2017 Hiring Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-need schools. This goal was reorganized and not graded in 2017.
Mentoring for New Teachers: Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Arkansas requires that all new teachers receive induction and mentoring for their first three years. Within three weeks of hire, the new teacher is paired with a mentor, preferably one who teaches the same subject and grade level as the novice teacher. Teachers who are presently in an alternate educator preparation program may receive mentoring support until the completion of their program
The state requires that mentors and novice teachers are provided release time to work on mentoring modules and classroom observations and to attend professional development activities
Mentor Selection Criteria: Arkansas requires that mentors have three years' successful teaching experience, have related content area expertise, and be rated proficient or the equivalent on teacher evaluations. Mentors are also trained in the Arkansas Mentoring Model and the Danielson Framework for Teaching.
Rules Governing Educator Mentoring Programs http://www.arkansased.gov/public/userfiles/HR_and_Educator_Effectiveness/HR_EducatorEffectiveness/Induction_Mentoring/ADE_341_Mentoring_Programs_SBOE_approval_5.14.2015_-_FINAL_to_SOS_6-10-15.pdf Arkansas Mentor Qualifications http://www.arkansased.gov/public/userfiles/HR_and_Educator_Effectiveness/HR_EducatorEffectiveness/Induction_Mentoring/Arkansas_Novice_Teacher_Mentor_Qualifications_6.9.16.pdf Mentoring http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/human-resources-educator-effectiveness-and-licensure/office-of-educator-effectiveness/teacher-inductionmentoring Novice Teacher Mentoring and Beginning Administrator Induction memo LIC-17-030 http://adecm.arkansas.gov/ViewApprovedMemo.aspx?Id=2249
Set more specific parameters.
To ensure that all teachers receive high-quality mentoring, the state should set guidelines on the frequency and amount of time mentors and new teachers should meet and specify a method of performance evaluation.
Arkansas was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.
The state also noted that the new teacher mentoring will be coordinated in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education and the state's education service cooperatives (ESC), and that this shift to co-op lead mentoring will provide greater flexibility to personalize the support structures around the individual needs of new teachers.
Too many new teachers are left to "sink or swim" when they begin teaching, leaving most new teachers overwhelmed and under-supported at the outset of their teaching careers. Although differences in preparation programs and routes to the classroom do affect readiness, even teachers from the most rigorous programs need support once they take on the myriad responsibilities of their own classroom. A survival-of-the-fittest mentality prevails in many schools; figuring out how to successfully negotiate unfamiliar curricula, discipline and management issues, and labyrinthine school and district procedures is considered a rite of passage. However, new teacher frustrations are not limited to low performers. Many talented new teachers become disillusioned early by the lack of support they receive, and, particularly in our most high-needs schools, it is often the most talented teachers who start to explore other career options.
Vague requirements simply to provide mentoring are insufficient. Although many states recognize the need to provide mentoring to new teachers, state policies merely indicating that mentoring should occur will not ensure that districts provide new teachers with quality mentoring experiences. While allowing flexibility for districts to develop and implement programs in line with local priorities and resources, states also should articulate the minimum requirements for these programs in terms of the frequency and duration of mentoring and the qualifications of those serving as mentors.