The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Delaware requires that all new teachers receive mentoring. The state's "New Educator Mentoring Program" mandates that all new teachers are assigned mentors for their first year in the profession, with continuing support throughout years two and three. New teachers and their mentors must meet at least 30 documented hours during the first year of employment. New teachers are also required to participate in workshops and other activities offered as part of this program.
Mentors are required to complete training and coaching development classes and receive an annual stipend based on schedules adopted annually by the Professional Standards Board and the State Board of Education.
Delaware Administrative Code 14.1503
Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Delaware should articulate minimum guidelines for a high-quality induction experience. The state should set a timeline in which mentors are assigned to new teachers, ideally soon after the commencing of teaching, to offer support during those critical first weeks of school. Mentors should also be required to be trained in a content area or grade level similar to that of the new teacher, and the state should mandate a method for performance evaluation.
Ensure that mentoring is of sufficient duration and frequency.
Delaware requires just 30 contact hours between new teachers and their mentors over the course of the school year. The state should consider whether time requirement ensures that new teachers receive adequate support, especially in the first critical weeks of school.
Delaware recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.