A state funded program is helping new teachers with mentoring, to guide them through the important first year in Sioux Falls.
According to experienced educators, the first year in a classroom can cause new teachers to become disillusioned. The hope is that with the mentoring program they can set goals, manage their classrooms, and remain in the profession.
South Dakota recently passed a package of new education laws which included the mentoring program and raised teacher salaries by 12 percent across the state.
Over 150 experienced teachers have signed up to become mentors to 180 new teachers during their first two years. The mentoring pairs met last week for the first time.
One of the mentors, Tony Hauger, is a math and science teacher at Viborg-Hurley Middle School. He is now in his fifth year of teaching and remembers the difficulties he encountered at first. “As a first-year teacher, you have no idea of what your teaching style is,” Hauger said. “You’re just trying to survive.”