Standard 1.4: Professional development for program leadership
Initial Professional Development
Once a team has been developed and initial program design has been launched, the program coordinator and leadership team must be deliberate about learning the skill and art of mentoring. Induction for the 21st Century Educator (ICE21) is a low-cost but high-quality program available through most Regional Offices of Education. Comprehensive training for mentors and program leaders is also provided by organizations including the New Teacher Center, the Illinois New Teacher Collaborative, and the Consortium for Educational Change. Some programs also create their own mentor training.
Ongoing Professional Development
Initial training is necessary but not sufficient to ensure high quality mentoring. It is important for program leaders to attend conferences designed to support induction and mentoring practices. The Illinois New Teacher Collaborative (INTC) hosts an annual induction and mentoring conference in February. Typically this conference is organized around the Illinois Induction Program Standards. Program leaders learn from national keynote speakers and from others in the state, and time is scheduled during the conference for teams to plan next steps for their programs.
In addition to the local conference, there are national-level conferences on induction and mentoring that would also serve as excellent resources for program growth and development. The New Teacher Center, for example, hosts an annual Symposium on Teacher Induction in California. The National Staff Development Council typically has a strand on mentoring at its annual conference.
After receiving initial training, programs can also design and implement “in-house” professional development. This approach can save money as well as build leadership capacity among a district’s mentor community. However, programs should make sure that trainers have themselves received sufficient professional development and training.