District Administration December2017 - 29

SPONSORED WEB SEMINAR DIGEST

"What's wonderful is that these are people
who have talents in other areas, yet they are
drawn to teaching, and they have a passion
for working with students. Their real-life
experiences captivate our students."
in getting people onto our website, as well as studying
where they are going on our website. We also analyze
the people who complete the application, we're trying
to see what they have in common to see if that will help
us make decisions about where to spend our recruiting
dollars.
Our program is what we call a "fast start." We don't
want to call it a "fast track" because some people think
of fast-track as, "Oh, they don't have to do the things
that other teachers have to do." But they do. They get
a fast start in terms of being able to get into the school
district much more quickly, and obtain a full salary and
benefits while they are completing the rest of their
requirements.
The bulk of our new people are career changers.
These are people who have bachelor's degrees in other
areas and either have always thought about becoming
a teacher, or maybe something happened in their career
and this is just an opportune time for them.
What's wonderful is that these are people who have
talents in other areas, yet they are drawn to teaching,
and they have a passion for working with students.
Their real-life experiences captivate our students. For
example, we have a science teacher who is a former
volcanologist, and students love hearing about how he
used to climb volcanoes in his former career. And he'd
give real specific examples of the things he used to do in
his day-to-day life. That helps the students understand
why they are learning what they are learning, and then
think about that practical application in their day-to-day
life.
In regards to professional development, our ARL
teachers are required to have field experience, which
is in lieu of student teaching. They do 15 full days in
the classroom with a mentor teacher who scaffolds
them in their experience. And then once they are hired,
they are required to stay with us in their first contracted
year of teaching and complete additional professional
development.
We have analyzed our data in terms of looking
at where our brand new teachers fall off. Across the
board we see that the reason teachers leave-other
than moving out of state, or because their spouse got a
different job, or there's a family medical emergency-

is usually because they struggle with classroom
management. So we rethought what we were
doing in our pre-service training for our alternative
route to licensure (ARL) program, and we identified
high-leverage skills that are connected to first-year
performance.
They also are paired with a master teacher based
on whether they are at the elementary, secondary or
special education levels. They will go into the teacher's
classroom to observe classes. That teacher will show
them everything in terms of room arrangement, bulletin
boards, lesson planning and other practical skills.
When we get to the point of them being hired, then
our focus is on retention. For every teacher who doesn't
leave, that means one classroom that doesn't have to
be filled next year. We want to be able to retain all of our
good teachers.
Every first-year teacher is also assigned a site-based
mentor at their school.That mentor will work with them
year-round on everything they might have questions
about. This is important because each school is unique
and the things that are required of each teacher are
unique-the way they plan, their PLC's, grading, lesson
planning and so on. So that mentor has to be part of
that effort to help that teacher on a day-to-day basis.
Professional development is also an important
component, so four times a year we offer what we
call New Teacher Symposiums, and teachers pick and
choose the areas they want to attend. We also have
what's called Education Meetups. These are held in a
large venue with roundtables set up. Anybody from
first-year teachers to experienced teachers can have
their own table to share an idea, and people will
walk through the room and get ideas from all of the
tables. This has been a great, informal way of getting
professional development, and teachers just love the
format.
We have been very successful with this program,
and we have a strong outlook for the future in terms
of trying to put a dent in that number looming ahead
of us-the 2,900 vacancies we anticipate next year. We
are going to keep chipping away as a team to try to
make sure we reduce that number as much as possible
before the first day of school.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please visit: www.districtadministration.com/ws101117
www.DistrictAdministration.com

December 2017 29


http://www.districtadministration.com/ws101117 http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration December2017

District Administration December2017 - Cover1
District Administration December2017 - Cover2
District Administration December2017 - 1
District Administration December2017 - 2
District Administration December2017 - 3
District Administration December2017 - 4
District Administration December2017 - 5
District Administration December2017 - 6
District Administration December2017 - 7
District Administration December2017 - 8
District Administration December2017 - 9
District Administration December2017 - 10
District Administration December2017 - 11
District Administration December2017 - 12
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District Administration December2017 - 14
District Administration December2017 - 15
District Administration December2017 - 16
District Administration December2017 - 17
District Administration December2017 - 18
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District Administration December2017 - Cover3
District Administration December2017 - Cover4
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