2011 Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require effective induction for all new teachers, with special emphasis on teachers in high-needs schools.
Virginia requires that all new teachers receive mentoring. For the first year of employment, new teachers must be assigned a mentor by local district administration "to assist...in achieving excellence in instruction."
Mentors must successfully complete a training program, having achieved continuing status and work in the same building as the new teachers; the observation of the new teacher in the classroom is mandatory.
Virginia Code 22.1-305.1 Guidelines for Mentor Teacher Program http://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/career_resources/mentor/program_creation_guidelines.pdf
Expand guidelines to include other key areas.
While still leaving districts flexibility, Virginia should articulate minimum guidelines for a high-quality induction experience. The state should require a timeline in which mentors are assigned to all new teachers, ideally soon after the commencing of teaching, to offer support during those first critical weeks of school. It should also require mentors to be trained in a content area or grade level similar to new teachers and mandate a method for performance evaluation.
Virginia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.