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Tipahanie Sutton, Martin F. Sherman, Ph.D.

Supporting and Sustaining Educators in Baltimore City Public Schools: An Evaluation of the New Teacher Induction Program

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Quality education is invaluable in the lives of young people. Across the nation, educators work to equip students with the knowledge they need to be successful and productive in greater society. However, in some school districts the struggle to adequately train and maintain educators, provide district-wide professional development, and have sufficient classroom management, negatively impacts overall student achievement. Efforts to provide quality education often begin with the training offered to new teachers known as new teacher induction. Previous research has sought to discover the components that comprise a successful induction program (Moir & Gless, 2001), and the supports needed to maintain new teachers (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004; & Wong, 2004), particularly in difficult schools (Berry, 2004; & Kapadia, Coca, & Easton, 2007). Dr. Alonso, Chief Executive Officer of City Schools, indicated that the performances of both teachers and administrators must be further assessed so as to develop effective frameworks for instruction and school leadership, respectively (Alonso, 2012). In 2010, Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) through the Office of Teacher Support and Development (OTSD) implemented an induction program to aid new teachers. The New Teacher Induction Program aims to improve teacher retention rates, proficiency, and satisfaction by providing first to third year teachers with support initiatives that address teaching skills, content knowledge, and navigation of City Schools.

The present study sought to assess the effectiveness of the New Teacher Induction Program. The New Teacher Induction – Administrator Survey, a survey specifically created to gather administrators’ views about the induction initiatives provided to new teachers during the 2011-2012 school year, was disseminated to administrators of City Schools. One hundred and four administrators participated in the evaluation.

The results of the Administrator Survey revealed several statistically significant correlations. This assessment uncovered positive aspects of the current induction program utilized by City Schools, as well as areas in which improvements can be made. For instance, the more considerations administrators used to differentiate their time spent with new teachers, such as the need, receptiveness, or experience level of new teachers, the more supports they indicated new teachers received during the 2011-2012 school year, r(74) = .33, p < .01. This means that the more often administrators took into consideration the needs of new teachers, their receptiveness to feedback and professional development efforts, and their current classroom experience (new teachers are those with less than three years of experience teaching in City Schools), the more induction supports they reported that new teachers received from the district. Thus, it would seem that face-to-face interactions between administrators and new teachers may have enabled administrators to better allocate their time to new teachers, potentially leading to a greater amount of provided support. Regarding site-based mentors, the more often administrators discussed mentoring support with their site-based mentors, the more they regarded the induction initiatives as supportive, r(68) = .39, p = .001. This finding suggests that collaboration among administrators and site-based mentors may contribute to improvements to mentoring support, and overall more induction supports. It was concluded that more communication and collaborative problem solving amongst administrators, site-based mentors, and teachers, most likely resulted in greater understanding and productive outcomes. Discussions among administrators and district personnel regarding the continuing challenges faced by new teachers, particularly classroom and time management, must continue. It is hoped that the New Teacher Induction Program of City Schools continues to improve, be regarded as effective, and meet the needs of all new educators in Baltimore City.

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