Administrators, Instructional Coaches

Process For Supporting New Teachers

mentoring by two adults

The first year or two of a new teacher’s career is extremely stressful and can be overwhelming. The support these new teachers receive can often determine whether or not they remain in the field of education. One way we can support new teachers is through onboarding.

One of the duties for administrators, specifically instructional coaches, is onboarding new staff to the school. This means that the leader is in charge of helping that new hire acclimate into the school- understand protocols, requirements and culture.

In order for onboarding to be a success, leaders need to develop a process. This ensures consistency across the board, no matter how many new hires come into the system or which teacher leader heads the process. An onboarding process guarantees all staff dive into their roles well informed.

Below are tips for developing a successful process to support new teachers:

Collect Information and Procedures and Protocols

Make a list of all the essential information someone new to the school building would need and want to know (calendars, maps, schedules, supply access, etc.) I like to put all this information together in a consolidated flipchart for new staff so it is quickly accessible.

Poll teachers for what information they found helpful (or wish they had been given) when they joined the staff.

Host a meeting with the administrative team and decide what other information should be shared with new hires.

Pair New Staff With Veteran Teachers

New teachers will inevitably have questions and challenges that arise. Ensure that they have someone specifically responsible to check in on them and support. The first person I would pair new teachers with is a teacher leader in their grade level. I like to have new teachers observe these teacher leaders at least twice during the first couple months of school. Each time they observe this teacher leader/veteran they have a conversation afterwards discussing what they observed and any questions they have. Next, that veteran teacher goes and observes a lesson of the new teacher. This gives them an indication about what challenges the new teacher may be having.

Reflect On And Update The Process

Reflect on the effectiveness of the onboarding process and materials set up before making changes

Use common questions from new hires to tweak current onboarding materials

Update onboarding materials as often as necessary so details are current (ie. quarterly, yearly, etc.)

A proven system will ensure every new hire is prepared to be the best educator possible because of the time invested in a smooth transition for all staff members joining the school team.

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