The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Maryland requires that all new teachers receive mentoring. The state requires that each local school system design a program incorporating components established by the state, including: an orientation program for new teachers prior to the start of the school year, mentor support such as regularly scheduled meetings during non-instructional time, opportunities for new teachers to observe and co-teach with skilled teachers with follow-up discussion of the experiences, ongoing professional learning activities, and ongoing formative review of new teacher performance such as classroom observation.
Local school systems are encouraged, but not required, to provide a reduction in teaching schedule during induction. All teachers must participate in induction activities for a minimum of one year. The maximum ratio of mentors to mentees is one mentor to 15 mentees. Mentors should have the following skills: knowledge of adult learning theory and peer coaching techniques, the knowledge base and skill to address performance evaluation criteria and outcomes to be met by each mentee, an advanced professional certificate or be retired from the local school system, a positive reference from principal or supervisor. Local school systems will evaluate their teacher induction program.
Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Maryland should articulate minimum guidelines for a high-quality induction experience. The state should require that mentors spend sufficient time with new teachers, especially in the first critical weeks of school. It should also require mentors to be trained in a content area or grade level similar to that of the new teacher.
Maryland noted that specific criteria are in place for development of induction programs. The state requires orientation for all teachers new to the local system; ongoing support from a mentor, including regularly scheduled meetings during non-instructional time, co-teaching opportunities, an ongoing professional development, and ongoing formative review of new teacher performance.