The four-day training is brought to a close with a discussion
of professionalism, professional dress, making a good impression,
and the importance of calling parents with positive news.
The seminar ends with an emotional a "pep talk"
and video presentation of Dr. Wongs I choose to CARE.
"It just really makes you proud of who you are and
what career youve chosen," Ms. Lozen says.
Teachers completing the four-day program are awarded a certificate,
a mug, and a "teacher start-up kit" in a tote
bag filled with bulletin board borders, letters, a chalk
holder, notepads with an apple design, and posters onto
which classroom procedures may be written.
Follow-ups to the induction week take the form of "special
topic seminars" on the fourth Tuesday of each month
(except December). Such topics as the home-and-school connection,
preparing teachers for conference days, how staffing for
the following year is done, and cooperative learning are
"The content depends on the group," Ms. Lozen
explains. "Its about laying the general foundation
for meeting the needs of all their students.
"Were kind of a no-excuses district;
the job of the teacher is to help all students succeed.
Our subtle program for the whole year is to take a slice
of the population and address how to help kids with different
needsattention difficulties, the gifted and talented,
One of the key differences between the Port Huron program
and others modeled after Flowing Wells is that new teachers
are appointed a "support teacher," someone who
has volunteered to serve as a support for the new teacher
but has had no formal mentor training.
"We have looked at some of the mentor training pieces,
but think that it would be insulting, patronizing to our
staff to approach the issues from the basics," Ms.
Lozen says. "Support teachers know they need to be
friendly. They know they need to be available. We just walk
through the research about some of the needs of first-year
teachers and what we want support teachers to talk with
new teachers about."
Another unique aspect of the Port Huron program is that
it was developed in conjunction with the Port Huron Education
Association, the area teachers union. According to
Mary Ecker, a member of the executive board of the Port
Huron Education Association, "New teachers are not
the only beneficiaries of induction programs. The involvement
of the education association with the administration positively
impacts, students, colleagues, and administrators. We model
teamwork as a way of achieving mutually desired goals."
Ms. Lozen adds, "Its a good relationship. Mary
and I have become fast friends. We get feedback from a variety
of sources. We tell the new teachers were going to
take their pulse all the time, that we need them to be honest
with us. And the feedback we get has been very positiveespecially
when we talk about procedures and routines.
"We hear, Nobody ever told me about this. I had
no idea. Its just amazing to me that colleges
and universities arent aware of the importance of
procedures and routines."
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