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3 Key Areas to Monitor in Your New Teacher Induction Program

Keeping teachers in our schools remains at the top of everyone’s mind. To do that, effective induction programs require a robust monitoring system. Many leaders obtain feedback from professional learning, but we need to do more. By identifying benchmarks and collecting data regularly, we gain insights into how a program is functioning and impacting participants. This begs the question, how are you gathering and monitoring the information?
Our journey towards keeping a pulse on the progress begins with understanding three key categories:
1. Monitor Efficacy: Focuses on assessing whether your program is achieving its intended goals of new teachers’ and mentors’ beliefs of feeling supported.
2. Monitor Students: Shifts the focus to the students, examining student perception of learning and engagement.
3. Monitor Retainment: Assesses retainment of teachers through numbers and feedback.
There are many options to keep in mind. As you continue this journey, always include new teachers, mentors, and students. Let’s explore some practical ideas for each category.

Monitoring Efficacy

A missing component in many induction programs is building collective efficacy with mentees and mentors. It is vital to promote a collective mindset through the mentoring partnership to increase our mentee’s confidence and their effective use of instructional practices (Brueggeman, 2022). Here’s how to monitor efficacy:
● Belief Surveys Comparison: Comparing pre- and post-belief surveys allows us to gauge shifts in attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge relevant to teaching. Compare the growth of a statement’s rating at the beginning and end of the year or try an open-ended reflection of the belief statements and prompt teachers to share how they have grown.
● Support Options: Tracking the utilization of support options sheds light on which resources are most beneficial and identifies areas where additional support is needed. Ask new teachers or gather details through notes from mentoring partnership meetings. Take into consideration directional supports – emotional, physical, communication, and instructional support – that can guide reflective conversations (Brueggeman, 2022).
● Mentoring Partnership Feedback: Regular feedback from both mentors and mentees showcases the effectiveness of the mentoring partnership while ensuring a positive experience. Have mentees and mentors share their goals from the school year.

Monitoring Students

A by-product of supporting new teachers is the impact on students. Understanding both student perception and achievement is crucial. Here’s how to monitor student progress:
● Sustainability or Growth of Student Achievement: Tracking academic performance allows us to assess whether student learning is sustained, and skill development is occurring. When analyzing beginning teachers’ data, consider whether students are decreasing, maintaining, or growing. Just like with students, if proper supports are in place, then growth will be a result.
● Student Perception Surveys: Gathering student feedback through student surveys provides insight into their learning mindset. “It becomes imperative to understand how to build positive social relationships that signal to the brain a sense of physical, psychological, and social safety so that learning is possible” (Hammond, 2015).
● Student Behavior and Engagement: Monitoring changes in student behavior and engagement levels helps gauge students’ overall investment in their learning journey. Collect specific class data to monitor growth. Also, elicit support from school counselors or behavior interventionists.

Monitoring Retainment

Measuring program retention and understanding why participants leave provides opportunities for improvement. Here’s how to monitor retention:
● Retainment Rates: Tracking the percentage of participants who stay in your school or district helps assess its overall effectiveness and appeal. Look back at the last couple of school years and collect the number of teachers leaving versus the number of teachers staying.
● Exit Interviews: Conducting exit interviews with some teachers before they are officially gone sheds light on their reasons for leaving and offers ideas for induction improvement. These can be done in person, virtually, or through anonymous reflections.
● Feedback from Returning Teachers: Gathering feedback from any teacher who remains shows a program’s long-term value. Compare new teachers’ responses to those of differing ranges of experience. Specifically, ask returning new teachers about their induction experience.
Whether your journey continues with embedding one of these ideas or reorganizing your current system, you are on the pathway to enhancing your induction program. Remember, monitoring is an ongoing process. Regularly analyze information, identify areas for improvement, and refine your monitoring process to ensure your program thrives and has a lasting impact.
References:
Brueggeman, A. (2022). Student-centered mentoring: Keeping students at the heart of new teachers’ learning. Corwin.
Hammond, Z. (2015). Culturally responsive teaching and the brain: Promoting authentic engagement and rigor among culturally and linguistically diverse students. Corwin.
Written by

Amanda Brueggeman, Ed.D. is an education consultant who began her career in 2004 as a classroom teacher before she became a literacy coach. She is certified as a Student-Centered Coaching Practitioner Consultant and holds her Doctorate in Teacher Leadership from Maryville University, where she is also an adjunct professor. Amanda is the author of the book, Student-Centered Mentoring: Keeping Students at the Heart of New Teachers’ Learning (2022). Her passions include literacy, collective efficacy, and supporting new teachers and mentors. Amanda resides outside of Wentzville, Missouri, with her husband, Jay.

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