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: Indiana does not require a mentoring program or any other induction support for its new teachers and no longer requires mentoring as a component of the Indiana Mentoring and Assessment Program (IMAP).
The state has established an optional Career Pathways and Mentorship Program that allows effective teachers to take on additional responsibilities, including mentoring new teachers.
Mentor Selection Criteria: For districts that chose to match mentors with new educators as part of the Indiana Mentoring and Assessment Program, the Indiana Department of Education recommends that the mentor have at least five years of teaching experience and a five-year license.
Indiana requires teachers selected as part of the Career Pathways and Mentorship Program to have been rated effective or highly effective on their most recent annual performance evaluation. Teachers in this program receive bonus compensation.
Indiana Mentor and Assessment Program http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/1st-year-teachers-administrators-and-school-service-personnel-school-counselors-school http://www.doe.in.gov/licensing/indiana-mentor-and-assessment-program-imap 511 IAC 10.1-4-1 through 4-3
Ensure that a high-quality mentoring experience is available to all new teachers, especially those in low-performing schools.
Although Indiana supports mentoring of some teachers, the state should ensure that all new teachers—especially teachers in low-performing schools—receive mentoring support, particularly in the first critical weeks of school.
Set more specific parameters.
To ensure that all teachers receive high-quality mentoring, the state should specify how long the program lasts for a new teacher, set guidelines on the frequency and amount of time mentors and new teachers should meet, and specify a method of performance evaluation. The state should also set a timeline by which mentors are assigned to new teachers, ideally soon after the commencing of teaching, to offer support during those critical first weeks of school.
Indiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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.