Standard 4.1: Administrator professional development
Site administrators who have had quality training in best practices for high functioning induction/mentoring programs possess attitudes and skills that allow for the maximum development of beginning teachers. A well-trained site administrator/principal has narrowed down candidates for a particular teaching position and is already thinking, “Who will mentor this new person?” Conversely, a principal who has not had training may wait until the last possible minute to select the mentor, or even worse, recruit someone who has not received mentor training.
If the site administrator has read the research on the impact of induction and mentoring on teacher retention, he/she will be more powerfully motivated to invest the time and energy needed to ensure excellence. Beginning teachers who experience a diverse mix of supports including staff socialization, frequent contact with the principal, professional development, induction activities, and effective mentoring are much more likely to persevere, move toward mastering the craft of teaching, and consequently positively impact student achievement.
The site administrator does not relegate total responsibility for induction and mentoring to his or her mentors but rather understands how to leverage mentoring and induction activities and integrate them with other professional development for all teachers in the school, both novice and veteran.
Professional development for administrators is available through Induction for the 21st Century Educator (ICE21), an Illinois-specific program. These trainings provide educational leaders with a better understanding of the mentoring process, including the legal and ethical significance of confidentiality.
No matter which entity provides the professional development, it often includes the following elements:
- Current ISBE induction requirements
- Leadership, mentoring, and new teacher roles
- Confidentiality of the mentor/new teacher relationship
- Appreciation for the mentor’s role
- Strategies for supporting mentors and new teachers