Working with teachers’
unions to support induction
Teachers’ unions across the
country have been working with school administrators to support and retain
beginning teachers. Much of this work has focused around creating and
maintaining mentoring programs. While strong induction programs involve
more than just mentoring, information on how these mentoring programs
have been supported in union contracts can help you establish and strengthen
induction programs in your district and school. This tool provides sample
contract language towards that end.
Incorporating mentor programs
into union contracts
Five school districts in Michigan
and two in nearby states have written mentoring programs specifically
into their union contracts. Toledo has received national recognition for
its outstanding program. The relevant sections of the contract language
for these districts are available by clicking on the link. Contracts are
included for the following districts/unions:
Educational Association and Central Administration with support from Building
Administrators of Lake Orion School District. Specific roles are included
for Mentor Program Steering Committee, the Mentor Program Coordinator,
a Central Office person, Building Principals/Directors, mentors, and mentees.
Compensation for mentors is included in the contract.
Township Schools and Grosse Ile Education Association. Specific responsibilities
are delineated for mentors and mentees and a copy of the materials from
Pathwise that both must file out is included. Mentors are compensated
using the same salary scale as coaches or school advisors.
Education Association and Grand Rapids Public Schools. The contract
includes specific language on the selection of mentors and the responsibilities
of the mentee. Grand Rapids’ Mentoring Coordinator, Richard Willobee,
has developed his own training materials for the mentors in the district.
The amount of compensation is included.
of Education and the Owosso Education Association. The contract specifies
the mentor teacher will be trained in the Pathwise process. The selection
of mentors and matching to mentees is included as well as the stipend.
Unit School District 300 and Local Education Association for District
300, Carpentersville, Illinois includes less specific information
about the training of mentors. The union has an active role in designing
the curriculum for the Summer Institute required of all teachers new to
the district. Stipend information is included.
Public Schools and Toledo Federation of Teachers. The Toledo Plan
for Intern Intervention Evaluation was honored as a winner of the Innovation
in American Government Award in 2001, a competition co-sponsored by the
John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Council
for Excellence in Government. The Toledo Plan was started in 1981 and
provides a formula for professional development of beginning teachers
and an evaluation system that detects and screens out those who show little
aptitude for the classroom. This intensive system of evaluation and mentoring
is aimed at beginning teachers but also includes a model for providing
assistance and/or intervention for veteran teachers who are severely deficient
in performance. Intern-intervention is done by peer teachers who are themselves
excellent teachers. A summary of the Toledo Plan can be found at http://www.tft250.org/the_toledo_plan.htm.