Message From Chair

Teachers matter.  We know intuitively–and through research–that a powerful, passionate, and effective teacher is the most important in-school factor in student learning.  And we also know that teaching is rocket science; that working with a variety of children is a highly complex mix of pedagogy, content, and relational expertise.  Great teachers are not born, they are made.  To gain the skills necessary to teach well, all educators need guided support and the space and opportunity to reflect and apply their new learning, resulting in a consistent and positive cycle of professional growth.

Mentors matter.  Those newest to teaching require greater support owing to a sharper learning curve than their veteran colleagues.   Beginning teachers experience rapid growth when teamed with carefully selected veteran teachers, and they are far more likely to remain in the profession.  Mentors undergo comprehensive training in the processes, tools, and protocols of instructional mentoring, so that beginning teachers thrive rather than simply survive their first years.  Highly trained mentors provide beginning teachers with a supportive and rigorous learning environment that is bounded by trust and confidentiality.  In such a relationship, we find dramatic acceleration in the teaching capacity of our newest colleagues.  A powerful induction program that is spearheaded by passionate and knowlegeable mentors leads to stronger teachers who get better, faster, for kids.

Induction matters.  We know that you’ll find the services and supportive learning environment of the Dane County New Teacher Project useful in supporting your beginning teachers.  When our newest colleagues are supported, students learn more.  When beginning teachers succeed, it enriches the experienced teachers who work with them.  Mentors, other teachers,  and principals who routinely talk with new colleagues find their own professional practices enhanced, resulting in strenghened teaching and learning across grade levels, content teams, schools, and districts.

We look forward to working with you and sharing more about our services, consortium membership,  and our on-going and strong relationship with the New Teacher Center, the leading voice for induction in our nation.

Join us–together we will build better induction programs, and ensure that our newest colleagues get better, faster for all children.

Tom Howe