Teacher Development Network collaborates with educational organizations to optimize mentoring and induction systems for preservice and early career teachers. Our goal is to improve retention, teacher quality, and student learning. Your organization is unique, and we think your solution should be, too.
We work with:
- Teacher Preparation Programs. Field experiences are a crucial part of the pathway to becoming a teacher. Early career teachers routinely report they learned much of what they do in classrooms in their field placements. We help teacher preparation programs ensure field experiences are set up for success by focusing on the development of the teacher preparation program and school staff that guide novices through these experiences.
- P-12 Schools. Beginning to teach in your own classroom is a challenging experience and many don't make it past their first years. When novice teachers have frequent and ongoing access to trained, high-quality mentors, they stay longer, grow their skills faster, and drive student achievement.
- Education Agencies and Organizations. Policy sets the stage for the success of early career teachers in your region, network, state, or organization. We work with policy makers to develop standards, guidance documents, and other policies that can help improve the quality of preservice and new teacher supports for all those within your care.
If you are ready to improve teacher recruitment, retention and quality, Teacher Development Network can help make that happen.
6 Reasons to Invest in New Teacher Supports Right Now
It takes time to be a great teacher.
Great teachers are developed, not born. Teaching is hard work and requires teachers to master a wide range of knowledge and skills. Studies suggest it takes 3-5 years of teaching before a novice reaches a level where they can really make a positive impact on student learning. When nearly 50% of all new teachers leave the profession within the first five years, many never reach their full potential.
Teacher turnover is expensive.
Teachers report that they leave their classrooms, and the students who need them most, when they feel unprepared or unsupported. This revolving door costs U.S. schools over $7 billion annually-money that could otherwise be invested in the human capital development of educators. But it's not just about the money. The high rate of teacher turnover saps schools of talent. Each year, approximately 15.2 million of our nation's students in high-poverty schools pay the price of a less effective new teacher at the front of their classroom.
Expert coaches help teachers grow faster.
When carefully selected, rigorously trained mentors regularly work with novice teachers in preservice and inservice as part of a system of supports, we can maximize their potential as educators. High-quality mentoring accelerates teacher development and dramatically shortens the time it takes to reach their full potential. Efficacious teachers who are connected to a network of supportive colleagues stay longer, do better, and help all kids reach their potential.
Students learn more from effective teachers.
The New Teacher Project identified five teacher effectiveness levers that can help increase student achievement. Mentoring helps all of them from attracting more high quality candidates to your school system to retaining more effective mid-career teachers by helping them take on mentoring as a teacher leadership role and gain new skills that keep them learning and invested. The bottom line is that when teachers stay and succeed, students win.
Coaches benefit, too.
Mid-career teachers serving as mentors or coaches to say they feel invigorated by working with novice teachers. They learn to be metacognitive and articulate about their own practice, think about education topics in new ways, and develop leadership skills that improve their own teaching, their collaborations with colleagues, and are important stepping stones to other administrative roles. Mentors report staying in education longer because of this positive experience.
COVID made teaching harder than ever.
Novice teachers and veteran teachers alike continue to face unprecedented challenges stemming from COVID. Many say they feel alone, frustrated, and tired. And a lot of them are quitting. A highly-trained mentor can bring much-needed connection, structure, and support to isolated teachers, improve efficacy and optimism, and turn challenge into opportunity. Let's use this time to up our coaching game in ways that will enhance our capacity and outcomes during the pandemic and beyond.