A mentoring program for new teachers is underway in Louisiana, as a means of enabling new teachers to obtain more professional development.
In Lafayette Parish, the program is pairing novice teachers with more experienced educators. The district is due to receive an accreditation visit in February from AdvancED, a nonprofit evaluating group. The mentoring program is part of the preparation underway to review current practices and find ways to improve.
The accreditation process is voluntary, and is a means of ensuring that the district follows best practices. “We see a need for a mentoring program for new teachers to receive that additional support, especially during the first two years,” said Annette Samec, the school system’s chief academic officer.
At the present time, new teachers receive three day training, and additional training and support is up to the schools. “We need to develop something at the district level and are preparing a district program similar to what UL is doing,” Samed said. She was referring to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s revamp of its teacher preparation program. In that one year residency, student teachers are paired with a veteran teacher.