The purpose of this blog is to share with you the work a group of educators are doing in the area in new teacher support and retention with a partnership between the New Teacher Center, REA president Dan Kuhlman, POSA Heather Willman, POSA Kate Palmquist and numerous educators within RPS.
RPS Teacher Induction Program Mission Statement:
To ensure that all educators entering Rochester Public Schools receive an inclusive high-quality induction that focuses on professionalism, growth, students learning and retention of quality educators.
Over the past year a group of teachers, administrators, and instructional coaches have been working with the New Teacher Center to a learn more about how we can improve our support for first year/beginning teachers. Throughout the process of investigating our current practices we found that while we have a solid plan for supporting classroom teachers, our special area and related services teachers have less access to strong mentoring. This past week our team met for the final time to lay out a vision and mission for how to support area and related services. Our goals and focus are as follows:
For the teachers who are not aware of our current Rochester Public Schools New Educator Induction Plan, we also reviewed those supports below:
After listening to the group concerns and ideas, the team chose to focus on how to better support special area and related services teachers due to the unique needs of this group of educators. One thing that we know we do well in Rochester Public Schools is supporting the classroom teacher with full release coaches. These coaches support our new and veteran teachers in many different ways. However, what we learned is that if you are a traveling art teach for example, you lose the connection between a specific site, so a site coach might not be the best mentor for you. We also discussed how our special area teachers have specific needs as far as understanding a unique grading process, learning how to establish relationships with a larger group of students, parent communication tips and other areas that are different to them.
Much like the special area teachers, our related services educators also have unique needs that they felt may not best be served by their instructional coaches. Knowing that we need to do more to support these important educators and to increase the retention rate, the group strategies a few possible plans on how to support new teachers in these areas with mentors, as well as still receive support from their building instruction coaches. Moving forward, the team will be exploring ways to support new special area teachers and related services teachers and in turn hopefully increasing their retention rate. If you are interested in learning more about this great work, reach out to Kate Palmquist in the Elementary C&I Office!
This post brought to you by Kate Palmquist, POSA overseeing Elementary Curriculum and Instructional Coaching
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