Descriptions of strong induction
Purpose of this resource: This resource provides descriptions of strong induction programs to assist
you in planning induction in your district and/or school. These descriptions identify the various components of strong induction
programs that districts across the country have developed.
How to use this resource: As you read
the descriptions think about what components will build on current strengths
and which components would help you address current needs. As you read
the descriptions, keep in mind the answers you and your colleagues provided
to the guiding questions in Questions to ask.
for Inducting, Retaining and Supporting Teachers)
Lafourche Parish Public
The Lafourche schools created its
induction program in 1996 to stem an annual teacher attrition rate of
51%. Over the last two years, the average attrition rate was only 7%.
As a result of this dramatic decrease in attrition rates, and the positive
response from both beginning and experienced teachers, the district’s
program became the model for Louisiana’s induction program and policies.
Parish Public School System has 15 elementary schools, 9 middle schools
and 3 high schools that enroll a total of 15,092 students and employ 1,322 teachers. The free and reduced lunch rate for the district is 63%.
Seventy-two percent of the students are white; 22% are African-American;
3.5% are Native American. Hispanic and Asian-Pacific Islander students
make up the remaining 2% of the students.
- Four-day introductory
summer session. Beginning teachers attend this summer institute
before the start of the school year. The institute provides information on district policies and procedures. Expert teachers
put on workshops on topics such as classroom management,
curriculum standards, critical thinking and assessment. On the fourth
day, beginning teachers meet their mentors who will
work with them for two years, as well as their principals, school board
members and supervisory staff. The beginning teachers get certificates,
while their mentors share their own stories of their first years of
teaching. Beginning teachers also visit classrooms of master
teachers who explain how they set up their classrooms and demonstrate
- Monthly meetings.
Beginning teachers meet to exchange ideas, present and discuss problems
and challenges and share successes.
- Curriculum facilitators
are available to observe beginning teachers, provide more training and
make suggestions for improvement.
- Mentoring occurs at the school
- First-year “Induction Review.”
Beginning teachers meet to discuss effective teaching practices, lesson
design and student discipline. The session is capped off by a slide
show that features photographs of the beginning teachers at work.
- Four formal meetings.
Beginning teachers meet for four sessions. These sessions focus on classroom
management, effective teaching practices, authentic assessment and high-stakes testing. Beginning teachers also read and discuss case studies
of teaching and learning, read about the phases of teacher learning
and development, and share their concerns and classroom experiences.
- Mentoring continues
at the school site.
- Curriculum facilitators
remain available for close-to-the-classroom work with beginning teachers.
- Four formal meetings.
Beginning teachers attend four sessions that ask them to examine
case studies of effective teaching and “tough situations.”
They also construct third-year inventories and study effective teaching
York School District
Since implementing their
induction program, the teacher attrition rate in Islip has improved significantly.
In 2001-2002, the third year of the induction program, the district lost
only 3 teachers out of the 68 it hired. Further, student achievement has
improved significantly since the program has been in effect. Though no
empirical study documents the causal relationship between the induction
program and the improvement in student learning outcomes, district officials,
principals and teachers believe that the induction program has been a
key factor in improved student outcomes.
orientation. This orientation occurs before the school year. Beginning
teachers are provided introductions; a community tour; team-building
activities; meetings with principals, union representatives, administrators
and service staff; and information about policies and procedures.
groups. Beginning teachers meet monthly in small groups with a district
coordinator to focus on the Effective Teacher video series.
circles. Beginning teachers meet together, without the
district coordinator, in between formal support groups to continue their
collaborative study group activities.
- Mentoring. Beginning teachers are assigned a mentor teacher for three years.
orientation. Before the start of the school year, beginning
teachers attend a district orientation during which they are introduced
to a Cooperative Discipline program.
groups. Beginning teachers meet monthly in small groups with
the district coordinator to focus on the Cooperative Discipline program. Team-building
activities are also included.
continues at the school site.
- A one-day
orientation is held at district offices to review the Cooperative Discipline
groups. Beginning teachers meet monthly in small groups to
focus on topics identified
through various needs assessments.
continues at the school site.
- Celebration. At the end of the three years, the district hosts a celebration for
teachers, their mentors and district support providers.
Beginning Educator Support System (TxBESS).
TxBESS uses a standards-based
approach that defines expectations for beginning teachers and a support
team that helps beginning teachers collect data to assess their skills.
In 2000-01, of the 2,059 beginning teachers who participated in the entire
two-year program, 98% remained in teaching. The program costs approximately
$2,500 per teacher, compared to over $5,000 that an in-state analysis
indicated it cost to replace a teacher. A well-designed, empirical study
of the program indicates that the program has significantly increased
teacher retention rates (Ingersoll & Kralik, 2003).
Districts in Texas have
the flexibility to design the induction program to meet their specific
needs. The only requirements are that they should last for two years
and include the following components:
- The Teacher
Activity Profile (TAP). Texas educators developed the TAP based
on Charlotte Danielson’s work. It identifies 22 performance standards
that are divided into four clusters. A developmental continuum
describes a range of typical beginning teacher practices on each standard,
that move from “developing” to “competent” to
“proficient.” The TAP is the centerpiece of conversations
and collaboration between beginning teachers and their mentors. Together,
the pair uses the TAP to co-plan lessons, collect classroom data, conduct
observations and conference together. After the beginning teacher goes through
all four of the clusters, the teacher works with his or her mentor to
develop an action plan for professional growth. The plan can include
revisiting some of the TAP clusters, participating in a book study group,
taking a course or attending a workshop.
- Staff development
specifically for beginning teachers. The TxBESS provides beginning
teachers with orientations and academies that typically take place before
the first day of school and last from one to five days. These programs
include topics such as classroom management, working with special education
students, building relationships with parents and understanding students’
diverse needs. Some programs provide on-going learning opportunities
through mailings and on-line discussions.
- Each beginning teacher gets a support
comprised of mentor teachers, principals and teacher educators who
are trained to help them. Team members are selected
using well-defined criteria. TxBESS staff provide team members with
professional development that focuses on beginning teacher development;
understanding the purposes and uses of the TAP; and strategies for supporting,
coaching and building relationships with beginning teachers. Mentor
teachers’ own development continues through book studies, Internet
chat groups and cluster group meetings with other mentors.