A Look Into the HPS Annual Induction and Mentoring Program
On October 16, 2018, Haverhill Public Schools hosted its annual Induction and Mentoring Program (IMP) for new teachers and administrators. MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires districts to create a program where beginning teachers and administrators are paired with more experienced mentors at the beginning of each school year.
The purpose of this program is to provide beginning teachers and administrators a strong start to the school year and guide them throughout their initial years to be as effective as possible. HPS IMP is designed to help beginning teachers launch into a productive year by making sure they know where to obtain all needed materials, are familiar with routines and schedules, and know the curriculum and instruction expectations. IMP also allows mentors to guide mentees in classroom management, handling various behavioral issues, and collecting evidence for their evaluations. In addition, Mentees get an opportunity to show leadership skills by modeling instructional strategies or facilitating opportunities to observe other effective teachers.
DESE does not dictate the number of hours required for the first year, the induction year. However, DESE requires that mentors and mentees engage in at least 50 hours of mentoring over the following two years. Academic Officer Dr. Darshan Thakkar stated that “a structured program like this allows beginning teachers a formal process within which to seek help by critically reflecting on his or her own practice and identifying areas in which assistance is needed.” HPS has offered informal mentoring opportunities since early 2000’s, however, the formal structured IMP has been offered for the past six years.
Forty-seven teachers attended the Induction session on October 16th where they were presented with the requirements of the IMP. HPS IMP’s induction year involves four two-hour meetings where teachers and mentors are trained and given an opportunity to demonstrate the successes had in their mentoring endeavors. The next three meetings are December 4th, February 5th, and May 7th. Then, for the subsequent two years, mentors/mentees keep track of their activities and complete a log.
Superintendent Margaret Marotta stated that, “completion of this program is required in order for teachers to upgrade their educator license to professional level,” but added, “that is not the only reason to engage in mentoring. Research indicates that there is a strong connection between mentoring and retention. Teachers benefit from refining their practice, which is good for the students.”