New teachers leave Jewish Day Schools at an alarming rate – up to five times the rate of public school teachers, according to some researchers. This constant turnover drains schools of talent, morale, and money, as administrators continually scramble to recruit and hire new candidates. How can we stop that scramble? At the Mandel Center’s Induction Partnership Project we offer a solution backed by current research and practical experience: build strong systems of new teacher induction. When schools invest in new teachers’ success, the benefits reach far beyond those teachers’ classrooms. A thoughtfully-planned induction program can build a strong and stable faculty, transform a school’s professional culture, and improve the quality of teaching offered to all its students.
The Induction Partnership staff has seen this first-hand at our partner schools. We’ve watched new teachers blossom in environments designed to support their development. We’ve heard seasoned teachers describe how mentoring has reinvigorated their own teaching. We’ve witnessed the buzz of a faculty room full of novice and experienced colleagues talking excitedly about their work. And we’ve watched a team of administrators re-structure their supervision to create more opportunities for collaboration, reflection and growth.
At the New Teacher Center’s Jewish New Teacher Project, they have seen it too. Like us, JNTP partners with Jewish Day Schools to help new teachers succeed. And like us, they know the benefits extend far beyond the new teachers themselves. We share a passion for new teacher development and a commitment to day school excellence. That’s why we decided to join forces to get the message out.
At this week’s North American Jewish Day School Conference in Los Angeles, the Induction Partnership Project and the Jewish New Teacher Project debuted a joint position paper, Induction: It’s Not Just for New Teachers. In it, we take on 5 common myths that hamper effective support for new teachers:
- Teachers graduate from pre-service education ready to teach.
- Mentors don’t need extensive training because their role is to provide emotional support.
- Mentoring and induction are the same thing.
- Induction is just for new teachers.
- Induction is the provenance of experienced faculty; the head need not be involved.
In debunking each myth, we create an image of what strong induction looks like, highlighting its power to transform school culture. Our goal: to spark spirited conversation and call day school leaders to action. Our strategy: raise our voices together, in hope that more will hear it. Our vision: a community of day schools where all faculty members are nurtured, collaboration and continuous improvement are the norm, and students thrive. Our hope: putting the message out there will get us one step closer to that vision.