's Standards for School Leaders." A professor of Educational Leadership from a different state university facilitates each module. Their function is to monitor the Blackboard assignments and discussion board replies and monitor and provide insight to the participants. In addition, each intern is a member of a team, consisting of other new principals and mentored by a practicing experienced principal. The function of the mentor principal is one of support and encouragement and establishing a virtual network through Blackboard that will be useful long after the internship is over. Each of the modules is designed with guiding questions, readings from texts and web sites, and scenarios common to administrators.

Year-2 modules address issues of the principal as the instructional leader. Through the Louisiana Principal Internship Program, a virtual network has been created for all principals in Louisiana that allows them direct contact with their peers throughout the state. One of the strong points of this program is the number of contact hours between new principals and experienced principals, yet principals are not required to leave their schools as often due to the virtual component. As interns complete the online modules, they also begin preparing a professional portfolio, which is presented at the end of the program. The fact that all modules are based on state and national standards for principals has provided interns with core knowledge of the workings of the principalship and a better understanding of the day-to-day duties expected of them. Interns completing the program have given it a 93 percent excellence rating, citing it as a valuable and high quality professional development activity.

Kirk Guidry
Louisiana Department of Education

Helpful Web Sites Helpful Web Sites23

Induction programs show new teachers that you care about their success. There is a shortage of teachers around the world. Wouldn't you want to provide some type of support to keep that new teacher?

Many organizations are addressing the national teacher supply crisis. The following websites provide information on this crisis:

Education Resource Information Clearinghouse (ERIC)

National Association for Alternative Certification (NAAC)

National Center for Alternative Teacher Certification Information (NCATCI)

National Center for Education Information (NCEI)

National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)

Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. (RNT)

Teach for America (TFA)

Troops to Teachers (TTT)


New Leaders for New Schools New

New Leaders for New Schools (NLNS) is a national nonprofit organization devoted to improving education for all children by attracting and preparing the next generation of outstanding leaders for urban public schools. NLNS aggressively recruits and provides rigorous hands-on training (including course work and a yearlong internship with an exceptional mentor principal) for extremely talented people to become urban school principals.

NLNS has three central goals:

  1. To recruit and develop talented, dedicated individuals who will become successful principals in urban public schools and who will provide a strong commitment to the success of each graduate.
  2. To create a pathway for principal recruitment, preparation, and ongoing support that will serve as a model for school districts, universities, and nonprofit organizations.
  3. To provide school districts and charter schools with the effective school leaders they urgently need, to accomplish the mission of educating all students at high levels.

The components of the induction process include the following:

  • Recruitment: NLNS rigorously screens and selects extremely talented individuals with diverse, proven skills and successes to become New Leaders Fellows. Each fellow receives a fully funded fellowship and living stipend to participate in the program.
  • Training: Drawing on the best practices from the country's finest education andbusiness schools, NLNS training begins with intensive preparatory summer course work in the foundations of leadership. These courses are taught and developed by leading practitioners and academics. Fellows then use these skills during a yearlong residency, under the guidance of an experienced mentor principal, during which they participate in the daily leadership responsibilities of a school.
  • Support: NLNS graduates receive intensive support and professional development for two years after graduation. Graduates become lifelong members of an active support network of peers, mentors, academics, and other educational and business leaders.

NLNS ( is devoted to making the American dream possible for every child. It is dedicated to providing leaders with the necessary skills to create and lead schools that will prepare all students for the challenges of the future.

New Leaders for New Schools
18 West Twenty-Seventh Street, Suite 7C
New York, NY 10001