Induction of Beginning Educators
Induction Resources for: School Districts
Induction programs offer many benefits to educators as well as to the school districts that offer these programs. Beginning teachers commonly report that participating in their district's induction program improves their ability to deal with the challenges of first year teaching, and enables them to perform at a higher professional level. For veteran educators who carry out mentoring duties, these programs provide them with leadership opportunities that acknowledge their expertise and that allow them to refine their own practice. By combining these cohorts of new and experienced educators in a collaborative environment, the district is able to create a much-appreciated sense of collegiality and open lines of communication among educators about practice. This can have a positive impact on district culture and can also lead to greater staff satisfaction and retention. Furthermore, a strong district induction program may be used as a recruitment tool as many new educators look for employment within districts that are supportive of their teachers.
With the passage of the 1993 Education Reform Act, districts became required to submit a plan to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that outlines how they support and supervise provisional educators. In response to this statute, public school districts began to develop support programs to address the needs of beginning educators. More recently, the induction of beginning teachers became a topic of interest to districts when the new licensure regulations took effect in October of 2001. These regulations require and set standards for every district to provide an induction program to educators in their first year of practice. Participation in an induction program is required for educators seeking a Professional license. While the regulations have been in effect since October 1, 2001, the Department expects that many districts are still working on developing their programs and that most induction programs will begin with the 2002-2003 school year.
Standards/ Components for District Programs:
District induction programs should include, at a minimum: an orientation program for beginning teachers and all other incoming teachers; assignment of all beginning teachers to a trained mentor within the first two weeks of teaching; assignment of a support team that shall consist of, but not be limited to, the mentor and an administrator qualified to evaluate teachers; and release time for the mentor and beginning teacher to engage in regular classroom observations and other mentoring activities. [603, CMR 7.12 (2)]
Districts are encouraged to offer, at their discretion, other components such as workshops for beginning teachers and mentors.
The Massachusetts Guidelines for Induction Programs were developed in response to the new licensure regulations, as an effort to assist districts in the creation and administration of induction programs. The document includes an interpretation of the induction portion of the licensure regulations, and expands upon the components of induction programs, both for teachers and administrators. The intention of the guidelines is not to prescribe a specific course of action or program design, but to provide a resource to districts as they develop their programs. Districts are encouraged to develop programs that meet the spirit of the statute and the basic standards included in the regulations while taking into account their own district needs and characteristics.
The Induction of New Teachers (USDE)