January 2016: NC New Teacher Support Program Newsletter

Happy New Year!  As we kick off another great semester, we are excited for the many opportunities provided for beginning teachers through the NC NTSP.  Our February Institutes are just around the corner!  With four location options for BT1s, 2s, and 3s, we warmly invite each participating teacher to choose the one location most convenient:

  • February 6, 2016-Davidson County Community College, Thomasville, NC
  • February 13, 2016- Greenville Holiday Inn, Greenville, NC 
  • February 13, 2016- Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC
  • February 27, 2016-UNC General Administration East, Chapel Hill, NC

Our February Institutes are focused on the most relevant professional development for beginning teachers at this time of the year.  Our core offerings will address contributing to the success of students, sharing content knowledge with students, and reflecting on practice.  Lunch panel with voices from students is included at each Institute.  Mileage will be reimbursed by the NC NTSP.  Online registration is available at https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6XQOYqLJOl5HGyF .

Lateral entry teachers, have you heard about the NC INSPIRE program?  There is still time for candidates to apply!  Eligible teachers receive tuition assistance that covers in-state tuition for coursework at three UNC system campuses toward a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).  Up to $4,200 is available per teacher!  To learn more and to apply, visit http://old.northcarolina.edu/nc_inspire.

We look forward to working with you in 2016 and admire each of you for your commitment to the students in North Carolina.  We also look forward to seeing you in February at one of our four Institutes!

All the Best,

Bryan S. Zugelder

 

 

Kitty Mann, NCSU Region Instructional Coach

Kitty Mann is an Instructional Coach for the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Region of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program (NC NTSP).  Kitty serves teachers in Edenton-Chowan Schools as well as teachers in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District.

Kitty brings experience as an elementary and middle grades media coordinator to the NC NTSP, with the majority of those years in the middle school.  Being in the hub of the school, Kitty has learned about changing resources, changing times, changing populations, and changing technologies.  She has served as a mentor to many new teachers, with and without, the official title.  Kitty appreciates the enthusiasm and energy new teachers bring to education. 

Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Meredith College, and a Master’s in Library Science and Information Studies from East Carolina University.  Before becoming a media coordinator, Kitty was a District Sales Manager in parts of North Carolina and Virginia.  As a media coordinator, selling life-long learning came naturally.

When she is not supporting beginning teachers, Kitty is the unifying influence in her home divided by her children’s loyalties to their alma maters, UNC and NCSU.  Kitty lives with her husband, Steve, and travels to Charlotte, Rocky Mount, and Harrisonburg, Virginia, keeping the peace!  With one grandson and another on the way, Kitty’s life is about to become even more interesting. When not traveling, Kitty enjoys the arts, reading, and designing with desktop publishing. 

 

 

February Institute Opportunities

As mentioned in the opening article, the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program is offering Institutes to our teachers during the month of February.  Institutes will take place in four locations across the state and provide teachers with instructional resources, content knowledge, and opportunities for reflection.  Experienced Instructional Coaches will present engaging sessions with tangible resources that new teachers can immediately apply in their classrooms. 

Sessions range from Kick It Up a Notch: Engaging Lessons for Social Studies Classrooms, where social studies teachers will learn active strategies such as simulations and storytelling, to Teacher Evaluations: Demonstrate Evidence, where coaches help teachers dissect the evaluation process. 

In addition to attending content and instructional sessions, teachers will have the opportunity to network with other teachers across the state.  This networking is often cited as the best part of Institute for new teachers because they can share content specific resources and gain insight from other early career professionals.  Lunch will be provided and teachers will be reimbursed for travel.  Registration for Institute is currently open. Registration can be found at: https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6XQOYqLJOl5HGyF

 

NC NTSP Asks: Q & A with UNC Region Participants

How does the NCNTSP support your teachers and how does that reflect in their practice?

The NC NTSP has been a great resource to be able to connect with other teacher's across the state.  It is nice to be able to share ideas with other's that are having the experiences as you are.
 -Katherine Hoots, EC teacher, Fike High School

The NC NTSP provides high-quality professional development to our beginning teachers.  This professional development includes teaching strategies that are relevant and can be easily implemented for immediate use.  Our department has seen first-hand evidence of these strategies which include management maps, differentiated instruction, high-order questioning stems and separating classroom management and behavior management.

Our NC NTSP coaches, Bradley Sasser and Christina Bush, are experts in the teaching profession and are professional educators eager to provide instructional, professional, and emotional support to our beginning teachers.  We are excited and fortunate to partner with the NC NTSP for the second year in Wilson County.
 -Wilson County Schools, Organizational Development Department

The NC NTSP coaches provide our beginning teachers with the support and guidance they need to experience success.  This support and guidance comes in a variety of ways - through assistance with lesson planning and finding resources, providing tips for classroom management and instructional strategies, and in giving suggestions for effective communication with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators.  In addition, the coaches are always available to listen, to empathize, and to give advice as our teachers go through the ups and downs that are typical when beginning teachers try to find their way in our profession.  The support is significant in helping our teachers to grow in becoming more confident and effective teachers.  PCS is thankful to have the support of the NC NTSP to aid in our efforts of growing and retaining teachers.
-Tracy Scruggs, Teacher Support Coordinator, Person County Schools

What influence has your NC NTSP Instructional Coach had on your teaching experience and how has it impacted your students?

 As a BT1, the NC NTSP has been very beneficial to me, both personally as a beginning teacher, and to my classroom as a whole. I have been lucky to have an Instructional Coach who is awesome at answering my "new teacher questions" and helping me with implementing learning in my classroom. I look as Mrs. Bush as one of my number one supporters as well as a resource. The NC NTSP is a wonderful partnership/resource for new teachers. From experience I would encourage all new beginning teachers to utilize this program.
-Ranisha Brown, Exceptional Children, Wilson County Schools

My coach gives me a sounding board and helps with lesson ideas that I can provide to my students. She is a neutral party I can count on in the bureaucracy of academia.
-Jolene Clites, Exceptional Children, Hawley Middle School

I know that I can go to her and she will help me with whatever I need. I can call or email and she will help me with resources and materials. I speak with other teachers who have not had a coach and I am just so happy my students and I have this support at my fingertips.
-Earlene Clanton, Middle School Social Studies, Warren County Schools

A coach supports a teacher in so many different ways, including resources, strategies, modeling, encouragement and support. Anytime you can help a teacher to develop it is going to spill over to the students and help them to grow as well. 
-Constance Davis, Beginning Teacher Mentor, Warren County Schools

 

Research Spotlight: Beginning Teacher Induction Programs

by Jackie Hoskins, NC NTSP Instructional Coach, UNCG Region

Buzzing questions surrounding teacher retention include: Does a good teacher induction program increase retention rates and student performance? Where are we currently with teacher induction in this country? Are teacher induction programs necessary?

Recent research has documented what was already suspected – there is a strong link between beginning teacher attrition and teacher shortages. Beginning teachers who were provided quality mentors and participated in induction activities were less likely to leave the profession after the first year of teaching (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004). Studies also show that students’ benefit from beginning teachers who participated in a comprehensive induction program, scoring higher on and showing more gains on academic achievement tests (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011).

Comprehensive induction programs are defined as opportunities to collaborate in small learning communities, observe experienced colleagues' classrooms, be observed by expert mentors, analyze their own practice, and network with other novice teachers (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004). According to the Alliance for Excellent Education (2004), only about one percent of teachers actually receive what they deem as comprehensive induction. With 4 years of college and a strong student teaching program, one may question the need for “additional training”. “These programs are often conceived as a bridge, enabling the “student of teaching” to become a “teacher of students.” (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004, p. 683) conclude that a quality induction program is comprised of workshops, collaborations, support systems, seminars, and mentoring. (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004).

According to the New Teacher Center, here are the Top 10 reasons to have a high quality Teacher Induction Program:

1. The increasing number of new teachers makes it an imperative. 

2. It improves new teacher effectiveness.

3. Mentoring suits the work style of GenX and Millennial new teachers.

4. It can attract teacher talent.

5. It improves teacher retention and saves money.

6. It creates a collaborative culture and teacher leadership.

7. It develops principal pipelines.

8. It drives system-wide district alignment, which also saves money.

9. It improves student success.

10. Because every child deserves a great teacher.

References:

Ingersoll, R., & Strong, M. (2011). The impact of induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers: A critical review of the research. Review of Education Research. Summer 2011.

Smith, T. M., & Ingersoll, R. M. (2004). What are the effects of induction and mentoring on beginning teacher turnover? American Educational Research Journal, 41(3), 681–714.

 

 

NC NTSP WCU Region Teacher Profile

Allen Ingram, AgroScience Teacher, McDowell High School

When hired in August 2014, Allen Ingram was charged with the monumental task of resurrecting the long dormant agriculture program in McDowell County. An agricultural program once so strong it was considered a powerhouse in western North Carolina.  

What were the expectations for the McDowell County agriculture program when you were hired?

The county’s expectations were, and are, high. This area is very rich in agricultural heritage and many individuals in the area recall a time when farming was a way of life. The public support has been incredible.

What successes have you experienced? What obstacles did you face early on?

My obstacles are many, but becoming more manageable with the support I receive from my building administration, CTE director and my NC NTSP coach. Being a beginning teacher building a first year agriculture program, I’ve often felt like I had been tasked with building Rome blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back. One ongoing success has been forming a viable FFA (Future Farmers of America) chapter.

How is this year shaping up to be different from last year?

This year more students are signing up for the horticulture and animal science classes and I have an amazing core of FFA members that have worked overtime to make the chapter successful. This year these same members are taking the reigns of many of our upcoming FFA projects and they will be head and shoulders above their peers with the leadership and life skills they will obtain in FFA. That’s what it’s all about: students. McDowell (HS) has been blessed with some really great students who are helping lay the foundation for something truly great in the future!

For next year we would love to field both a forestry team and a dairy evaluation team for FFA competition. The NC Forestry Service has agreed to assist us with forestry, and we have multiple dairies in the area interested in supporting our program.  With this community support, we can certainly field competitive teams!

Any final thoughts?

I believe strongly in two phrases. The first is the FFA motto: “Learning to do, Doing to learn, Earning to live, Living to serve”. This motto encompasses everything that agriculture is. We strive do our best to live up to every part of the motto.

The second phrase I feel strongly about is, work smart AND hard. By the year 2050, there will be 9 billion people on this planet. The smart AND hard work of McDowell County agriculture students will help feed these 9 billion people on almost half of the agricultural acreage in use today.

 

District Spotlight: Rockingham County Schools, UNCG Region

The UNCG Region of the NC NTSP has the proud pleasure of serving Rockingham County Schools for the first time during the 2015-16 school year. In just a short period of time, we have built strong, trusting relationships with the teachers and district personnel. Three of UNCG’s coaches serve six of the Rockingham County Schools.

With a strong technology focus, RCS is committed to using technology as a tool to reach 21st century learning goals. RCS proudly offers 975 interactive classrooms, providing all certified teachers with laptops, while all high schools in the district participate in the 1:1 Mobile Learning Initiative. All high school students are provided a Google Chromebook for completing activities during the school day and at home. When visiting a high school classroom, it is second nature to witness students sign in to view and complete all assignments electronically.

Rockingham County Schools, organized in 1993 is located in Rockingham County, known as North Carolina’s North Star. RCS is comprised of 25 schools – (16 Elementary, 4 Middle, 4 High, 1 Early College and 1 Alternative school), which serve a total of 13,415 students. Rockingham County Schools has recruited a group of highly qualified, extremely motivated educators dedicated to lifelong learning, with over half holding Master’s and Advanced Degrees, and a little over one-eighth being National Board Certified.

The teachers in RCS have been very receptive to the NC New Teacher Support Program and the professional development that has been provided. UNCG coaches are excited to continue this partnership. We look forward to our upcoming professional development, including the NC-NTSP Regional February Institutes and our next district-level professional development on April 20, 2016.