Coaching for a Successful Rookie Season
By Ellen Moir —
As rookie baseball players take to the field for the first time this season, we can’t help but wonder: When your new teachers first step into the “batter’s box” this fall, will they have the coaching they need to hit the ball, or will they strikeout with students?
School leaders across the country are spending an increasing amount of time and effort to recruit and select teachers to fill vacancies due to the teacher shortage, so now is the time to think about how to actually set those new teachers up for success so they can be effective – and so they remain in the profession.
Let’s talk about how to optimize mentoring and induction programs to prime your newest teachers for their first time at bat with students – to make certain that they are set up for teaching success. To see the greatest results in student learning, teacher effectiveness and teacher retention, it’s important for districts to move toward the use of highly skilled mentors to provide rigorous ongoing support for teachers. These mentors need sufficient sanctioned time to focus on working with new teachers on their development on a weekly basis. This work should be grounded in professional teaching standards and focus on data-driven conversations in addition to collaboration with school administrators and ongoing teacher development.
It is important to choose mentors using a rigorous selection process and strong criteria, and to be sure that mentors selected have the professional learning and support needed to make the switch from teaching children to coaching adults. When designing the program, ensure mentors can work with their mentees beyond the first year to provide ongoing support as the new teachers grow in their careers. Additionally, set expectations that mentors focus their time on providing evidence-based, objective support and guidance in addition to supporting the social and emotional learning needs unique to the first few years of teaching.
We have put together a resource to help administrators learn more about implementing high-quality mentoring and induction programs for new teachers this fall. We hope all new and experienced teachers can look forward to a successful season!
What can you do to make sure your new teachers have a successful rookie season? Let us know your thoughts or reach out to us with any questions you may have.