In an effort to provide each new staff member with an opportunity to become an outstanding educator, the Waterford Graded School District has established a New Teacher Mentoring Program that offers professional development essential to educator learning. The program is designed to assist, support, encourage, and train new staff with the purpose of improving practice and high student achievement.
Within the WGSD Mentoring Program, the district will:
Provide a qualified building mentor for each new staff member. This staff member will provide the day-to-day guidance new hires require in order to be successful within a building. Building mentors are chosen as a model of excellence.
Provide a district mentor. This staff member provides the overall support to help our new teachers succeed during their initial years in the Waterford Graded School District. The district mentor role is non-evaluative; instead, the focus is on teaching and learning. The district mentor provides: New Teacher Orientation, on-going support workshops, observations and feedback for the purpose of professional growth, classroom-embedded coaching, conferencing, modeling, and co-teaching. The district mentor will also provide support and assist in the Professional Development Plan process.
In April 2000, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) adopted PI-34: "Teacher Education Program Approval and License." The rules within this initiative identify and describe the ways that Wisconsin school districts are required to support initial educators who completed educator preparation programs after 2004:
"Under PI-34 (http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/resources/pi-34-wisconsin-quality-educator-initiative), the district is required to provide the following for initial educators:
1. Provide ongoing orientation that is collaboratively developed and delivered by school boards, administrators, teachers, support staff, and parents/families. 2. Provide support seminars which reflect the appropriate standards (teacher, pupil services, administrator) and the mission and goals of the school district. 3. Provide a qualified and trained mentor. A qualified mentor is an educator who holds a Professional or Master Educator License, is trained to provide support and assistance to initial educators, and has input into the confidential formative assessment of the initial educator. Training should include knowledge and understanding of the Wisconsin educator standards as well as the Professional Development Plan (PDP) process. The mentor is not part of the formal employment evaluation process. 4. Designate an administrator who may serve on the initial educator's Professional Development Plan (PDP) team."