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Program Description

Urbana School District's New Teacher Mentoring Program connects experienced teachers with beginning teachers. These experienced teachers have demonstrated a commitment to professional development, have at least five years experience teaching in Urbana School District with positive performance ratings, and have received Induction for the 21st Century Educator training.

Since this is an ISBE-approved mentoring program, and it includes mentor observations of the new teachers, new teachers who have Initial Certificates may use two years of this program to move to their Standard Certificates.

New teacher observations by a mentor are done a minimum of three times per year, and include a pre-observation conference and a post-observation conference. These conferences and the observations are private - the conversations and data taken remain between the mentor and protege only, and are non-evaluative in nature. During the school year, mentors and proteges will also share a written feedback log. At least once each quarter, mentors and proteges will use this log to pose questions and reflect on their practice in writing.

Other mentoring activities include:

- Attending professional development activities
- Proteges observing mentors' classes or the classes of other teachers (this could be set up with other teachers by the mentor)
- Mentors co-teaching in the protege's classroom
- Discussing sections of Teach Like a Champion, The First Year Teacher's Survival Guide or other professional books
- Sharing materials
- Getting together with other mentors and proteges to discuss curriculum or challenging classroom issues
- Informal support

New teacher induction begins with New Teacher Orientation in August to welcome all of the teachers that are new to the district, and continues throughout the year with induction activities and building-level new teacher meetings.