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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Induction and Mentoring Programs: The Educational Benefits

Induction and Mentoring Programs: The Educational Benefits

Many go into teaching excited, but many teachers leave their first year of teaching and never return to the classroom. Some schools offer programs to help new teachers become more capable and more comfortable. These programs help educators become accustomed to teaching and provide new teachers with the "guidance and support" they need in order to feel capable enough to continue to teach (Kauchak & Eggen,2005, p 500).

Not all schools, or even states, provide these programs, but the schools that do are benefiting in many ways. . With an increase in population there will constantly be an increase in the need for teachers. Mentoring and induction programs may not seem important, but in order for teachers to remain in their chosen careers and be excellent teachers these programs need to be installed in all schools. These programs are both effective and useful to education; these programs should be supported more than they are, and new and experienced teachers should receive the recognition that they deserve and an opportunity to improve on their abilities.
Induction and mentoring are two types of programs that seem to be beneficial to teachers who are just starting out. "Induction programs are professional experiences for beginning teachers that provide systematic and sustained assistance to ease the transition into teaching" and "mentors are experienced teachers who provide guidance and support for beginning teachers" (Kauchak & Eggen,2005, p. 500). Induction programs help support teachers by helping teachers achieve district and state teaching standards. Mentoring and induction programs help teachers learn how to evaluate their teaching strategies and plan effective lesson plans. Both of these programs provide new and experienced teachers with an opportunity to learn; new teachers learn from mentors, and older teachers learn from programs designed to help teachers mentor effectively. These programs are extremely valuable in supporting the future teachers of our school rooms, and these programs are beneficial to the students because they will receive a better education because of these programs.
Induction programs are more effective than mentoring programs because induction programs also include mentoring. Induction programs provide many types of support for beginning teachers; these programs supply "personal and emotional support", "task- or problem-focused support", and "critical reflection on teaching practices", and all of these things are important factors for a teacher's success (Standsbury & Zimmerman, 2007, ). Mentoring programs are successful as well but do not provide a wide enough range of support. Mentoring programs supply a great amount of emotional support, and help with lesson planning and evaluation, but it can not "create clinical learning environments for beginning teachers" (Kauchak &Eggen, 2005 p. 500). As a new teacher I will actively be involved in mentoring and induction programs. I will try to start my career at a school that provides these programs, and I will take full advantage of whatever induction and mentoring programs I can. As a more experienced teacher I will definitely apply myself as a mentor, and help to develop induction programs at the school I choose to work in. Induction programs are excellent methods of helping new teachers teach to the fullest of their ability, and mentoring programs are an important factor of induction programs that should be supported as well.
One of the main problems with induction and mentoring programs are that they still have not received enough support. "Recent studies have found that 30 or more states have some form of mandated mentoring program. Merely requiring this mentoring, however, does not assure that programs are comprehensive and effective, or that funding is secure"; this is a sad state of affairs for education and students alike ("Teacher induction programs: trends and opportunities," 2006). Although research on these types of programs suggests that "participation in comprehensive induction programs can cut attrition in half" there are still many states and school districts that do not have such programs ("Teacher induction programs: trends and opportunities," 2006). Another problem with mentoring programs is that mentors are not compensated well enough for their work, and mentors are not always up to par themselves. Without incentives for mentors and standards the positive effects of mentoring will not be as prominent. Induction programs are beneficial, but sometimes they only consist of brief orientation meetings and do not provide as broad of a range of support as they induction programs should. It would be good for all teachers to constantly have programs to help monitor and support them, in order to make sure the teachers of our schools are doing the best they possibly can. Time constraints are also an issue; teachers already have so many things to do that it is hard to fit programs in. If there was a way that teachers could incorporate these programs into classes it would be ideal. Maybe teachers could do group classes with their peers or with their mentors; this would help with time constraints. Induction and mentoring programs can be incredibly valuable to the education system if they were funded and implemented properly.
New teachers are constantly in demand; new teachers are constantly thrown into teaching without any help or guidance. In order for our children to be taught by enthusiastic, well educated, prepared teachers programs need to be incorporated in all schools. These programs should include induction and mentoring on many levels. These programs should involve mentoring and improvement ideas for older teachers, as well as, new teachers. When implementing these programs they should be standards set and regulations applied. These programs should also taken into consideration the time constraints of a teacher's lifestyle, and most importantly these programs need to be funded because they are extremely beneficial to not only teachers, but the students as well.
Kauchak, D. & Eggen, P. (2005). Introduction to Teaching: Becoming a
Professional (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Standsbury, K., & Zimmerman, J. (2007). Smart induction programs become lifelines for the beginning teacher . National Staff Development Council, 23 (4), . Retrieved September 23, 2007, from Staff Development Library database.
Teacher induction programs: trends and opportunities. (2006). Policy Matters, 3(10). Retrieved September 22, 2007 from American Association of State Colleges and Universities database.

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