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Feeding Our Young: Helping New Teachers Grow Through Induction and Mentoring
Unformatted Document Text:  AbstractAACTE Annual Conference Dr. James L. DrexlerCovenant College Numerous authors (Johnson, Brock and Grady, Doerger, Wong, Hacker, Millinger, Reinhartz, Ingersoll, Hare and Heep, Zachary, etc.) have written, and the sobering attrition statistics provide the proof, that first year teachers are often set up for failure when their school does not provide a comprehensive induction and orientation followed by 1-3 year period of mentoring by a master teacher. At the same time, we know from experience and research that effective teachers are successful teachers, and successful teachers stay in the profession. Even though new teachers can be trained well on the undergraduate level, it usually takes 1-3 years before that new teacher reaches the possibility of becoming effective and successful. It is in the best interest of the schools, therefore, to provide induction and mentoring programs for their new teachers. This paper presentation will briefly review the literature on induction and mentoring in order to highlight the needs of new teachers, the benefits that come through induction and mentoring, and how the best induction and mentoring programs work. The presentation will also touch on the realities of the first year teacher, the components of successful induction and mentoring programs, the principles of adult education (andragogy) as they relate to working with new teachers, and the important role of the educational leader in implementing these important programs. Finally, implications for educational administration training programs will be discussed. As the review of the literature will demonstrate, each year thousands of teachers leave the profession and many of those leave within the first 1-3 years of teaching. Many discontented teachers who quit the profession could be better prepared for the rigors of school work through an effective program of induction and mentoring. As this paper will show, teacher induction is more than just a set of interventions but a real and practical set of structural conditions that will acclimate and acculturate the new teaching profession into his/her school. Too often, new teachers are, in the words of one author, “hazed” in their new profession though multiple preparations, difficult class assignments, large class sizes, co-curricular assignments, preparation of new courses, and more. This subject is particularly relevant to school administrators and leaders as they are faced with growing demands to find highly qualified teachers for their schools and districts. With a growing number of teachers reaching retirement age, many other newer teachers quitting after 1-3 years of teaching, school leaders must not only find qualified professionals, but they will need to do all that they can to insure these new teachers become successful and effective teachers in the classroom. The critical first steps for this to happen are induction (which must begin with the interviewing and hiring process) and lengthy mentoring programs with experienced master teachers.

Authors: Drexler, James.
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Abstract
AACTE Annual Conference
Dr. James L. Drexler
Covenant College
Numerous authors (Johnson, Brock and Grady, Doerger, Wong, Hacker,
Millinger, Reinhartz, Ingersoll, Hare and Heep, Zachary, etc.) have written, and
the sobering attrition statistics provide the proof, that first year teachers are often
set up for failure when their school does not provide a comprehensive induction
and orientation followed by 1-3 year period of mentoring by a master teacher. At
the same time, we know from experience and research that effective teachers are
successful teachers, and successful teachers stay in the profession. Even though
new teachers can be trained well on the undergraduate level, it usually takes 1-3
years before that new teacher reaches the possibility of becoming effective and
successful. It is in the best interest of the schools, therefore, to provide induction
and mentoring programs for their new teachers.
This paper presentation will briefly review the literature on induction and
mentoring in order to highlight the needs of new teachers, the benefits that come
through induction and mentoring, and how the best induction and mentoring
programs work. The presentation will also touch on the realities of the first year
teacher, the components of successful induction and mentoring programs, the
principles of adult education (andragogy) as they relate to working with new
teachers, and the important role of the educational leader in implementing these
important programs. Finally, implications for educational administration
training programs will be discussed.
As the review of the literature will demonstrate, each year thousands of teachers
leave the profession and many of those leave within the first 1-3 years of teaching.
Many discontented teachers who quit the profession could be better prepared for
the rigors of school work through an effective program of induction and
mentoring. As this paper will show, teacher induction is more than just a set of
interventions but a real and practical set of structural conditions that will
acclimate and acculturate the new teaching profession into his/her school. Too
often, new teachers are, in the words of one author, “hazed” in their new
profession though multiple preparations, difficult class assignments, large class
sizes, co-curricular assignments, preparation of new courses, and more.
This subject is particularly relevant to school administrators and leaders as they
are faced with growing demands to find highly qualified teachers for their schools
and districts. With a growing number of teachers reaching retirement age, many
other newer teachers quitting after 1-3 years of teaching, school leaders must not
only find qualified professionals, but they will need to do all that they can to
insure these new teachers become successful and effective teachers in the
classroom. The critical first steps for this to happen are induction (which must
begin with the interviewing and hiring process) and lengthy mentoring programs
with experienced master teachers.


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