Burlington Community School District Beginning Teacher Mentoring and Induction Program. Students first, staff always

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1 Burlington Community School District Beginning Teacher Mentoring and Induction Program Students first, staff always Revised June 2015

2 The Iowa Mentoring and Induction Program began as part of the Iowa Teacher Quality legislation enacted in Every beginning educator in the first or second year of the profession enters into a two-year induction program that addresses personal and professional needs and trains him or her on Iowa s eight teaching standards. The Burlington Community School District is committed to providing the highest quality support for all beginning teachers. As we work to create students who are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century, we also work to develop staff as 21st century professionals who can challenge and enrich the lives of each of our students. Program Goals The goals of the BCSD Mentoring and Induction program are to: 1. Promote excellence in teaching as described in the Iowa Teaching Standards. 2. Enhance student achievement. 3. Build a supportive environment for beginning educators. 4. Increase the retention of promising beginning educators. 5. Promote the personal and professional well being of beginning educators. 6. Prepare experienced educators to serve as mentors 7. Provide a high-quality program that meets the needs of beginning educators and mentors. Mentor Standards Standard 1: Mentors Support Beginning Teachers to Demonstrate Leadership - Mentors utilize effective communication skills to establish quality professional and confidential relationships with leadership opportunities. Key elements of the standard include building trusting relationships and coaching, promoting leadership, facilitating communication and collaboration, sharing best practices, imparting ethical standards and advocating for beginning teachers and their students. Standard 2: Mentors Support Beginning Teachers to Establish a Respectful Environment for a Diverse Population of Students - Mentors support beginning teachers to develop strong relationships with all learners, their parents or guardians, and the community through reflective practice on issues of equity and diversity. Key elements of the standard include supporting relationships with students, families, peers and the community, honoring and respecting diversity, creating classroom environments that optimize learning, and reaching students of all learning needs. Standard 3: Mentors Support Beginning Teachers to Know the Content They Teach - Mentors have strong knowledge of the Iowa CORE and assist beginning teachers in the utilization of tools to promote student achievement. Standard 4: Mentors Support Beginning Teachers to Facilitate Learning for Their Students - Mentors support beginning teachers in their understanding and use of student assessment tools to drive student instruction and achievement. Mentors also support beginning teachers in understanding their professional licensure obligations and pursue professional growth. Key elements of the standard include developing and improving instructional and professional practice and understanding and analyzing student assessment data. Standard 5: Mentors Supports Beginning Teachers to Reflect on Their Practice - Mentors continually work on improving their mentoring and observation skills to improve their effectiveness 2

3 with beginning teacher support. Key elements of the standard include allocating and using time with beginning teachers and provide assistance on portfolio expectations, IEP s, report cards, etc. Mentors and beginning teachers use the book A Framework for Understanding the Iowa Teaching Standards and based on the work of Charlotte Danielson to assess and evaluate professional practice. Mentor Training The district will utilize Journey to Excellence: An Iowa Model for Mentors of Beginning Educators to provide training and support for mentors and beginning educators. Mentors will be prepared to guide beginning educators through learning projects designed around each of the Iowa Teaching Standards. Training in Journey to Excellence will be provided by district trainers with support from Great Prairie AEA. To prepare mentors, we are using Mentoring Matters: Learning-focused Conversations and the accompanying Learning-focused Mentoring, A Professional Development Resource Kit. The book and kit address the following modules with emphasis on both awareness and skill development: 1. The Mentor as Growth Agent: Developing Learning Skills: Focused Relationship 2. A Continuum of Learning Focused Interaction: Consulting, Collaborating and Coaching 3. Maximizing Time and Attention by Attending Fully: Offering Support, Creating Challenge and Facilitating Professional Vision 4. Purposeful Paraphrasing: Planning, Problem-Solving and Reflecting Conversations 5. Crafting Mediation and Questions 6. The Planning Conversation Template 7. The Reflecting Conversation Template 8. The Problem-Solving Template Participants will receive an overview to Journey to Excellence including program expectations for the beginning educator, an introduction to A Framework for Understanding the Iowa Teaching Standard and, and a presentation of the Code of Ethics developed by the Board of Educational Examiners. Training will also address modules from Mentoring Matters as well as the beginning educator learning projects. Days may be scheduled prior to the beginning of the new school year. Journey to Excellence training utilizes effective staff development practices and addresses adult professional learning needs that include awareness, demonstration, reflection and coaching. Feedback will be gathered at the conclusion of each session, as well as during monthly mentor meetings to identify mentor stress and needs. Results will allow us to make program adjustments and provide appropriate support. Training days will include at least a half day with the beginning educator and mentor together. Mentor Selection Process Mentors must meet the following requirements: A minimum of three years of successful teaching experience 3

4 A minimum of one year of teaching experience in the Burlington Community School District Complete district application Interview with the Teacher Leadership (TL) selection committee Commit to four additional contract days in addition to regular teaching contract Mentors are to maintain a confidential role and act in a supporting fashion for the beginning educator. Mentors are not evaluators. Mentors will assist the beginner educator in assessing his/her performance. Mentors meet monthly to discuss concerns, problem-solve, and plan for quarterly meetings with mentors and beginning teachers. Mentors are paid $2,000 through the Teacher Leadership Compensation grant. Additionally, mentors will receive $1,000 per year for each beginning educator they mentor. Once selected by the TL committee, mentors sign a contract agreeing to the requirements and are asked to submit a monthly contact log to document the work being done with the beginning educator. Mentors work under the guidance of the District Facilitator. Support for Beginning Teachers The mentor will direct and assist the beginning educator with the following learning projects over two years: Setting goals and defining hopes Classroom management, ITS #6 Planning and Preparation, ITS #3 Instruction, ITS #4 Professional Responsibility, ITS #8 Content Knowledge, ITS #2 Monitoring Student Learning, ITS #5 Student Achievement, ITS #1 Professional Growth, ITS #7 While each Journey to Excellence learning project focuses specifically on an Iowa Teaching Standard, the beginning educator will have the opportunity to shape projects to meet his or her own needs. When needed and desired, learning projects can be completed a second time. The focus of action research on the Iowa Teaching Standards and those of formative performance assessments will help develop the competence of the beginning educator. In addition to the Journey to Excellence curriculum, additional support to beginning educators and their mentors will be provided through quarterly large group sessions covering topics to further develop skills and knowledge. Mentors and Beginning Educators need time to meet, confer, observe, and learn. It is expected that some of this will occur before, after, and during the academic school day. To provide enough time for observation, the equivalent of one day of released time will be provided to each mentor/ beginning educator pair each semester. These times must be approved by the principal. Release time might be used: For the mentor to observe the beginning educator teaching and provide feedback 4

5 For the beginning educator to observe the mentor teaching For the beginning educator to observe successful/effective practice of other teachers For the mentor and beginning educator to engage in learning-focused conversations Supportive Organizational Structure 1. The program structure includes 5% release time for mentors and beginning educators. Mentors and beginning educators are provided with substitutes for release from classrooms to plan, observe other classrooms and have reflective conversations. 2. The structure of the mentoring program supports the demonstration of successful/effective classroom practices. Beginning teachers observe mentors and others teach, collect information as part of the visit, and then reflect on their observations with their mentors. Mentors observe beginning teachers, gather data, and meet with beginning teachers to allow beginning teachers to reflect on their teaching. 3. The program provides time for beginning educators to observe successful/effective teachers practices, and receive feedback. Beginning teachers observe mentors and other teachers, collect information as part of the visit, and then reflect on their observations with their mentors. Mentors observe beginning teachers, gather data and meet with beginning teachers to allow beginning teachers to reflect on their teaching. 4. The program provides mentors time to observe beginning educators classrooms and provide feedback. Mentors regularly meet with beginning teachers to guide them in reflection on teaching. Mentors provide beginning teachers with data and information that allows them to determine their progress and identify future professional development. 5. Recommended feedback provided is based on district-chosen, research-based rubric tools. Each beginning teacher will be provided with a support team that might include: Building Literacy Coach Technology Coach District Math Coach Assigned Mentor Co-Teachers Building Administrators 6. Guidelines for assigning mentors to beginning teachers should consider issues such as: Grade level Content area Building assignment/physical proximity 7. The program structure supports the roles and responsibilities of mentors Provide intensive and meaningful mentor training Structure regular intervals of time to allow mentors to work with beginning teachers 5

6 8. The program allows for the dissolution of the mentor/beginning teacher partnership. Create a cadre or pool of mentors to provide flexibility, if the need for reassignment occurs. Realize that unsuccessful mentoring relationships may be a reflection of the difference in style. Unsuccessful mentoring/beginning teacher relationships may be changed/modified /dissolved at the request of either party at the end of the contract year. Roles and Responsibilities of Mentor Mentors are expected to: Complete the Journey to Excellence mentor training and preparation Guide the beginning educator through Mentor and Induction Learning Projects. A minimum of three observations are required per year. Provide assistance to the beginning educator as needed Meet with the beginning educator regularly through in-person contact, phone calls, s, etc. Attend the four whole group mentor/beginning educator meetings with the new teacher Attend district mentor meetings to fulfill required extra contract days Complete program evaluation and Mentor s Contact Report Forms. Mentor s Contact Report Forms will be turned in to the Special Services Director monthly, September through April. Develop a trusting relationship with the beginning educator and keep beginning educator s concerns and issues confidential. (Except child abuse or other criminal-type of behavior). Inform and help prepare the beginning educator for upcoming events such as open-house, parent-teacher conferences, grade reports, etc. Facilitate observations for beginning educators of other classrooms and engage in pre-observation and post-observation reflective conversations Assist beginning educator in organizing and completing portfolio expectations Refer to Mentor Rubric for specific expectations. Dissolution of Mentor/Beginning Educator Partnership If the mentor/beginning educator partnership is not working, it may be dissolved. If either member asks for the partnership to be dissolved, it will be dissolved with a new mentor and beginning educator assignment at the end of the contract year. However, if another mentor and beginning educator pairing is willing to trade, then the dissolution may occur sooner. District Facilitator Each District or AEA must have a local program facilitator who coordinates the work of mentors with beginning educators. This person coordinates training and preparation of mentors, assists in the selection and assignment of mentors with beginning educators and completes needed reports. The BCSD Mentoring and Induction program is part of the Teacher Leadership program and is coordinated by the District Teacher Leader Coordinator and the Special Services Director. 6

7 Program Evaluation The program evaluation process will evaluate district success in meeting program goals, provide for program revisions, and include a procedure for how information will be shared with stakeholders. Beginning educators and mentors will annually complete the Program Evaluation Rubric. Feedback will be gathered at all trainings, each mentor meeting and each beginning educator session with results analyzed by the District Facilitator and mentor team. Questionnaires and feedback results will be analyzed by the District Facilitator in preparation for training/meetings and to determine program revisions. Using the evaluations, changes will be made as needed. Goal #1: Promote excellence in teachers as described in the Iowa Teaching Standards At the end of the year, beginning educators will be asked to reflect on and respond to four questions about what they learned about themselves, their students, and the process, and what they need to focus on as a result of their professional growth over the first year. Mentors will also be asked about their perceptions and observations of what the beginning educator learned. Goal #2: Enhance student achievement The district and school monitor student learning and achievement data, but may have difficulty linking academic progress directly to the mentoring and induction program. However, samples of formative data used to inform instruction and discussed during learning focused conversations may provide snapshots of student achievement gains within units of study. These samples could provide some insight into the impact of mentoring efforts on student achievement. Goal #3: Build a supporting environment for beginning educators This topic will be addressed in the annual program questionnaire given to mentors and beginning educators. Goal #4: Increase retention of promising beginning educators Retention data will be collected annually with a report showing the retention pattern over time. Participant interviews will provide data about program effectiveness and determine reasons for transfers or resignations. Goal #5: Promote the personal and professional well-being of classroom teachers This topic will be addressed in the annual program questionnaire given to mentors and beginning educators. Goal #6: To prepare experienced educators to serve as mentors This topic will be addressed in the annual program questionnaire given to mentors and beginning educators. Goal #7: To provide a high-quality program that meets the needs of beginning educators and mentors This topic will be addressed in the annual program questionnaire given to mentors and beginning educators. 7

8 Iowa Teaching Standards Standard 1 Demonstrates ability to enhance academic performance and support for implementation of the school district s student achievement goals. a. Provides multiple forms of evidence of student learning and growth to students, families, and staff. b. Implements strategies supporting student, building, and district goals. c. Uses student performance data as a guide for decision making. d. Accepts and demonstrates responsibility for creating a classroom culture that supports the learning of every student. e. Creates an environment of mutual respect, rapport, and fairness. f. Participates in and contributes to a school culture that focuses on improved student learning. g. Communicates with students, families, colleagues, and communities effectively and accurately. Standard 2 Demonstrates competence in content knowledge appropriate to the teaching position. a. Understands and uses key concepts, underlying themes, relationships, and different perspectives related to the content area. b. Uses knowledge of student development to make learning experiences in the content area meaningful and accessible for every student. c. Relates ideas and information within and across content areas. d. Understands and uses instructional strategies that are appropriate to the content area. Standard 3 Demonstrates competence in planning and preparing for instruction. a. Uses student achievement data, local standards, and the district curriculum in planning for instruction. b. Sets and communicates high expectations for social, behavioral, and academic success of all students. c. Uses student s developmental needs, backgrounds, and interests in planning for instruction. d. Selects strategies to engage all students in learning. e. Uses available resources, including technologies, in the development and sequencing of instruction. Standard 4 Uses strategies to deliver instruction that meets the multiple learning needs of students. a. Aligns classroom instruction with local standards and district curriculum. b. Uses research-based instructional strategies that address the full range of cognitive levels. c. Demonstrates flexibility and responsiveness in adjusting instruction to meet student needs. d. Engages students in varied experiences that meet diverse needs and promote social, emotional, and academic growth. e. Connects students prior knowledge, life experiences, and interests in the instructional process. f. Uses available resources, including technologies, in the delivery of instruction. Standard 5 Uses a variety of methods to monitor student learning. 8

9 a. Aligns classroom assessment with instruction. b. Communicates assessment criteria and standards to all students and parents. c. Understands and uses the results of multiple assessments to guide planning and instruction. d. Guides students in goal setting and assessing their own learning. e. Provides substantive, timely, and constructive feedback to students and parents. f. Works with other staff and building and district leadership in analysis of student progress. Standard 6 Demonstrates competence in classroom management. a. Creates a learning community that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement, and self-regulation for every student. b. Establishes, communicates, models, and maintains standards of responsible student behavior. c. Develops and implements classroom procedures and routines that support high expectations for student learning. d. Uses instructional time effectively to maximize student achievement. e. Creates a safe and purposeful learning environment. Standard 7 Engages in professional growth. a. Demonstrates habits and skills of continuous inquiry and learning. b. Works collaboratively to improve professional practice and student learning. c. Applies research, knowledge, and skills from professional development opportunities to improve practice. d. Establishes and implements professional development plans based upon the teacher s needs aligned to the Iowa teaching standards and district/building student achievement goals. e. Provides an analysis of student learning and growth based on teacher created tests and authentic measures as well as any standardized and district-wide tests. Standard 8 Fulfills professional responsibilities established by the school district. a. Adheres to board policies, district procedures, and contractual obligations. b. Demonstrates professional and ethical conduct as defined by state law and district policy. c. Contributes to efforts to achieve district and building goals. d. Demonstrates an understanding of and respect for all learners and staff. e. Collaborates with students, families, colleagues, and communities to enhance student learning. 9

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