"The key is collaboration. The more collaboration
you have in planning the program, the more successful it
will be. More people buy into it. For the new teacher, the
main thing that I have to say is that upon completion of
the TIP week, participants know that we are excited about
having them and we want them to share our expectations for
Teamwork Along the Lake
Like its sister programs in Georgia and North Carolina,
the induction program in the Great Lakes community of Port
Huron, Michigan, can trace its roots to Arizona.
New teacher induction in this border town, nestled alongside
the shores of Lake Huron, just a stones throw from
the Canadian border, began in the fall of 1991. The local
superintendent for this district of 12,000 students returned
from a regional conference, excited about the concept of
training new teachers for their first days in the classroom.
He foresaw that a great many older teachers in his district
would be retiring within five years, and the district would
be forced to fill those vacancies with inexperienced teachers.
Enter Cathy Lozen, a veteran classroom teacher who had just
made the move into administration. One of her first assignments
was the challenge of bringing new teacher induction to Port
"Our superintendent believed if we could get a program
up and running at that time, we would be in a very good
position to effectively deal with a flood of new people
coming in, new hires, down the road," Ms. Lozen recalls.
Embracing her assignment, Ms. Lozen traveled to Arizona
and studied the Flowing Wells induction model. The visit
out West would solidify her purpose.
"I loved the spirit, the buy-in from the staff, the
climate that was there in Flowing Wells," Ms. Lozen
remembers. "Everybody in town was aware of the program.
Everybody believed in it, and they participated to one degree
or another. That was what I tried to create when I came
Upon her return to Michigan, Ms. Lozen reviewed the research
on new teacher induction, and then reflected on her own
experiences as a classroom teacher. "It was almost
like walking in my shoes again, looking back at my classroom
career, thinking what I might have wanted to happen differently.
And that was how I planned the program," she says.
"One of the problems with staff development is that
it has always been hit-and-run, a one-shot deal thats
supposed to fix everything. We know that is not effective,"
Ms. Lozen continues. "We wanted it to be a sustained
program. We felt we needed to keep new teachers close to
us for a year, nurture them and take them step-by-step through
the year. Then, theyd have a real solid foundation
about the district, about teaching, about our expectations."
The basic components of the four-day orientation are familiar:
- On Day 1, new teachers enjoy a welcome breakfast with
balloons, flowers and gifts. The agenda is mostly a get-acquainted
day with key staff members. A resource notebook is provided
for each teacher.
- The district hosts a bus tour for the new teachers with
a stop at one of the middle schools and tours of three
- On Day 2, the district serves a heavy dose of Harry
Wong. Teachers receive The First Days of School and instruction
on classroom management and the importance of classroom
procedures, rules, and routines.
- On Day 3, trainers conduct a more detailed review of
the staff members met on the first day, then lead a "hot
topics" discussion of some issues the teachers might
encounter in the local schools.
- On Day 4, new teachers visit demonstration classrooms,
with selected teachers on the grade level and subject
areas sharing their reasoning for certain classroom arrangements.
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