The State of Delaware provides a three year mentoring and induction program for teachers/specialists new to the profession that are employed in a public school within the state. The program is designed to meet the following goals:
Scientific Research Based
The Delaware Mentoring and Induction Program is aligned with the following research:
Electronic Support for New Teachers/Specialists
Delaware uses Educational Impact’s video streaming series of Danielson’s A Framework for Teaching to provide visual representation of the domains and components of the framework. The video clips include examples of best practices for K-12. The program is available to the new teachers/specialists 24/7 and is accessible through any internet connection. Each of the clips contain a brief explanation of a component presented by Danielson, an actual classroom application, and an analysis of practice(s). The sessions range from 5 to 12 minutes in length.
Cycles of the Program (may be modified to meet the needs of the new teacher/specialist)
The purpose of the program is to provide the individuals with support that is shaped by the needs of the new teacher/specialist. In addition to the dates indicated here, assume that the new teacher/specialist was hired at the beginning of the school year. As this is a personal journey, new teachers/specialists are encouraged not to move into a cycle until they feel that they are ready to do so.
The following is a description of the process as outlined by the Department of Education. For the purpose of licensure the requirements to move forward are those stated in the outline below. It is important to recognize that sites have the right to add additional requirements. The format for mentors, learning team experiences, and individual personal growth analysis is to be consistent throughout the state
New teachers/specialists and mentors explore school, district, and state resources such as standards, Delaware State Testing Program, and specialists services for staff/students, etc.
New teachers’ work in Domain Two: The Classroom Environment. Mentors observe new teachers/specialists and review their performance with them. Mentors are encouraged to video the observation. After the review of the evidence the new teacher/specialist selects an area of growth in this domain. The new teachers/specialists review several of the video streaming sessions related to this domain to observe effective strategies and consider what they may implement to refine their practice. They spend two to three weeks refining the area of focus and then invite their mentor to observe the progress made. The new teacher/specialist and mentor meet for a second time and discuss the evidence. At the end of this session, the new teacher/specialist assesses his/her current level of practice using a rubric designed to indicate the aspects of performance in each of the components. The new teacher/specialist and mentor determine whether the new teacher/specialist feels that he/she is ready to move to the second cycle. During this cycle a workshop on Communicating with Parents is held in each of the sites to help new teachers/specialists prepare for their initial conferences with parents.
New teachers/specialists move into Domains One (Planning and Preparation) and Three (Instruction) of the framework. During this time period the new teachers/specialists and their mentors attend a required workshop to explore the concept of engaging students in learning. They review a lesson plan to assess its effectiveness and consider any accommodations and modifications that may be necessary. The mentor observes the new teacher/specialists delivering instruction/services and provides feedback as before. Again, the new teacher/specialist selects an area of focus, reviews appropriate video streaming related to the component, and refines practice. A second meeting is conducted between the new teacher/specialist and the mentor. The new teacher/specialist determines his/her current level of practice on the rubrics related to these two domains. At the conclusion of this cycle, the new teacher/specialist has completed those cycles in which a mentor works directly with them to explore their professional practice.
Initial License Cycle Three and One Year Requirement for Teachers New to State
This cycle is conducted in learning teams comprised of new teachers/specialists and, when possible, experienced teachers. The program is a year-long study to develop “assessment literate” new teachers/specialists. The concept of using learning teams came from an international study by Britton, Paine, and Raizen. They note that learning to work on collaborative teams is essential for the development of teachers/specialists. During this cycle, the new teacher/specialist explores seven researched strategies that have proven to increase student achievement internationally. They review, critique, and refine both personal and text assessment to assure that they are accurately measuring what is being taught. During each team meeting the teachers/specialists discuss the chapter reviewed and, when applicable, bring assessments and student work to analyze. This cycle strengthens their ability to be successful in component five of DPAS II, to work on teams, to develop a clear understanding of how to use assessment data, and to improve assessment and instructional practices and student learning.
Initial License Cycle four
The final cycle is designed to develop the new teachers/specialists' ability to analyze his/her professional growth over time. During the first part of this cycle, the new teacher/specialist reviews his/her professional growth status related to content and pedagogy. After conducting this review, the new teacher/specialist sets goals for his/her professional growth for the year. The options are open and approval is granted by the district/charter school. New teachers/specialists have typically elected to take classes, join a learning team, conduct book studies, and do online action research or take online professional development. At the end of this cycle, the new teacher considers his/her goals for the next five years and puts together a formal professional growth plan which is reviewed with a lead mentor. The plan should guide their professional development selections for their first 90 clock hours to renew their continuing license.
Flexibility of the Process - The program is deliberately constructed in cycles, rather than in years. This flexibility allows:
Structure of the Program
Delaware Department of Education- The Teacher & Administrator Quality Development Work Group houses the Education Associate responsible for the New Teacher/Specialist Mentoring and Induction Program. The responsibilities of this person include
Site Coordinator- Each district/charter school identifies one person to be the official contact for the mentoring program. This person works with DDOE to answer questions relating to certification, highly qualified teachers, the progress of new teachers/specialists in the program, and pay for related responsibilities.
Lead Mentors – Delaware has a cadre of trained lead mentors who serve the districts and charter schools. These educators/specialists are responsible for the program and training at the site level. They are required to be trained in Danielson’s Framework for Teaching and Assessment for Learning. They train mentors and assure that mentors are delivering and new teachers/specialists are receiving the services required. Some lead mentors work directly with new teachers/specialists through Cycles One and Two while others facilitate the learning team experiences in Cycle Three, or with professional development in Cycle Four. All Lead Mentors gather together in June of each year to develop new skills, refine practices, and provide feedback on the successes and challenges of the previous year.
Mentors – These Delaware educators/specialists are selected at the sites. They must be trained in Danielson’s Framework for Teaching and the formal mentor training to develop their skills and knowledge in the roles of mentoring and coaching. Delaware’s mentoring program has a strong model of coaching. In addition, the mentors gain insight into the differences between simply mentoring a new teacher/specialist and inducting them into the profession. Mentors go through a series of events to develop their skills in observing professional practice and providing descriptive feedback. Mentors are paid by the state for their work with new teachers/specialists.
Electronic Monitoring in Delaware Educator Data System [DEEDS]
In order for a new teacher to move from an Initial License to a Continuing License he/she must:
These steps are reflected in the educators’ profile on DEEDS. At the completion of a cycle and, after review of the documents, the site coordinator pushes the "evaluation" button in DEEDS to indicate that the new teacher/specialist has completed the cycle requirements.
The “evaluation” button can only be activated by the Human Resources Office. The Site Coordinator/Lead Mentor notify the HR office that the new teacher/specialist has completed the cycles and the HR office reviews the files to assure that at least two successful summative evaluations are present. The Continuing License will be set electronically to print on the date that the Initial License expires after the evaluation button is activated and the criminal history statement is checked
This process provides closer monitoring and better support of the new teachers. As all information is recorded on DEEDS, a site can view the mentoring requirements and determine where the new teacher/specialist's status in the process.
Each year Site Coordinators and Lead Mentors are selected to work with DDOE staff to monitor the mentoring and induction program and to identify, design, and implement the training at the summer summit. These Lead Mentors meet with DDOE staff beginning in November to start the process. The committee is representative of the sites served by the program.