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Program Leadership and Collaborative Team

  1. Introduction

    Quality induction and mentoring programs start with strong, passionate leadership, grounded in high quality teacher development, to promote student achievement and school-wide progress. A program can be started and led by a team or a single person, depending on the context. However, the formation of collaborative teams can help ensure that all voices are represented, continuity is achieved, and a shared vision is enacted. (See Standard 1, Illinois Induction Program Continuum )

  2. Tasks

    1. Create a Collaborative Leadership Team consisting of representatives from different stakeholder groups, depending on the nature of the program (e.g. whether it is run by a school district, an ROE, or a university). In a school district program, for example, these might include:
      1. Central office staff
      2. Building/school administration
      3. Union leadership
      4. Mentor(s)
      5. Teacher(s) and beginning teacher(s)
      6. Community member/liaison or parent representative
    2. Determine the Collaborative Leadership Team’s responsibilities in:
      1. Defining program goals
      2. Establishing a budget and determining the use of other resources for stipends, release time, substitutes, workshops/trainings, meetings, and professional development
      3. Identifying and utilizing school strengths
      4. Conducting a needs assessment when appropriate
      5. Examining research to substantiate program goals, needs, cost, and effectiveness
      6. Creating program timelines
      7. Determining stakeholder roles
      8. Proposing program decisions to program leadership
      9. Communicating program information to the superintendent and Board of Education and other stakeholders
      10. Conducting an annual self-assessment. Resources such as the Illinois Induction Program Continuum may be helpful.
      11. Creating recommendations for program improvement based on the annual self-assessment and other data
      12. Assisting with the transition of new induction and mentoring leadership when needed
    3. Designate an Induction Program Coordinator who is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about induction, or who is willing to learn. The Illinois State Board of Education requires that approved programs must designate a Program Coordinator.
      1. The Program Coordinator has the following responsibilities:
        1. Developing and approving written expectations and outcomes for the program coordinator, mentors, beginning teachers, and building administrators
        2. Communicating with all relevant stakeholders (administrators, mentors, teachers, Board of Education members, community members)
        3. Coordinating mentor, beginning teacher, and administrator trainings
        4. Coordinating induction program activities
        5. Supervising the work of the mentors and beginning teachers
        6. Coordinating mentor recruitment, selection, professional development, and support
        7. Coordinating a beginning teacher professional learning community
        8. Coordinating administrator support
        9. Establishing and chairing regular meetings of the Collaborative Leadership Team
        10. Collecting and analyzing data for the purpose of program improvement
        11. Attending regional, state, and national conferences to network and continue to bring best practices back to the Collaborative Leadership Team
        12. Completes all ISBE and local required records and data
  3. Notes on Highly Effective Practices

    1. The Program Coordinator should receive release time from other roles so that the Induction and Mentoring Program is a priority
    2. A “firewall” must exist between mentoring and induction services and teacher evaluation for the purpose of hiring/firing, promotion, and tenure. Trainings for mentors, beginning teachers, and administrators must emphasize the importance of confidentiality, especially new teacher/mentor and new teacher/administrator confidentiality.
    3. Provisions should be made for smooth transition of program leadership to ensure that when program leadership changes there are continuity and sustainability.
    4. To sustain continuous program improvement, it is important to maintain the Collaborative Leadership Team even after the program has been developed.
    5. In small districts or other programs where there is not sufficient personnel to create the type of collaborative team described, open communication among stakeholder groups (e.g. induction and mentoring program leadership, the Board of Education, the teachers’ union, the superintendent, and district personnel) must still be established and maintained. Program stakeholders should have a voice in the program development, implementation, and evaluation.
    6. Ideally orientation should be a shared responsibility among district and building administrators, mentors, and other key personnel.