Nov 27, 2017

Mentor Cadre to Grow as Yearlong Residencies for Aspiring Teachers Launch Statewide in 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. - Starting this week, nearly 500 expert educators across the state will begin training to become mentors to aspiring teachers completing their preparation in Louisiana. The selective professional development program, which is free for participants, is part of a three-year effort by the Louisiana Department of Education to establish a cadre of at least 2,500 professionals equipped with the necessary skills to guide the next generation of educators.

"Through Believe and Prepare, Louisiana's nationally recognized teacher preparation program, school systems and preparation providers have collaborated to address district workforce needs and to ensure aspiring teachers experience yearlong, classroom-based residencies under the tutelage of Louisiana's best teachers," said State Superintendent John White. "These mentors deserve professional training and recognition for their service in this role, and we look forward to expanding this cadre of professionals over time."

Starting in July 2018, all teacher preparation programs in Louisiana will include  a yearlong classroom residency alongside an experienced mentor teacher, coupled with a competency-based curriculum, that will provide teaching candidates with the knowledge and skills needed in order to be prepared for their first day in the classroom.

When the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved regulations that establish these shifts in teacher preparation, the Department committed to providing specialized training for veteran teachers interested in becoming mentors to classroom residents and a $1,000 stipend for those who served as a mentor to undergraduate residents. Nearly 500 veteran educators were nominated by their local school systems to participate in the mentor training program in its inaugural year, and an additional 1,000 mentors will be trained in 2018-2019, and also in 2019-2020.

This year's participants represent 68 school systems statewide, as well as a variety of grade levels and subject areas. Participants were selected for possessing a track-record of proven success with student learning; a working knowledge of curricular tools and resources; strong communication and time-management skills; an interest and ability to lead others and help them grow; and a commitment to lifelong learning.

The training program, which will be facilitated by national education experts identified through an open, competitive request for proposals, includes nine, in-person sessions throughout the school year and will be held in various locations, including Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Alexandria, and Shreveport. The first sessions begin today and the final sessions will take place in April 2018.

Participants will learn to build relationships with teachers-in-training, as well as new teachers who may be in need of support; identify and address the needs of their mentees; deliver resources to help their mentees improve; and track their progress. Those who successfully complete the program will receive a special distinction from the state education department indicating they are ready to support residents and new teachers.

For more information about educator preparation in Louisiana, click here.

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