2011 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Montana does not require a mentoring or any other induction support for its new teachers. Mentorship programs are encouraged by the state but not required by law. The state also provides the opportunity for teachers to participate in the specialized competency mentor program. Successful candidates must demonstrate the following knowledge: the role and benefits of serving as a mentor, the need for new teacher and educator standards, the benefits of a mentoring program, the characteristics of effective mentors, the potential problems that can occur in a mentoring relationship and their effective solutions, the best practices of creating and maintaining a safe environment for the mentee and the need to support new teacher growth. In addition, the state has created a teacher-mentor program development template containing best practice information and tools for establishing a teacher mentor program.
Teacher Mentor Program Development Template http://opi.mt.gov/Programs/SpecialEd/Mentor/ Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 10.58.527(7)
Ensure that a high-quality mentoring experience is available to all new teachers, especially those in low-performing schools.
While Montana encourages districts to provide mentoring to new teachers, the state should ensure that all new teachers—especially any teacher in a low-performing school—receive mentoring support, especially 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, who selects the mentors and a method of performance evaluation.
Require induction strategies that can be successfully implemented, even in poorly managed schools.
To ensure that the experience is meaningful, Montana should guarantee that induction includes strategies such as intensive mentoring, seminars appropriate to grade level or subject area and a reduced teaching load and/or frequent release time to observe other teachers.
Montana declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.