I enjoy the opportunity to work with the TEAM mentor to support the beginning teacher’s new learning. I find the dialogue created by the PGAP process is productive for all in increasing understanding of the process and of beginning teacher needs for professional growth. -administrator
What is the role of the administrator in TEAM?
The principal’s primary role is to support, develop, and assess teachers. It takes time for teachers to learn their craft. Principals play a critical role in promoting a beginning teachers’ professional growth by providing support for the learning opportunities that lead to teacher’s improved practice. Research shows successful mentor programs are characterized by strong leadership and management. New teachers benefit from engagement in purposeful, ongoing, formal and informal learning opportunities that help them to become more reflective professional educators. The TEAM program is about professional growth. While TEAM participation activities cannot be used as a component of the teacher evaluation process, as the administrator, you can assist the beginning teacher in developing their instructional skills in a number of ways:
- monitor the mentor mentee relationships;
- make good decisions about matching mentors and mentees- pair new teachers with trained mentors in similar grades and subject areas where possible;
- provide common planning time and frequent face-to-face interaction among mentors and beginning teachers;
- encourage novices to work with other teachers to develop, through co planning and coteaching or through observing in veteran teachers’ classrooms;
- make sure that new teachers’ course schedules require as few separate preparation efforts as possible;
- if possible, avoid assigning schedules that require new teachers to change classrooms during the day ;
- help beginning teachers choose and focus on a single area of focus to develop new learning; and
- provide release time to observe beginning teachers in action and document.
Relationships matter – it is important to take time to get to know the new teachers and establish a strong working relationship.
Separation of TEAM Program Results and Employment Decisions
The TEAM legislation states that “local and regional Boards of Education shall not consider a teacher’s completion of the teacher education and mentoring program as a factor in its decision to continue a teacher’s employment in the district.”
- Clarification for districts: TEAM Program activities can be aligned with district and school goals and, therefore, aligned with the district’s teacher evaluation plan, considering the balance of both district initiatives and the professional growth needs of the beginning teacher. However, the successful completion of a beginning teacher’s reflection paper(s) or other work completed as part of the TEAM modules must not have any impact on or be a factor in a district’s decision to continue or terminate employment of the beginning teacher. Non-renewal must be based on alternative criteria.
- Clarification for beginning teachers: Conversely, a beginning teacher cannot use a successful completion of modules to argue against a non-renewal decision by the district.