In the 2018-19 school year, the district hired 10 new teachers to teach the Pirate way. So, how does a district support this large group of new teachers? By implementing a New Teacher Mentoring Program of course!
According to the Michigan Department of Education, the amount of issued initial teaching certificates has dropped from a high of 9,664 in 2003 to 3,317 in 2017. As the state publishes a critical shortage list, school districts must do everything they can to hire qualified teachers, and retain them on staff for years to come. aThe Riverview Community School District is no different.
As these new teachers embark on a mission to educate our youth and prepare them for the future with much ambition, they also require support with learning school procedures, programs, and best teaching practices. Danielle Zachary, a 15-year veteran teacher at RCHS, and Jason Gribble, the new RCSD Curriculum Director, wanted to ensure that RCSD provided new teachers a valid support system and an opportunity to earn professional development hours. With the approval of Superintendent Dr. Pickell, they began piloting the New Teacher Mentoring Program for new RCSD teachers.
The program consists of monthly meetings with Ms. Zachary and Mr. Gribble. Each new teacher is provided with a building mentor, a checklist of policies/programs to discuss, educational books to read, and have observations between mentor and new teacher. During the monthly meetings the new staff receives training on RCSD specific programs, has discussions/activities on best teaching practices and book studies, and receives access to resources on discussed topics— formative assessment and classroom management to name a few.
The plan for the program is to provide this to all new teachers during their first 3 years of teaching in order to provide support, meaningful feedback, and professional development hours towards their professional teaching certificate renewal.