It takes a whole school and district to assist a new teacher. Here’s what the New Teacher Alliance has learned with regard to helping a new teacher and the significance of administrators’ roles in their support:
- Relationships matter – for the mentors and mentees, for the system coordinators and district personnel, for principals and for all aspects of induction. It is crucial for districts to find sponsors in the district for the induction program in order to ensure that the systems in place continue.
- More than one support person makes a substantial difference – new teachers commented overwhelmingly about the multiple levels of support and the significance this makes to their learning. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes whole district involvement to raise a new teacher.
- Training must be ongoing – mentors need continual practice and training, while new teachers need more than one introduction to curriculum and strategies.
- Administrative capacity at the school and district levels – principals need training on how to best support new teachers. Principals and district office personnel must own responsibility for new teacher induction, ensuring that new teachers receive appropriate assistance and assignments and become integrated into the professional culture. They also must check that all of the elements of the program are in place and coordinated.
- Collective responsibility – sustained, coordinated support for new teachers is the responsibility of principals, central office administrators, mentors, instructional coaches and other teachers in the school. Without several people being involved in and responsible for how to best support new teachers, induction becomes the project of one or two people, which does note create sustainability. Many people need to be involved to ensure multilevel and multilayered support.