Texas Beginning Educator Support System


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The Texas Beginning Educator Support System (TxBESS) is an induction program for teaching staff that pairs each new teacher with a mentor. Teachers new to the profession work with their mentors for their first two years at Northwest High School while experienced teachers new to the campus have a mentor for their first year only.

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Texas Beginning Educator Support System

  1. 1. BlueRibbon SchoolZone™ Education Best Practices<br />Texas Beginning Educator Support System<br />
  2. 2. Detailed Overview<br />The Texas Beginning Educator Support System (TxBESS) is an induction program for teaching staff that pairs each new teacher with a mentor. Teachers new to the profession work with their mentors for their first two years at Northwest High School while experienced teachers new to the campus have a mentor for their first year only.<br />New teachers meet monthly as a group with the TxBESS coordinator to discuss areas of concern. Mentors also meet monthly with the TxBESS coordinator to get general feedback and provide the same. Mentors meet at least weekly with their protégés to enact aspects of the program and give the new teachers a touchstone as they transition into campus and/or professional life.The mentor teacher also serves as an informal liaison with administration as well as other teachers in their respective departments and with the support staff.<br />
  3. 3. Detailed Overview<br />Each new teacher is teamed with an experienced teacher to provide ongoing professional support. Focused support for experienced teachers principally addresses school culture and professional issues related to the student population, staff acclimatization, procedural details, and general team building.<br />Teachers new to the profession receive encouragement in classroom management techniques, lesson preparation and assessment, identification of student needs, and establishment of an attitude of professional growth. Mentors assist through direct observation of new teacher classroom preparation and instruction, provide observation opportunities for the new teachers in their own and other teachers’ classrooms and regularly debrief with the new teachers providing moral support throughout their transition into the education profession. <br />
  4. 4. Detailed Overview (cont’d)<br />The most important tool that mentors utilize with new teachers is the TxBESS Activity Profile (TAP). This document is designed to help teachers self-appraise their instructional preparation and delivery. The TAP provides evidence for the new teacher in how effective their instruction is for students in a non-threatening, yet comprehensive fashion.<br />The principal role of the mentor is to help the new teachers determine at which levels of proficiency they are accomplishing performance standards within the framework of Instructional Planning, Classroom Environment, Instructional Experience, and Educational Professionalism. This personal appraisal process lays the groundwork for the new teacher to gauge future improvements in teaching behaviors by establishing a baseline of teacher competencies. The mentor helps the teacher develop strategies to improve in each of these critical areas of the teaching profession.<br />
  5. 5. Benefits<br />Improve the skills and abilities of both new and experienced teachers<br />Increase retention rates of teachers new to the campus<br />Improve overall staff quality<br />Build instructional leadership within the teaching ranks<br />Increase opportunities for new teachers to witness and receive feedback on best practices in action<br />Provide a safe haven for new teachers to express concerns<br />Provide an informal method for supervisors to receive input on new staff performance<br />Reduce the financial and personnel losses associated with high rates of teacher turnover<br />
  6. 6. How to Implement<br />Define needs of your new teachers using recent teachers hired to the campus. <br />Form a campus committee, composed of new and veteran teachers, as well as campus administrators, to begin examination of existing mentoring programs. <br />Choose the purpose of the mentoring program desired. <br />Review programs and develop synthesis, based upon desired purpose. <br />Choose a Teacher Mentor Coordinator and provide release time for training and development/adoption of materials. <br />Recruit Mentors from Staff (These individuals need not be in the specific content area of the protégés.) <br />Provide Stipends for Mentors. <br />Designate training dates for beginning of school year and ongoing training during the year. <br />Implement Program.<br />For more information about TxBESS see: <br />Home Page for Website<br />http://www.region10.org/txbess/<br />TxBESS Framework<br />http://www.region10.org/TxBESS/documents/TxBESSFramework.pdf<br />TxBESS Program Standards<br />http://www.region10.org/TxBESS/documents/TxBESSProgramStandards.pdf<br />TxBESS Activity Profile<br />http://www.region10.org/TxBESS/documents/TxBESSActivityProfile.doc<br />
  7. 7. Effectiveness<br />Track return rates of new staff: Since the fall of 2000 NHS has hired 84 teachers. Of that total, 76 (or 90%) are still teaching at Northwest, and 6 of the remainder are teaching elsewhere. Thus, 98% of the total are still in the teaching profession.<br />Statewide the numbers are shockingly different. Only 75% of new teachers hired who received no support during their induction year remain after the first year and 60% stay at their first school. Within five years 50% have left the profession.<br />Among those teachers receiving TxBESS support statewide, 88% remain in teaching while 80% are retained by their district.<br />
  8. 8. Effectiveness<br />One informational survey of first year teachers served by the TxBESS program indicated that 82% of those teachers were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience using TxBESS structure to support their first year in the classroom.<br />A statewide follow-up interviewed 170 principals in schools using TxBESS and asked them to compare their beginning teachers who received program support to those that had not. The principals rated the teachers’ performance in four key areas: instructional effectiveness, faculty integration, student discipline, and teacher attitude.<br />Principals agreed that teachers receiving TxBESS support were performing better in all areas compared to those that had not received mentor support.<br />The most success was seen in the area of instructional effectiveness. 65% of principals surveyed gave positive feedback regarding better instructional effectiveness from mentored teachers.<br />The survey indicated the lowest success was in teacher attitude toward teaching at the end of the year. Even though it was the least supported area, 52% of principals agreed that mentored teachers had a better attitude than non-mentored teachers had. <br />
  9. 9. Effectiveness<br />Track participation rates of former protégés as new mentors. At NHS 15 of the 24 teachers who currently serve as mentors were mentored themselves under the TxBESS program. <br />With the tremendous growth being experienced in staff due to enrollment increases, this program has been critical in ensuring a coherent staff in addition to a coherent instructional program.<br />Existing staff members increase leadership capabilities through both formal TxBESS mentor training and ongoing work as mentors.<br />Mentors also more efficiently identify leadership traits in new teachers as well as the general skill level of new teachers.<br />Many of the most successful and enthusiastic mentors were themselves protégés of our earliest TxBESS mentors.<br />
  10. 10. Success<br />The TxBESS mentoring program has been an incredibly powerful tool in building instructional leadership within the school for both new teachers and veterans of Northwest High School. <br />TxBESS has saved the school district thousands of dollars in hiring, training, and support costs associated with high turnover rates. By ensuring that teachers remain at the school once hired, NHS is investing in its own future with better stewardship of both human and financial resources.<br />
  11. 11. Contact Info<br />Bart Teal, CEO/Founder<br />Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, Inc<br />Bart@BlueRibbonSchools.com<br />803-345-5415 (Office)<br />