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In North Carolina, teachers are considered to be beginning teachers for the first three years of their teaching career. These years are also known as the induction period when beginning teachers are introduced into the teaching culture of their school and district and assisted through various forms of support. The Roanoke Rapids Graded School District’s Beginning Teacher Support Program is a formal, comprehensive, structured induction program, with a purpose to train, support and retain new teachers. The Human Resources Department shall have the responsibility to implement, monitor, and evaluate the Beginning Teacher Support Program in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District.

Beginning Teachers must have graduated from a teacher education program at an accredited college or university or be eligible through lateral entry. Beginning Teachers are issued a Standard Professional I License. After successful completion of the three-year Beginning Teacher Support Program, beginning teachers are issued a Standard Professional II license. Lateral entry teachers are issued provisional licensure with the requirement of completing a licensure program within a three-year period. The Beginning Teacher Support Program does not include media specialists, guidance counselors, school psychologists, speech pathologists, or instructional specialists.

Orientation

The Director of Human Resources is responsible for coordinating a three-day orientation prior to the first day of school for our first year beginning teachers. If teachers are employed during the school year, an orientation will be coordinated by the Director of Human Resources and building level administrators within the first ten days of employment.

In addition, a school-based orientation is scheduled so that the beginning teacher can become familiar with the school’s policies, procedures, resources, and expectations. This school-based orientation provides the new teacher insight into the school’s culture. The beginning teacher’s assigned mentor takes part in the school-based orientation.

Lateral entry teachers are required by the State Board of Education to participate in 80 hours of training. In addition to the topics covered during the Beginning Teacher Orientation, focus for lateral entry teachers will include curriculum and instruction with a strong emphasis on unit and lesson planning, classroom management, working with diverse learners, best instructional practices, and assessment.

Optimum Working Conditions for Beginning Teachers

To ensure that beginning teachers have the opportunity to develop into effective teachers and as specified in SBE policy TCP-A-004, the Director of Human Resources will work collaboratively with school administrators regarding the process for support and outline the optimum working conditions for beginning teachers. Those conditions include:

  • Teaching assignment in the area of licensure
  • Mentor assignment in the same licensure area and in close proximity
  • Opportunity to attend an orientation that includes state and local expectations
  • Limited preparations
  • Assignment of a limited number of exceptional children
  • No extracurricular activities will be assigned unless requested in writing by the beginning teacher

Mentor Selection Criteria

Roanoke Rapids Graded School District is committed to identifying, training, and assigning accomplished teachers as mentors. Teachers interested in becoming mentors will be identified by principals and will participate in state mandated mentor training. The Roanoke Rapids Graded School District assigns mentors using the following guidelines outlined in SBE policy TCP-A-004:

a) Successful teaching in the area of licensure

Appraisal ratings among the highest in the school (regardless of instrument/process used);

Strong recommendations from principal and peers;

b) Commitment

Willingness to serve as a mentor;

Willingness to participate in on-going annual professional development related to mentoring

c) Other

Preference for career status teachers who have experience in the district norms, culture, and mission, as well as the State’s goals (ABC’s), strategic priorities, and standard course of study; and

Preference given to those who have successfully completed a minimum of 24 contact hours of mentor training.

Mentor Training and Support

In addition to demonstrating successful teaching and a commitment to the teaching profession, mentors will be required to complete North Carolina Mentor Training. This twenty-four hour training will provide quality instruction in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for effective mentoring of beginning teachers. Beginning in 2011-2012, veteran mentors are required to participate in training that consists of a thorough review of the Beginning Teacher Support Program and an update that includes the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards, revised standards for mentors, the beginning teacher evaluation process, and the development of the beginning teacher’s professional development plan.

Observations

In compliance with G.S. 115C-333, each beginning teacher in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District is observed annually at least three times by a qualified school administrator. A peer who has received training and who is not the beginning teacher’s mentor conducts the fourth observation. These observations will be conducted on the following schedule:

Observation OneBy November 20
Observation TwoBy January 29
Observation ThreeBy April 29
Peer ObservationBy March 18

Each observation shall last at least forty-five minutes or an entire class period and will be followed by a post-conference within ten (10) school days. At least one observation each year must include a pre-conference. A summative evaluation conference is held by the principal with the beginning teacher on or before April 30.

Professional Development Plan

A Professional Development Plan must be submitted by each beginning teacher. The beginning teacher, their mentor, and administrator will collaborate to complete the Professional Development Plan. The plan must include goals, strategies, and assessment of the beginning teacher’s progress in improving skills. Conferences will be conducted three times during the year to assess the beginning teacher’s progress. The plan should:

Begin with a self-assessment of the beginning teacher’s knowledge, dispositions, and performances.

Be based on the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards

Assist the beginning teacher in meeting licensure requirements

Be monitored throughout the year

Be updated on an annual basis, each year of the Beginning Teacher Support Program

Technical Assistance

Beginning teachers and mentors shall submit requests for technical assistance to their school administrators and/or the Director of Human Resources. Technical assistance may come from a variety of sources which include, but are not limited to:

Mentors

Collaborating Around Student Achievement (CASA) Teams

Instructional Planning for Student Achievement (IPSA) Teams

Central services personnel

School administrators

District level “teacher talk” sessions (9/28/15, 10/26/15, 11/23/15, 1/25/16, 2/29/16, 3/21/16, 4/25/16, & 5/23/16)

North Carolina New Teacher Support Program Coach

Institutions of Higher Education

N.C. Department of Public Instruction Consultants