Supporting New Teachers in the Classroom to Ensure Positive Impact on Student Learning
"Teaching involves such a complex set of skills that lessons are almost never perfect. The key to being an accomplished teacher is acquiring the skill to continually improve one’s practice; an important vehicle for this is reflection and conversation."
- Charlotte Danielson
Northshore’s New Teacher Induction Program
In Northshore, we recognize that teaching is one of the most complex and demanding jobs there is. A robust induction program that starts from the moment a new teacher is hired and supports them through their first years in the profession means new teachers not only survive their first years in the classroom, they thrive! Our Induction Program is supported by a generous grant from OSPI’s Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST), and is based on the Washington State Standards for Beginning Educator Induction.
We are dedicated to partnering with first- and second-year novice teachers so that they succeed. To that end, Northshore’s Induction Mentors:
- EMPOWER - We build novice teachers’ confidence so they feel comfortable speaking out about their needs and interests, and so they feel as though they have a voice in their professional journey.
- ENCOURAGE - We encourage novice teachers to examine their practice so that they are able to notice what they are doing well, as well as where they can grow and learn. Our first priority is to help new teachers feel encouragement so that they believe they can do the work.
- VALIDATE - We recognize the reality of a new teacher’s experience and help them understand that feelings they have from day to day and month to month are normal. Validating a novice professional’s experience is an important part of recognizing problems and opportunities, and leading new teachers to think about solutions.
Support for Novice Teachers
Novice teachers are welcomed to Northshore right away through a welcome email. They are matched with an Induction Mentor who works with them over the course of their first two years in the profession. New teachers are provided with multiple opportunities for professional learning that is designed to help them navigate their first year in the classroom, as well as begin to reflect upon and build their practice. These opportunities include:
- New Professionals Academy August Institute - Novice teachers spend 20 hours over four days in August preparing for their first day, week, and month of school. During this 20-hour instructional orientation to their new assignment, teachers learn about Northshore’s mission, district initiatives, instructional framework, and curriculum.
- New Professionals Academy Monthly Workshops - Each month, novice teachers are released for a morning that includes 1) a focus on building positive behavior interventions and supports for their students; 2) an emphasis on essential concepts for teaching and learning such as clarity of instruction, a challenging learning environment, student intellectual engagement, successful learning by all students, and professionalism; as well as 3) options for self-guided, “just in time” learning.
- 1:1 Mentoring - All novice teachers are matched with an Induction Mentor who works with them individually in a confidential mentor-mentee relationship. Regular meetings with mentors are focused on goal-setting, analyzing student data, planning instruction, and identifying new strategies to try in the classroom. Induction Mentors also engage in non-evaluative observations of new teachers and provide feedback that helps novice professionals consider what’s going well and where they can change their practice to improve student outcomes.
- Classroom Visits - New teachers are provided up to three days of released time for the purpose of visiting master teachers’ classrooms. Visits are conducted in tandem with Induction Mentors and are used as a vehicle for exposing new teachers to different instructional approaches and ideas.
- Book Studies - Teachers in their second year of the profession are invited to participate in book studies that engage participants in an exploration of important ideas that are relevant and immediately applicable to their practice.
- Peer Based Labs - Teachers in their second year of the profession are also invited to participate in Peer Based Labs (PBLs). These learning opportunities span seven sessions (six half day and one full day) where participants observe their peers in the classroom, teaching a lesson. Following the observations, members of the PBLs provide feedback to their colleague using a structured protocol. The purpose of PBLs is to encourage reflection, talk about teaching, and support risk-taking.
BEST Stakeholder Committee
To ensure Northshore’s Induction Program provides the best possible support for novice teachers, a team of Induction Mentors, classroom teachers, principals, and administrators meets four times a year to review the program elements and establish priorities for program improvements and/or revisions. During the 2018-19 school year, the BEST Stakeholder Committee will meet on October 11, December 4, March 7, and June 4.
If you have any questions about Northshore’s New Teacher Induction Program, please contact us today!