New teachers benefit from participation in an orientation to the school and district beliefs and practices—before their teaching responsibilities begin and continuing throughout the year.
New Teacher Alliance Examples:
- Cle Elum-Roslyn School District created a two-day orientation with discussions around vision, culture, curriculum alignment and best models of instruction. New teachers and a mentor went on a scavenger hunt to become familiar with the district schools and local businesses, plus they picked up small gifts.
- Toppenish School District extended its one-day orientation to five days, with sessions on tools and tips, data-driven instruction, reading and math curriculum, and time for new teachers to ask their mentors questions. The district also takes new teachers on a wagon ride tour, during which they see murals depicting the town’s history as well as the schools, neighborhoods and community’s resources.
Great Ideas from Around the State:
- During new teacher orientation, consider using mornings for meetings and training and reserving afternoons for new teachers to set up their classrooms and plan with their mentors.
- Create “new teacher welcome baskets” by inviting local businesses to donate items or gift certificates. Some businesses may be willing to provide a special meal or reception for new teachers.
- Take new teachers on a district tour or provide time for them explore their students’ community.
- Have a panel of second-year teachers answer new teachers’ questions.
Resources for Orientation:
- New Teacher Induction: How to Train, Support, and Retain New Teachers. Annette L. Breaux and Harry K. Wong. Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc., 2003.
- Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century. Paula Rutherford. Just ASK Publications, 2002.
- Click here to view our Concept Map.