- The New Teacher Center’s (NTC) released 2018 Teacher Induction Program Standards to provide school leaders with a framework for supporting new teachers during their first two to three years in the classroom.
- The standards state that “well-qualified, carefully selected, extensively trained” mentors are just as necessary for a new teacher’s success as an effective teacher is for the success of students.
- Written as a series of statements and questions, the standards emphasize the role of school leaders and asks, for example, “How can school leaders foster high-quality, instructionally focused mentoring at their sites?” and “What structures and protocols can we provide to ensure appropriate opportunities for strategic three-way conversations between the school leader, the beginning teachers, and the mentor?”
Much has been written about the conditions within schools that allow new teachers to be successful or to be discouraged and want to leave the profession. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that the percentage of teachers who leave teaching within the first five years is far less than stated in previous studies — about 17% compared with 50%. Even so, researchers at the Learning Policy Institute note that under-prepared teachers are two to three times more likely to leave the profession than those who have “comprehensive preparation.”
In addition, support programs, such as induction and mentoring, have been found to not only improve teacher retention, but to also improve student performance in math and English language arts. An earlier NTC “practice brief” discussed some of the ways that school administrators can be helpful during the induction process. These include recognizing how new teachers approach events, such as parent conferences and grading cycles, and then providing appropriate support, encouraging them to share their knowledge and expertise, and understanding the role of the mentor.