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Tool: Assessing your school's culture and its capacity for induction - Part II

Purpose of this tool: Beginning teachers benefit from and stay teaching at schools that: 1) offer new teachers novice status; 2) provide new teachers curricular guidance and resources; 3) create school-wide conditions that support student learning; and 4) create a supportive professional culture. This tool will help you identify both your school's current capacity to provide these supports and the obstacles you will need to address to create and sustain a strong induction program.

How to use this tool: This tool is intended as a resource for planning a strong induction program in your school. Ideally, it should be completed by a committee of beginning teachers, mentor teachers and administrators working together to plan such a program.


Part I.  Answer the following questions about your school's teachers.  

Faculty Characteristics

  • What is the average number of years teaching in this school?
  • What proportion of our teachers are veteran?
  • What proportion of our teachers are at the beginning of their careers?
  • How many veteran teachers have or currently do serve as official mentors for beginning teachers?
  • What proportion of the veteran teachers does this comprise?


Part II. Circle the best answer.

Does our school have a supportive professional culture?

Teachers share ideas and materials with each other.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Teachers observe each other teach.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Teachers work together to develop and improve the curriculum.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Teachers review student work and analyze student learning together.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Opportunities for teachers to work together are structured into the school day.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Experienced teachers share their expertise through leading in-school workshops and/or in-services.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

The principal visits teachers’ classrooms and provides feedback that facilitates teacher learning.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

The principal’s interactions with teachers focus on improving teaching and learning.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Beginning teachers seek and receive assistance from several experienced teachers.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Beginning teachers work with experienced teachers in study groups and/or professional learning communities focused on improving teaching and learning.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

The principal and experienced teachers view their work with beginning teachers as opportunities to learn.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

The principal and experienced teachers value the knowledge beginning teachers bring to the school.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often


Does our school provide beginning teachers curricular guidance and resources?

Beginning teachers are given comprehensive curricular materials.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Beginning teachers are provided opportunities to work with their colleagues on the curriculum.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often


Does our school offer new teachers novice status?

Beginning teachers are not assigned the most difficult classes and/or students to teach.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Beginning teachers are assigned fewer classes than experienced teachers.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Beginning teachers have only a few different preparations (They teach several sections of the same courses.)

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

The principal helps beginning teachers identify and prioritize their professional learning goals.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often


Are the schoolwide conditions for student learning present in our school?

The school has clear and consistent student discipline policies.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

The school has clear and consistent grading policies.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

The principal and teachers consistently enforce these policies.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

The principal and teachers share and articulate high standards for teaching and learning.

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Teachers in this school take responsibility for their own and each other’s students' learning

Never

Sometimes

Often

Very Often


Part III. Analysis.

The statements in Part II specify the school norms and practices that facilitate strong induction programs. Studying the overall pattern of responses will provide you a sense of the professional culture present at your school. Reviewing the individual items will allow you to identify those elements of an integrated professional culture that are present in your school and upon which you can build a strong induction program.


Part IV. Planning for induction

After you analyze your own and your colleagues’ response to this School Culture and Induction Assessment, list the norms and practices that you can build on to create a strong induction program.

Norms that will support induction:

Practices that will support induction:

Now, identify the norms and practices of your school that may serve as obstacles to a strong induction program.

Norms that may undermine induction:

Practices that may undermine induction:

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