The College of Education and Allied Professions is dedicated to supporting our teachers throughout their careers. Western North Carolina school systems are finding it difficult to maintain adequate staffing due to the retirement of the teaching force, higher student enrollment, and smaller class sizes. In addition, many qualified teachers who enter the profession fail to stay in the classroom due to the pressures of the job and lack of support.
Building upon the university's existing partnerships with the public schools, Beginning Teacher Support is a unique and fast-growing resource and works to stem the tide of new teachers abandoning the profession before they have completed five years of service. WNC beginning teachers, their mentors, and administrators can benefit from Career Support events and resources.
The College of Education and Allied Professions supports new teachers by hosting the Beginning Teacher Induction Symposium. This is a collaborative effort for Beginning Teacher's among Western's School University Teacher Education Partnership (SUTEP), and Western North Carolina School Systems. The Symposium fulfills two of the three professional development days required for new teachers in North Carolina.
To support mentors in their professional development, Teacher Recruitment, Advising and Career Support (TRACS) has compiled a list of online resources for mentors to use. These resources focus on the important topics of mentoring and retention and instructional leadership.
The following online resources have been selected to support mentors serving in a variety of roles, including mentoring and retention and instructional leadership.
Resources for Mentoring and Retention
Resources for Instructional Leadership
There are also online training sessions available.
The North Carolina State School Board of Education requires each school system to develop and provide a Beginning Teacher Support Program plan (NCDPI, 2002) for the support and assessment of teachers during their first three years of service. Implementing the state-mandated plan is a challenge to small rural school systems without adequate resources.
TRACS collaborates with Beginning Teacher Coordinators in our region to provide a comprehensive formalized program of support for new teachers, mentors, and school executives. Induction activities include support, practice, feedback, and evaluation jointly delivered by school systems and university. Program components consist of:
Leaders in the Local Education Authorities in Western North Carolina have identified the need for school leaders, in addition to mentors, to support and nurture beginning teachers.
Surveys conducted by TRACS suggest that assistant principals are often charged with administrative leadership for supporting beginning teachers, but with little or no training.
Professional development for school leaders in the area of teacher induction support is integrated into the work of TRACS as a means of addressing the need for building level leadership that increases teacher retention.
Online resources, articles, and websites designed to offer school executives strategies to support both new and career teachers have been selected.