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Tool: Giving direct and indirect assistance to beginning teachers

Principals can support the instructional development of beginning teachers in both direct and indirect ways. Direct support can include classroom observations, discussing curriculum and instruction, analyzing student work samples and reflecting on videotaped practice. Indirect support can include selecting and assigning mentors and mentor teams, arranging time for new teachers to meet with mentors and grade-level or subjectarea colleagues and facilitating professional development opportunities.

Purpose of this tool: This tool is designed to help principals assess the direct and indirect ways in which they support new teachers’ instructional practices.

How to use this tool: For each beginning teacher at your school, please answer each of the following questions.

 

Indirect instructional assistance

Yes/No

1. Does the new teacher have an assigned mentor (or mentor team) that is highly knowledgeable about their curriculum and has other key qualifications?

If no, identify strategies for matching the new teacher with one or more colleagues who are knowledgeable about their curriculum and has other key qualifications.
2. Does the new teacher have regular time each week to meet with their mentor (or mentor team member)?

If no, identify strategies for arranging regular meeting times for the new teacher to meet with their mentor.

3. Does the new teacher have regular time each week to meet with their grade-level or content area team?

If no, identify strategies for arranging regular meeting times for the new teacher to meet with their team.

4. Does the new teacher have regular opportunities to meet with other new teachers?

If no, identify strategies for arranging regular meeting times for the new teacher to meet with other new teachers:

5. Does the new teacher have regular opportunities to observe other teachers?

If no, identify strategies for arranging times for the new teacher to observe other teachers.

6. Does the new teacher have regular opportunities with colleagues to analyze student work in relation to content standards?

If no, identify strategies for arranging times for the new teacher to observe other teachers.

 

Direct Instructional Assistance
Yes/No
1. Do you have strong knowledge of the curriculum and subject matter being taught by the new teacher? If no, go to 8.
2. Do you have experience analyzing student work in the new teacher’s content area? If no, go to 8.
3. Do you have experience reflecting on videotaped practice in the new teacher’s content area? If no, go to 8.
4. Have you observed the new teacher and offered constructive feedback?  
5. Have you talked with the new teacher about the required formal observation process?  
6. Have you asked the new teacher about their professional goals and/or their progress towards those goals?  
7. Have you introduced the new teacher to other members of the staff?  
8. Consider having another administrator or teacher (grade team leader, department head, mentor, etc.) work with you to provide direct instructional assistance to the beginning teacher.