Recommendation Four:  Ensure that principals and other school personnel are effectively supporting teachers and responding to primary concerns that prohibit teachers from improving student learning. Teacher support should be accessible, proactive, and collaborative in nature.


Role Group Strategies

Identify and support promising models for comprehensive induction and mentoring programs that serve beginning teachers.

Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Center
California Department of Education
The state of California has created a comprehensive model of teacher induction known as BTSA, Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment.  This website provides a general description of the model (BTSA Basics) that includes contact information and details programs that are offered statewide and approved by the state Department of Education.

District Profile:  A Commitment to Craft, Rochester (N.Y.) City School District Career in Teaching Program
Scarpa, S. (n.d.)  District Administration Magazine.
The Rochester City School District established a Career in Teaching Program over 16 years ago with the support of the Rochester Teachers’ Association.  This comprehensive overview of the program explains the mentoring and peer review components of the program, as well as the levels that have been created within the teaching profession in Rochester.  This resource is valuable for district-level administrators or policymakers interested in designing a system of support for new and struggling teachers, a method of stratifying the teaching profession, or a system of peer-review and evaluation.

New Teacher Center Formative Assessment System
Santa Cruz New Teacher Project
Widely recognized as one of the foremost providers of structured support for new teachers, the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project is gaining acclaim for addressing the issue of teacher attrition.  One component of the Santa Cruz model is a formative assessment system that “engages a mentor and a beginning teacher in an on-going cycle of inquiry.”  This system consists of several components including student case studies, individualized learning plans, self-assessment summaries and student work analysis.  Originally designed for use in California, the Formative Assessment System is now available for use outside of the state as well.  This website introduces the program and provides contacts for districts or states interested in more information.

A Better Beginning:  Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive
NEA New Teacher Support Initiative.  (2002).
In an effort to stem the teacher turnover tide, the National Education Association has created this comprehensive guide to effective new teacher mentoring programs.  This site begins by outlining the rationale behind mentoring and support programs for new teachers.  It details the characteristics of effective mentoring programs and provides several real-world examples of successful programs.  The site also contains a “toolkit” that includes sample surveys, contracts and program outlines for schools and districts interested in creating or improving mentoring and support programs for new teachers.


Watch Over Me
Kersten, Denise. (2006). Teacher Magazine
This article discusses the importance of quality mentoring in stemming new teacher attrition. The author distinguishes between informal and under-supported mentoring programs that provide “buddy” relationships at best and intensive mentoring experiences that include collaborative planning, teaching demonstrations, and networking. She highlights the work of a full-time mentor and a mentee in Virginia and emphasizes the role that funding plays in making such a program successful.

Education Topics:  Mentoring
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Mentoring new teachers can be a formalized experience provided by a district or it can be an informal partnership between two teachers within a building.  Regardless of the nature of the relationship, the support provided to new teachers is critical to reducing the teacher turnover rates that plague many schools.  This webpage introduces the topic of mentoring and provides access to print, video, and audio resources related to the topic.  Also included are answers to popular questions about mentoring from experts and practitioners.

From Preparation to Practice:  Designing a Continuum to Strengthen and Sustain Teaching
Fieman-Nemser, S.  (2001, December). Teachers College Record, 103(6).
This report from Michigan State University attempts to answer three questions related to new teacher mentoring and support:  What are the central tasks of teacher preparation, new teacher induction and early professional development?; How well do conventional arrangements address these central tasks?; and What are some promising programs and practices at each stage in the learning to teach continuum that promote standards-based teaching and enable teachers to become active participants in school reform?

Keeping Teachers
Lurie, K.  (2004, May 27). ScienCentral News.

This article from provides an overview of the importance of mentoring to new teachers and shares the story of Jamie Devall and Vicky Condalary, a mentor-protégé team from Louisiana.  A short video featuring the two teachers accompanies the article.

Supporting Beginning Teachers: 
How Administrators, Teachers and Policymakers can Help New Teachers Succeed

Brewster, C. and Railsback, J.  (2001, May). Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
This tool gives a detailed overview of the issue of new teacher support.  It outlines the benefits of new teacher support, the implementation of formal support programs, and special concerns for rural schools and offers suggestions for veteran teachers and administrators interested in supporting new teachers Also included are considerations for policymakers and descriptions of statewide mentoring programs in several Northwestern states.

Identify and support promising models for career-long professional development that is classroom-based, focused on student learning, and collaborative in nature.

Test Your Professional Development IQ
The National Staff Development Council. (2003, August/September)
This quiz, created by the National Staff Development Council, allows school leaders and community members to evaluate their understanding of quality professional development and to reflect on the nature of effective learning experiences for teachers.  Along with the correct answers to each quiz question, the website includes references for further reading and suggestions for various situations in which the quiz can spur productive discussion.

Preparing Teachers for the New Mainstream:  In-service Preparation and Professional Development
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. (2001, September 6). Educate America: A Call for Equity in School Reform.
This article outlines the importance of professional development that is connected to school improvement goals and objectives.  It covers the following four areas:  The Why and How of Funding, School Control over Staff Development Resources, Building Capacity to Support Innovation and Research and Development in Support of Professional Development.

Participate in community conversations about the importance of comprehensive teacher induction programs and meaningful professional development that increases a teacher’s knowledge and skills.

Making the Connection: A Guide to Involving Policymakers in a Community Dialogue on Education
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
Engaging policymakers in dialogue on education is a practical action step that communities can take to influence school reform.  This resource provides step by step instructions on engaging policymakers in dialogue on education issues.  The authors provide a description of different roles for participants, advice on how to make the most of participation both during and after the dialogue, and a recruiting planner to assist in inviting policymakers to the discussion.

Calling the Role:  Study Circles for Better Schools
Pan, D.T. and Mutchler, S.E. (2000). 
The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL)
Engaging policymakers in conversations with community members related to school issues is critical for communities interested in school reform.  Many have advocated for the implementation of community study circles as a strategy for engagement.  This policy research report discusses the potential of the study circles method to enhance communication between policymakers and the community.  The authors describe SEDL's implementation of the study circles model in their "Calling the Role" program, review literature pertaining to deliberative dialogues, and discuss policymakers' perceptions of the process.

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