The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
North Dakota provides mentoring to new teachers through a two-year Teacher Support System Grant Program funded until June 30, 2011. Districts must apply and be selected to participate in this mentoring program.
Mentors may only work with one beginning teacher each semester. Building administrators should select mentors who have a minimum of three years of teaching experience and have been teaching in the present district for a minimum of two years. Mentors must participate in training and have a minimum of 18 hours of one-on-one conferencing time with the beginning teachers. Both mentors and beginning teachers must have at least one full day of release time for observation. Mentors will receive an $800 stipend per semester.
Ensure that a high-quality mentoring experience is available to all new teachers, especially those in low-performing schools.
Although North Dakota does provide mentoring to some of its 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. North Dakota should consider expanding its program throughout the state and continuing it beyond the current grant period.
Set more specific parameters.
To ensure that all teachers receive high-quality mentoring, North Dakota should set a timeline in which mentors are assigned to all new teachers throughout the state, soon after the commencing of teaching, to offer support during those first critical weeks of school. Mentors should be required to be trained in a content area or grade level similar to that of the new teacher.
Ensure that mentoring is of sufficient duration and frequency.
North Dakota requires just 18 contact hours between new teachers and their mentors over the course of the school year. The state should consider whether time requirement that ensures new teachers receive adequate support, especially in the first critical weeks of school.
North Dakota recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.