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«Induction Programs That Keep New Teachers Teaching and Improving Harry K. Wong This article features schools and school districts with successful ...»

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• Only with a structured, sustained, multiyear induction program will a professional culture be created in which teachers thrive and grow throughout their careers, a critical element in reducing the exceedingly high rate of teacher attrition, resulting in quality teaching in all classrooms.

Charlotte Neill, assistant superintendent of personnel and director of the Carlsbad, New Mexico, New Teacher Induction Program, noted, We teach our teachers how to teach the required benchmarks and standards, manage the classroom environment, set appropriate procedures, and maximize instructional time. We are a very cohesive district and we want new staff to feel wanted, valued, and respected by the way we support them through the induction process. We want them to be comfortable to take the risks of trying new things and learning from their peers and their coaches.

In the 2001–2002 school year, Carlsbad hired 30 new teachers and lost only 1. The teachers are not only learning in the induction program, they are staying in Carlsbad.

NASSP Bulletin s Vol. 88 No. 638 March 2004 Kathryn Robbins, superintendent of the Leyden High Schools District 212, Franklin Park, IL, who directs the district’s induction program, says, “Our induction program has proved to be one of our best investments.

Every district should absolutely be doing it.” All the teachers attend Leyden University, an in-house, lifelong learning community. This program capitalizes on the fact that successful teachers stay in districts where administrators are visible, academic leaders.

Three-time winner of the National School of Excellence award, the Homewood-Flossmoor High School District, Flossmoor, IL, calls their sustained professional development plan Homewood-Flossmoor University, their euphemism for all the components that make up a lifelong, collaborative learning academy. Using the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory’s professional development plan, Professional Development: Learning From the Best (Hassel, 1999), administrators determine their professional

development needs with the following formula:

What are our student – What are our actual = What are our performances? learning gaps? student educational goals?

What staff skills are – What are our actual = Our professional needed to close staff skills? development needs student gaps?

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School District uses this model to formulate a clear plan of what kind of instructional practice they want to promote, from which they design a structure with a clear plan for improvement (Martin, 2003). They determine which leadership and instructional skills are needed to improve and then engage in sustained and continuous progress toward a performance goal over time. The Homewood-Flossmoor New Teacher Induction Program immediately transmits and acculturates the newly hired teachers into the educational goals, mission, and beliefs of the district (Wong, 2003c). The Homewood-Flossmoor new teacher retention rate has improved dramatically with the advent of an induction program.

They have improved from a loss of 64% of those hired in 1999 (many went to teach in other districts) to a zero net loss of those hired in 2002.

Thus, to acculturate new teachers into a school, the school or district

needs to ask:

• Is there a clear plan that includes a professional development needs assessment process?

• Is there a clear plan that includes professional development goals and the long-term plans of the school and district?

54 NASSP Bulletin s Vol. 88 No. 638 March 2004

• Is there a clear plan that includes professional development to build teacher skills that will result in student achievement?

• Does the professional development program build on the induction program?

Effective districts connect their teachers’ professional development to district goals and student needs. These goals and needs are formulated from collected data, and implemented to engage in practice that results in sustained and continuous progress for both teachers and students. These districts have a coherent and organized set of strategies and have a vision that guides instructional improvement. It is basic: students learn what they are taught; so, students will learn more if they are taught well. Thus, how well teachers are prepared to be effective in the classroom determines student achievement.

Belonging, a basic human need, translates into keeping skilled teachers when sustained, structured, intensive training programs are in place that prepare new teachers and renew veteran teachers for the rigor of the classroom. Induction programs provide that connection because they are structured around a learning community where new and veteran teachers are treated with respect and their contributions are valued.

Successful teachers, especially in hard-to-staff schools, must have strong leaders. Good teachers do not choose to remain at schools where principals perform poorly. Effective leadership means involving teachers in key instructional decisions and providing opportunities for teachers to learn from each other. Good teachers know that they must have colleagues who have similar standards and expectations. Accomplished teachers are more likely to choose to work in schools when there will be a “critical mass” of like-minded colleagues who share their commitment to student achievement and where the principal is the key to establishing this commitment to teacher improvement and student achievement. The bottom line is good teachers make the difference. Trained teachers are effective teachers. Districts that provide structured, sustained training for their teachers achieve what every school district seeks to achieve—improving student learning.





References Allington, R. (2003). The six ts of effective elementary literacy instruction.

Retrieved from www.readingrockets.org/article.php?ID=413.

Breaux, A., & Wong, H. (2003). New teacher induction: How to train, support, and retain new teachers. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications.

Britton, E., Paine, L., Pimm, D., & Raizen, S. (Eds.). (2003). Comprehensive teacher induction: Systems for early career learning. State: Kluwer Academic Publishers and WestEd.

NASSP Bulletin s Vol. 88 No. 638 March 2004 Cross, C. T., & Rigden, D. W. (2002, April). Improving teacher quality [Electronic version]. American School Board Journal, 189(4), 24–27.

Darling-Hammond, L., & Sykes, G. (2003). Wanted: A national teacher supply policy for education: The right way to meet the “highly qualified teacher” challenge. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11(33). Retrieved from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v11n33/ Darling-Hammond, L., & Youngs, P. (2002). Defining “highly qualified teachers”: What does scientifically-based research actually tell us?

Educational Researcher, 31(9), 13–25.

DePaul, A. (2000). Survival guide for new teachers: How new teachers can work effectively with veteran teachers, parents, principals, and teacher educators. Jessup, MD: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.

Drummond, S. (2002, April 18). What will it take to hold onto the next generation of teachers? Harvard Graduate School of Education News. Retrieved from www.gse.harvard.edu/news/features/ngt04182002.html Elmore, R. (2002, January/February). The limits of “change.” Harvard Education Letter. Retrieved from www.edletter.org/past/issues/2002-jf/ limitsofchange.shtml

Feiman-Nemser, S. (1996). Teacher mentoring: A critical review. Washington, DC:

ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED397060)

Fullan, M. (2001). The new meaning of educational change (3rd ed.). New York:

Teachers College Press.

Fullan, M. (2003). Change forces with a vengeance. London: Routledge Falmer.

Garet, M., Porter, A., Desmoine, L., Birman, B., & Kwang, S. K. (2001). What makes professional development effective? American Educational Research Journal, 38(4), 915–946.

Greenwald, R., Hedges, L., & Laine, R. (1996). The effect of school resources on student achievement. Review of Educational Research, 66(3), 361–396.

Hanushek, E. A., Kain, J. F., & Rivkin, S. G. (2001). Why public schools lose teachers (NBER Working Paper No. 8599). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Hare, D., & Heap, J. (2001). Effective teacher recruitment and retention strategies in the Midwest. Naperville, IL: North Central Regional Laboratory. Retrieved June 26, 2002, from www.ncrel.org/policy/pubs/html/strategy/ index.html Hassel, E. (1999). Professional development: Learning from the best. Naperville, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.

56 NASSP Bulletin s Vol. 88 No. 638 March 2004 Hiebert, H., Gallimore, R., & Stigler, J. (2002). A knowledge base for the teaching profession: What would it look like and how can we get one?

Educational Researcher, 31(5), 3–15.

Johnson, S., & Birkeland, S. (2003). Pursuing a sense of success: New teachers explain their career decisions. American Educational Research Journal, 40(3), 581–617.

Johnson, S. M., & Kardos, S. M. (2002). Keeping new teachers in mind.

Educational Leadership, 59(6), 13–16.

Kardos, S. (2003, April). Integrated professional culture: Exploring new teachers’ experiences in 4 states. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Lehman, P. (2003, November 26). Ten steps to school reform at bargain prices. Education Week, 23(13), 36, 28.

Liu, E. (2003, April). New teachers’ experiences of hiring: Preliminary findings from a 4-state study. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

Martin, S. (2003, March). From the ground up: Building your own university. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, San Francisco, CA.

North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission. (1995). Keeping talented teachers. Raleigh, NC: Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Palombo, M. (2003). A network that puts the net to work. Journal of Staff Development, 24(1), 24–28.

Rothman, R. (2002/2003). Transforming high schools into small learning communities. Challenge Journal, 6(2), 1–8.

Sanders, W. (1996). Cumulative and residual effects of teachers on future student academic achievement. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee ValueAdded Research & Assessment Center.

Saphier, J., Freedman, S., & Aschheim, B. (2001). Beyond mentoring: How to nurture, support, and retain new teachers. Newton, MA: Teachers21.

Schlager, M., Fusco, J., Koch, M., Crawford, V., & Phillips, M. (2003, July).

Designing equity and diversity into online strategies to support new teachers.

Paper presented at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), Seattle, WA.

Serpell, Z., & Bozeman, L. (1999). Beginning teacher induction: A report of beginning teacher effectiveness and retention. Washington, DC: National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching.

Wong, H. (2001, August 8). Mentoring can’t do it all. Education Week, 20(43), pp. 46, 50.

NASSP Bulletin s Vol. 88 No. 638 March 2004 Wong, H. (2002a). Induction: The best form of professional development.

Educational Leadership, 59(6), 52–55.

Wong, H. (2002b). Play for keeps. Principal Leadership, 3(1), 55–58.

Wong, H. (2003a). Collaborating with colleagues to improve student learning. ENC Focus, 11(6), 9.

Wong, H. (2003b, October). Induction: How to train, support, and retain new teachers. Paper presented at the conference of the National Staff Development Council.

Wong, H. (2003c). Induction programs that keep working. In M. Scherer (Ed.), Keeping good teachers (pp. 42–49). Alexandria, VA: Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Wong, H., & Asquith, C. (2002). Supporting new teachers. American School Board Journal, 189(12), p. 22.

Youngs, P. (2003). State and district policies related to mentoring and new teacher induction in Connecticut. New York: National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.

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