Most newly hired permanent teachers aren’t exactly “new teachers” by the time they achieve permanent status. This is actually my fourth year as a classroom teacher, and the case is similar for many (most?) others.
However, participation in the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) is a mandatory part of a new permanent teacher’s first year in their position. The program consists of the following three elements:
- orientation for new teachers to the school and school board
- mentoring for new teachers by experienced teachers
- professional learning relevant to the individual needs of new teachers
In addition to the three elements, all new teachers are evaluated twice within the first 12 months of their teaching position through the Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) process.
At first, the process might seem daunting or overwhelming for someone in a brand new position, especially if they are a somewhat new teacher. Not to worry – so far the process has been easy, clearly defined and even enjoyable!
All school boards implement the orientation, mentoring and professional learning in their own way. In my board, I have participated in two wonderful experiences so far.
First, I attended an NTIP Open House one evening after school. The board organized a drop-in event for new teachers to become acquainted with certain board staff members, board level services and introduce themselves to their mentoring groups and mentors. I had the opportunity to chat and network with many other people in the same position as I am. Booths and stations were set up in the room for teachers to visit and chat with board services such as Human Resources, Early Years, Speech and Language, Resource Libraries and many more. It was a great “get your feet wet” event that offered a glimpse into the rest of the process to come.
Next, was a full day of Professional Learning offered at the board office. New teachers were divided into groups based on their area of teaching. I teach grade 3/4, so I was placed in the Primary mentoring group. The day consisted of whole-group learning as well as time with our individual mentoring group. Led by various board staff, the whole-group session offered information about board resources, the NTIP process, basic board orientation information, discussion of best practice and even some mini-PD sessions led by various mentors that offered exposure to new resources, tools and ideas. Each mentoring group was assigned three or four mentors (experienced teachers), who led their smaller groups through further professional learning that was relevant to our specific positions. Time was given for informal conversation, a chance to ask questions and get to know other mentees.
For me, the most valuable information that I was given was a full explanation of what to expect during the TPA process for new teachers. We were provided with a full description of the process, advice for a successful TPA, time to ask questions and even a head start on filling out our Individual NTIP Strategy Forms.
The Individual NTIP Strategy Form is intended to serve as a vehicle for discussion and learning, as well as a means of planning, tracking, and recording the NTIP induction elements in which each new teacher participates. It is intended to reflect when a new teacher has completed participation in their program – almost as a diary of your learning. This form helps guide your professional development over the year and is a tool for documenting that learning for you and your administrator.
I left our first official day of NTIP feeling empowered and prepared for the next step of the process, the Teacher Performance Appraisals – which you can read all about in my next post!
Still curious about NTIP? You can read more about it here!