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Standard 1.2: Duties and responsibilities of program leadership

Program leadership, program partners and all stakeholders have the time, fiscal resources, and authority to implement and support the program.

A new program can be started by a team or a single person, depending on the context. For example, in a school district, the collaborative leadership team can consist of representatives from district central office, school administration, union leadership, teacher leaders, or community partners. Ideally, the district coordinator receives release time from other roles so that induction and mentoring is a priority as opposed to an afterthought. The district coordinator cannot be the same person who evaluates the beginning teachers for the purpose of hiring, firing, or recommending promotion and tenure.

The collaborative leadership team or program coordinator needs to be highly enough placed in the organization to leverage the time, resources, and authority necessary to accomplish such tasks as the following:

  • Develop a mentor selection process, recruit and select mentors, and match mentors with beginning teachers
  • Set meetings for professional development and support of beginning teachers, mentors, administrators, and the steering committee
  • Coordinate trainings for mentors, beginning teachers, and administrators
  • Coordinate induction activities
  • Engage administrators in the district culture of mentoring and induction
  • Manage budgets for release time, stipends, and training resources
  • Communicate with diverse stakeholders including principals, union leadership, the superintendent, school board, and community partners
  • Develop written expectations for the program coordinator, mentors, beginning teachers, and building administrators
  • Chair regular meetings of the Collaborative Leadership Team
  • Create program timelines
  • Supervise the work of the mentors and beginning teachers
  • Attend regional, state, and national conferences to network and bring back information to the Collaborative Leadership Team
  • Conduct program evaluation
  • Complete all ISBE and local required records and data

As the program evolves, leadership may consult with building administrators, mentors, and beginning teachers to identify unmet needs and recommend changes to the program. To leverage these additional funds, leadership may advocate for additional district funds or explore grants and partnerships.

Operations: Oversight, Fiscal Responsibility and Sustainability

Oversight is the management of program operations. It requires responsible care, supervision, and accountability. The leadership team can be responsible for some, but not all, of the oversight. Coordinators might supervise the work of mentors and beginning teachers, but they cannot supervise their own work. If the program coordinator is a teacher leader with release time, he/she cannot supervise the induction work of principals or administration. The oversight function assures the following:

  • Program leadership has adequate time, fiscal resources, and appropriate authority
  • Beginning teachers, mentors, mentor coordinators, and building administrators are accountable for meeting state and local expectations
  • Program requirements are tracked
  • Evidence is collected and shared to encourage program improvements

Induction and Mentoring Program Support

Program leaders need support to continue to improve their programs. Leaders should use the Illinois Induction Program Continuum to assess their current practice in the nine Induction Program Standards. The Standards were approved by the Certification Board in 2008, and the full Illinois Induction Program Continuum was approved by ISBE and published in 2010. By looking at the multiple levels on the continuum, programs can assess their own progress and set goals for growth. Induction/mentoring programs can form networks with others in the state focused on similar goals. These professional learning communities can help strengthen the support beginning teachers and their students receive across the state. If travel is too costly, conference calls, Skype, or FaceTime conversations are ways to convene virtual meetings around mutual interests in induction and mentoring.

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