The room starts to hum at District Council when representatives from districts with similar mentor models meet in small group discussion.
Madison staff, in their first year of a full release mentor program, were excited to hear about the advantages of using a very short second year cycle of observation from Sun Prairie, where a full release mentor program has been in existence for many years.
Waunakee and Belleville have good results assigning mentors to beginning teachers not in the same grade level or subject, but in two different ways. For one, it helps steer clear of content discussions and focus on teaching strategy instead. For the other, it heads off possible conflict about turf issues among coworkers.
New Teacher Induction Network Update
Andrew Briddell of Monona Grove and Aloy Pien of Sun Prairie talked briefly about their experience with the National Teacher Induction Network (NTIN) in November, applying what they’ve learned there to DCNTP goals and their own programs.
Monona Grove is implementing a process called Mentor In-Field Coaching and Supervision, which comes under the Induction Program Standard “Mentor Roles and Responsibilities, Selection, Assignment, and Assessment.” It is very similar to the process a mentor uses to support a beginning teacher’s practice.
Sun Prairie is aligning supports needed for mentors and coaches, noting the similarity of the work, and the need for continued support of teacher growth beyond the five and six year point.
After more small group discussion, representatives from the districts wrote down one area from the Induction Program Standards for the most relevant and attainable growth in their district this school year.