Standard 2.2: Integrated and effective communication
Once a program has been designed, it is essential that the leadership team communicate the overall goals and expectations of the program to all key community and school board members, administrators, mentors, other veteran teachers, and beginning teachers. No matter how well designed a program happens to be, it will not work if those at the highest level of leadership are not aware of its purpose and benefits.
Effective communication often includes the following:
- A formal meeting where the leadership team presents the program’s goals and design to the school board, administrators, building principals, union members, and/or teachers
- A mentor/beginning teacher handbook with requirements and expectations
- Beginning teacher forums
- An induction/mentoring program newsletter, emails, and/or website that highlights the growth and progress of the program and describes upcoming activities
- Regular updates on the induction/mentoring program, often integrated into ongoing professional development initiatives
All involved need to be made aware of the components for program completion, and an effort should be made to support beginning teachers as they complete the program. For example, if beginning teacher forums are scheduled after school, administrators may need to excuse beginning teachers from other tasks or meetings on those evenings. In one large district, beginning teacher forums were held after school on Thursdays, so administrators did not hold staff meetings on Thursdays, thereby avoiding this conflict with their beginning teachers. Communication must be two-way and also must involve information and ideas flowing back to the program leadership. Members of the school community are an essential part of helping to develop beginning teachers and need to be aware of the design, expectations, and purpose of an induction/mentoring program—but also need to have input into how the program is working. Programs are advised to provide specific opportunities for input, either in forums, via anonymous surveys, or other formal or informal channels.