There is a better way to begin teaching...
FREE web-based tools to help beginning teachers,
mentor teachers and principals thrive.
December 2006
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Beginning teachers have a challenging road ahead of them. Principals and mentor teachers play important roles in beginning teacher success. The FREE web- based tools available from ASSIST can help make these first years of teaching richly rewarding for new teachers, mentor teachers and principals.

No matter what your role, you won't have to reinvent the wheel Over 1000 tools and resources for teaching successfully (and happily) and for implementing induction and mentoring programs are right here, based on research and tested by teachers and principals across Michigan.

Get started right now by checking out this issue and signing up to receive the ASSIST newsletter by email about every three weeks. Just click on join, type in your name and email address, your title and select the categories that interest you (or check all).

Strategies for creating a supportive environment for at risk students
For Beginning Teachers

Some students do more than just put themselves at risk - they can put your entire classroom off balance. Here are 14 strategies for engaging your entire classroom. From establishing expectations to getting student buy-in on them, you'll learn ways you can keep students focused on learning from the time they walk into your classroom, to the time they leave.

Refining and teaching routines to promote learning
For Beginning Teachers

Routines make life predictable for students. In their harried and often unpredictable world, classroom routines provide stability and balance which enhances learning. Learn three key areas of routine for your classroom and evaluate how you're doing to create and maintain classroom consistency.

Establishing and teaching rules for a classroom learning community
For Beginning Teachers
assessing lessons

The characteristics of your classroom rules matter. There is a crucial distinction between telling kids rules and teaching those rules much as you would teach content, with discussion, examples and practice. How do your rules stack up?

Forming relationships with students
For Beginning Teachers

Acknowledging your students' unique characteristics - while working to understand them as people - is key for establishing a rapport that extends beyond the lessons at hand. How are you building relationships with your students?

Building relationships among students
For Beginning Teachers

Students' relationships with one another in the classroom help set the foundation for working in a team-oriented world. To help you assess and continually evaluate whether you're providing ample, structured opportunity for them to interact, learn to respect, and learn from each other, please check out this ASSIST tool.

What is induction?
For Mentor Teachers and Principals

Induction can make the difference between motivated, happy teachers and a workplace that is rife with morale issues. Learn 6 critical things beginning teachers need to learn - and how both mentors and principals can set up and support an effective induction program.

Components of strong induction programs
For Principals and Mentor Teachers

A strong induction program has both orientation and on-going programs that support, nurture and foster growth of teaching skills and talents. Strong induction programs make a real difference for teacher quality. Learn and model the four key components of strong induction programs.

Characteristics of strong induction programs
For Principals and Mentor Teachers

There are six characteristics of strong induction programs. They are critical to understand since the characteristics build on one another to create a comprehensive induction program that is effective and sustaining. Mentor teachers and principals each have a role in induction. Do you know what yours is?

Mentor Assessment: Are you meeting your goals?
For Mentor Teachers

You should review this mentor assessment three times per year - at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. There are five primary categories for assessing your goals, and targets within each section to help you evaluate your progress. In addition, there is a helpful section on how to find time to mentor and where to find resources for mentoring.

Working Together...
For Principals

Working together is the real nitty-gritty behind induction programs. Each school is a concert of different personalities, roles and responsibilities working together to create a symphony of education. Our overview of the plan for working together, authored by Dorothea Anagnostopoulos will help provide a broad-brushstroke look at induction programs and why they're essential. They may be required, of course, but they should also be desired to create a harmonious school environment.

Michigan state laws regarding mentoring, induction and professional development for new teachers
For Principals
mentor principal 4

There are two sections of the Michigan School Code that mandate components for teacher induction. The two sections are provided verbatim then clarified so you can be sure your induction program complies with the legal requirements.

Michigan's Teacher Induction and Mentoring Standards
For Principals

There are six Michigan Teacher Induction and Mentoring Standards to follow. Each standard is outlined clearly and contains targeted items that are part of the standard. Matching your induction program with these benchmarks will help you see where gaps in your induction or mentoring programs could be filled - and how to fill them.

Assessing your school's culture and its capacity for induction - Part 1
For Principals

What do beginning teachers need and want from their principals? Our guide will help you uncover the core needs your teachers expect from your leadership. The guide is divided into positive actions and their effects, and negative actions and their effects. You can look to the guide to see if you're meeting the positive actions - and if they're eliciting the positive effects you desire, or if you have areas that need improvement. Plus you can look directly to the behaviors your teachers are exhibiting and see clearly whether your support is positive or negative.

Assessing your school's culture and its capacity for induction - Part 2
For Principals
mentor principal 3

Is your school culture ready for induction? Our four-part guide is designed to be used by a team of beginning teachers, mentor teachers and administrators. From this criteria, you can see where your school culture either supports a strong induction program or has areas of weakness that could undermine an induction program. This valuable tool is integral to the induction planning process and provides an annual review of programs as well.

Teachers need assistance, empowerment and vision to help them succeed at all levels. ASSIST brings you those tools, targeted right towards you whether you're a beginning teacher, a mentor teacher or a principal.


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