Induction programs provide inexperienced teachers with support, models of effective instructional strategies, and guidance that will help them improve their professional practice. A strong teacher induction program is highly recommended. Comprehensive induction programs should include:
- An orientation to the district and school
- A structured and high-quality mentor program
- Consistent support from school and county level administrators
- Access to a network of support from other beginning teachers
- Standards-based evaluations of the beginning teacher’s instruction
- Yearly standards-based evaluations of the district induction program
Please visit the link below to review professional learning offerings the WVDE offers to beginning teachers.
Effective mentoring is a critical component of highly effective induction programs. Districts and schools are encouraged to utilize the following recommendations when considering the hiring of teachers that will fill the role of mentor teacher. The recommendations do not guarantee effective mentors, but allow districts to set expectations for a rigorous selection process in choosing the most qualified teachers:
- It is encouraged that districts hire mentors having at least five years of teaching experience.
- The mentor teacher should demonstrate effective standards-based instructional practices as shown through educator evaluations.
- The mentor teacher should demonstrate the ability to be an effective listener, be approachable, and exhibit objectivity and fairness.
- The mentor teacher should demonstrate strong interpersonal skills.
- The mentor teacher should effectively lead reflective mentor/beginning teacher conversations.
- The mentor teacher should demonstrate strong teacher leadership skills and/or be a National Board Certified Teacher.
Please visit the link below to review professional learning that the WVDE offers to experienced teachers that wish to become certified mentors.
The Office of Educator Development & Support (OEDS) is committed to ensuring high-quality professional learning experiences are available for counties, schools, and individuals based on data-driven need and choice. The West Virginia Professional Learning Reimagined Framework, developed by the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and the WVDE, provides a model for coordinated, cohesive professional learning and leadership processes and opportunities for West Virginia counties. A wealth of research has proven that the methods outlined in this framework are highly effective models in the delivery of high-quality, sustained professional learning experiences.
Please visit the link below to review professional learning opportunities for county leaders and individuals. Offered by the WVDE.
Supports for the Retention of Teachers
As you become a professional educator in West Virginia, you may find yourself looking for resources to support students and their families. Within the first three years of teaching, educators can review a variety of useful resources that support building community partnerships, working with parents, and enhancing student success in the Development and Support section of our website.
The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has the responsibility of providing guidance and communicating the goals of the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) in assisting county leaders with providing a system of support for teachers. Each county provides evidence of the support through the West Virginia Support for Improved Professional Practice (WVSIPP) plan included as part of the county’s strategic plan. The WVSIPP plan outlines the county professional development plan and includes the support each county will provide for the induction of beginning teachers, experienced teachers, student teachers, and other staff.
Comprehensive induction programs vary throughout the state. Decades of research has shown that the most effective induction plans include:
- A new teacher orientation
- Support provided by a qualified Teacher Mentor
- Ongoing professional learning opportunities
- Strong communication and support from the school administrator
- Support from county instructional leaders
- An external network of beginning teachers
- Clear and consistent formative assessment provided to the beginning teacher to improve their practice
Induction programs have a positive impact on teacher retention and student achievement. It is estimated that teacher attrition costs school districts more than $20,000 per teacher, is a factor in low teacher morale, and disrupts student learning. The WVDE recommends that each county includes as many of the above components in their teacher induction program to strive for the retention of new teachers. The WVSIPP plan provides a description of each component included in the county level plan that addresses teacher induction. Some components of the plan may include mentor support, a county orientation, and professional learning opportunities for new teachers. The local district decides what components will best meet their needs for teacher induction.
When quality induction programs are put into practice, research shows that new teachers are twice as likely to remain in the profession and less likely to migrate to another school. The more components included in the teacher induction plan, the more likely teachers will remain in the profession.
Teachers who are more experienced may reach a time when they are exploring new ways to grow in their careers. One way of enhancing skills and advancing salary is to become certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. To learn about this process, please review the Teacher Leadership section of our website. To review the WVDE’s model to create coordinated, cohesive professional learning and leadership processes and opportunities for West Virginia counties, access the Professional Learning Reimagined Framework.