New Teacher Academy at Xavier Helps Educators During Early Career
Xavier is developing a pilot program to support new elementary and high school teachers. The creation of the New Teacher Academy at Xavier is funded by a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.
The academy is a comprehensive induction program supporting beginning teachers in the Greater Cincinnati area. It’s being offered free of charge to 30 teachers in their first, second or third years of teaching during the 2010-2011 academic year. To apply, teachers should contact their school district or the project’s directors at Xavier: Teresa Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or Delane Bender-Slack at email@example.com.
The goal of the academy is to assist elementary and secondary schools in Ohio by accelerating teacher effectiveness for beginning teachers in order to improve student learning.
Teachers accepted to the program become members of a collaborative professional learning community. They attend six face-to-face seminars that include active, sustained learning on topics such as “Preparing for Effective Parent-Teacher Conferences” and “Managing the Classroom.” Through these meetings, as well as through online communication with peer teachers and the teachers’ school-appointed mentors, the academy provides a supportive culture to advance best teaching practices.
The passage of Ohio House Bill 1 in July 2009 set in motion the creation of a new licensure system for teachers and the development of a Resident Educator Program. Xavier’s New Teacher Academy supplements the state’s interim program, which provides a mentor for first-year teachers. Xavier’s program is being developed with the guidance and assistance of administrators from area school districts and offers an innovative approach to teacher induction that follows national best practices.
Research has demonstrated that programs creating professional learning communities that regularly provide seminars on topics of interest and online communication with colleagues appear to be most effective in helping beginning teachers ease the transition during their first years in the profession.
The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, based in Cleveland, funds projects that promote more effective teaching in Ohio's primary and secondary secular schools.