Making a difference in a child’s life is what teaching is all about, and most new teachers start their careers with that vision as their life’s goal. Many times, though, new teachers find that what they learned in school didn’t thoroughly prepare them for the kinds of problems they encounter in the classroom. That’s why Iowa now has a program to pair new teachers with seasoned veterans who have been trained through the AEAs’ Teacher Mentoring and Induction Programs in how to coach and mentor new teachers.
“It’s an exciting time to be in education!” says Sarah Lehmann, School Improvement Facilitator-SINA at Keystone AEA. “The Teacher Mentoring Program celebrates the amazing accomplishments of our veteran teachers and engages our new professionals in experiences that will influence their success in education.”
As required by Iowa law, Area Education Agencies provide Teacher Mentoring and Induction Program training to address the mentoring and induction needs of schools. AEA Educational Services consultants train district mentors to work with beginning teachers. The program consists of six days of research-based training over a two-year period that provides the mentors with knowledge and skills to support the beginning teacher’s growth and development. Focused on the Iowa Teaching Standards, the sessions are highly interactive with opportunities for learning and practice. The mentor and the beginning teacher are expected to collaborate and complete “assignments” in between training sessions.
The purpose of the Program is to promote excellence in teaching, enhance student achievement, build a supportive environment within school districts and area education agencies, increase the retention of promising beginning teachers, and promote the personal and professional well‐being of teachers.
The Teacher Mentoring and Induction Program is grounded in a developmental view of teaching and recognizes that this complex, demanding profession is learned over the course of a number of years of study, consultation, and reflective practice beyond professional preparation. The training benefits mentors in their professional careers as well as helps new teachers become successful. More importantly, it helps retain more teachers in the education profession.
AEA Education Services consultants continue to support Iowa educators beyond the Teacher Mentoring and Induction Program. Content specific consultants provide training and on-going support in areas such as math, science, reading, social studies, equity, and technology. In order to find a complete listing of AEA services in your area visit the State AEA website at http://www.iowaaea.org.