Magazine article Techniques

A Successful Induction into the Teaching Profession: For the New Career and Technical Education Teacher, a Teacher Induction Program and Peer Mentoring Can Make the First Year a Much More Positive Experience

Magazine article Techniques

A Successful Induction into the Teaching Profession: For the New Career and Technical Education Teacher, a Teacher Induction Program and Peer Mentoring Can Make the First Year a Much More Positive Experience

Article excerpt

The teacher most likely to leave the profession is the new teacher, according to much of the latest research. A recent report on research into teacher recruitment and retention by the Education Commission of the States (ECS) notes that teacher attrition is most severe among teachers who have been in the classroom for only four to five years. Other statistics reported by ECS that are of interest to career and technical education (CTE) teachers: attrition is greater among middle school and high school teachers than among elementary school teachers, but retention rates of alternative-route teachers are comparable to--or may even exceed--those of teachers who entered the profession through traditional preparation programs.

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There is some evidence to suggest, however, that teacher induction and mentoring programs can play a role in keeping new teachers in the profession by assisting them in navigating what can sometimes be the rough waters of their first years of teaching.

Helping New Teachers in Missouri

The Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE) has established teacher support systems intended to help new teachers succeed. These include the New Teacher Institute (NTI) and a two-year induction program that includes mentoring for the new teacher. NTI has been in existence for more than 40 years and is designed to be a sort of teacher boot camp. it helps mostly individuals who are coming to the teaching profession from business and industry--and do not have a BS degree in teacher education--to become better prepared to teach in the classroom.

As a yearlong comprehensive professional development program, NTI has three main goals: to develop the pedagogical skills of new CTE teachers: to identify resources to support new CTE teachers; and to establish a support network for new CTE teachers. While most of those attending NTI will be teaching health occupations or trade and industrial education, the rest may be teachers in any other CTE area. The purpose el NTI is to teach then? to be hotter teachers no matter what their content area.

Support Through Mentoring

The newer element of the Missouri induction program is the reentering aspect. It was added when the Missouri Department o[ Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) awarded a grant in 2003 to the University of Central Missouri (UCM) to establish MCCE. The center is located within the College of Education, Department of Career and Technology Education at UCM in Warrensburg.

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The Missouri Career Education Mentoring Program pairs experienced teachers with new teachers. The mentor and protege. work together throughout the school year. While NTI puts new teachers from various areas of CTE together, the reentering program pairs those in the same content areas. There are also content experts for the different fields of CTE. For example, Lori Cochran, the director of NTI, also serves as one of the trade and industrial content experts. The content experts facilitate delivery of the program and the content, and oversee the mentors and new teachers to make sure they are successfully completing the structured experiences. …

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