In Pinellas County, Florida, a summer training program boosts new teachers’ skills by giving them opportunities to practice teaching techniques and classroom management with coaching from expert teachers.

Soft SkillsSpringboard for Success is a four week summer program which helps new teachers develop their skills of classroom management.  Teacher have real-time coaching and attend small-group sessions on topics such as restorative justice and institutitonal racism.

Four years ago, Springboard started under the name of Fast Start.  It was conceived as   a supportive training program for teachers of exceptional students and was intended to prevent high turnover.  Currently Springboard trains teacher with under two years of experience, working in schools with large low income populations.

The program expanded this year to two schools and the number of teachers being trained was tripled. In addition, participating teachers were compensated for the first time.

“The hope is that we keep expanding and keep providing these opportunities to really support early-career teachers,” said Cassandra Murphy Atkins, an exceptional-student education staff developer with the district.  “And I think we all can agree that consistently great teachers in front of kids are what’s best.”

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