by Robbie Torney
In December of 2015, with relatively little fanfare, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing adopted new standards for induction (formerly known as BTSA).
These standards are incredibly important because they lay out a number of preconditions that induction programs must meet – many of which represent significant shifts in how induction programs have operated.
In this post, I’ll highlight these preconditions and share why they matter. I’ll save discussing the actual standards in another post.
I have a lot of questions about how CTC is going to support induction programs in meeting these preconditions and check to make sure these things are actually happening — but I think they’re a positive step towards making induction programs meet new teachers’ needs.
Did your induction program meet these preconditions? How might it have looked if it did?
|Precondition||Why it matters|
|Each induction program must be designed to provide two-year, individualized, job-embedded system of mentoring, support, and professional learning that begins in the teacher’s first year of teaching.||This is huge. Before, teachers had to clear their credentials within their first five years, which meant that many teachers weren’t getting induction support for at least a year after they entered the classroom. Starting induction immediately represents a significant step forward in giving teachers with preliminary credentials the support that they need to grow and develop from the time they step into the classroom.|
|The induction program must identify and assign a mentor to each participating teacher within the first 30 days of the participant’s enrollment in the program, matching the mentor and participating teacher according to grade level and/or subject area, as appropriate to the participant’s employment.||As crazy as it may sound, neither of these things used to be required, leading to new teachers not getting mentors or getting mentors unfamiliar with their grade level and subject areas.|
|Each Induction program must assure that each participating teacher receives an average of not less than one hour per week of individualized support/mentoring coordinated and/or provided by the mentor.||This is a shift away from group-based or less frequent support for new teachers.|
|Goals for each participating teacher must be developed within the context of the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) within the first 60 days of the teacher’s enrollment in the program.||This speaks to an understanding that not all new teachers are the same -- some may have significant experience teaching and will have different strengths in different areas. This moves away from the assumption that all new teachers need the same kinds of supports.|
|The Individual Learning Plan must be designed and implemented solely for the professional growth and development of the participating teacher and not for evaluation for employment purposes.||This formalizes a central tenet of many BTSA programs -- the support and coaching provided is formative in nature, and is never evaluative. This removes potential conflicts of interest inherent in blurring the line between coaching and evaluation.|
|The Individual Learning Plan must be designed and implemented solely for the professional growth and development of the participating teacher and not for evaluation for employment purposes.||Similar to the precondition above, a new teacher’s ILP can’t be used to evaluate the new teacher.|