Connecticut has long understood the importance of supporting beginning teachers to successfully transition from preparation to the role of professional educators. In October 2009, Connecticut General Statute, Section 10-145o was passed and called for the establishment of “a teacher education and mentoring (TEAM) program that includes guided teacher support and coaching and the completion of instructional modules” for beginning teachers.
The TEAM Program is a two-year induction program for new teachers that includes mentorship and professional development support that new educators need to be successful. Learning to teach is a developmental process that begins during preservice and continues throughout a teacher’s career. Becoming a highly effective teacher requires a lifelong commitment to continuous professional learning.
TEAM is a professional growth model that incorporates the CT Standards for Professional Learning and provides beginning teachers with multiple opportunities to reflect on their practice, analyze student data and outcomes, and identify areas for growth and improvement that drives their individual professional learning.
Beginning teachers must complete up to five professional growth modules focused on the Common Core of Teaching (CCT) domains: classroom environment, planning, instruction, assessment, and professional responsibility. Mentors and beginning teachers work together to identify a need/opportunity for professional learning based on the teacher’s own self-assessment, using the CCT Performance Profiles, feedback from observations conducted by the mentor and/or an evaluator, student data, and established student learning goals.
Together the teacher and mentor develop a professional growth action plan (PGAP). The plan begins with a goal that establishes the focus for professional learning and outlines how the teacher will develop new learning and apply it in practice. At the culmination of each module, the teacher writes a reflection paper documenting how the new learning was developed, what the teacher learned, how it changed the teacher’s practice, and the positive outcomes for students.
Successful completion of the TEAM Program is required for eligibility to move from an Initial Educator Certificate to a Provisional Educator Certificate.
Multiple web-based resources are available to support beginning teachers and mentors through the module process in addition to the support provided by school districts, Regional Education Service Centers and the Department of Education.