Welcome to Teaching and to the Unit 5 Mentoring Program
The stakes are high. Every day, we wager the future of this country on our teachers. We are daily entrusting the dreams of our young people to those who teach them. Whether those dreams are delayed, denied, or fulfilled is ours to decide.
No Dream Denied
National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future
Washington, D.C., January 2002
We are thrilled to welcome new-to-the-profession teachers to Unit 5! Teaching is truly an important, exciting and rewarding career.
Unit 5 has established a comprehensive induction program to assist novice teachers as they grow and develop as educators. Novice teachers can move from having an Initial to Standard Teaching Certificate by fully participating in this professional development program. One of the most important facets of induction is high-quality instructional mentoring of novice teachers by accomplished teachers.
Mentors will support new teachers in creating a quality classroom with high student achievement. Mentors will support new teachers in creating a standards aligned classroom with differentiated learning for all students, a positive home/school connection, and continued teacher reflection for growth.
Mentors will support new teachers through a successful first year teaching experience that encourages continued education, professional growth for the teacher, and a positive outlook for their future educational career.
The Unit 5 Mentoring Program
All new teachers to Unit 5 are assigned a 1:1 mentor to assist their transition into the district regardless of experience. These teachers aid and assist new teachers in a variety of ways. They provide general information about a particular building or grade level and curricular support. This type of mentoring has been a part of the larger induction program for many years.
Novice teachers participate in new teacher seminars designed to address their specific needs revolving around curriculum expectations, differentiated instruction, student management, professional growth opportunities, special education, technology, and district policies and procedures.
Why Are Mentoring Programs Needed?
- Many novice teachers have had as little as 10 weeks of teaching experience.
- Nationally, approximately 50% of novice teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years.
- Locally, approximately 40% of novice teachers leave the Unit 5 within the first 5 years.
- Unit 5 is experiencing high growth. As a result, many novice teachers are hired by the district impacting a significant percentage of students.
- Student achievement increases as a result of high quality mentoring programs for novice teachers.
- ISBE requires that districts have a mentoring program in place if they are to have an Assured
Program to move novice teachers from an Initial to Standard Teaching Certificate Unit 5 Mentoring Program Goals
- Establish new professional norms of collaboration and ongoing learning
- Improve teaching performance
- Increase student achievement
- Plan and implement high quality training for mentors and novice teachers
- Increase teacher retention