September 6, 2004
New Teacher Center trains 300 mentors for New
York City schools
By Jennifer McNulty
Expanding its reach to include New York City public schools, the UCSC
New Teacher Center is
part of an ambitious new program that will provide a mentor for all
first-year teachers in the system.
The $36 million citywide program is designed to increase teacher retention,
enhance classroom instruction, and improve performance among the citys
public school students by providing ongoing professional development
and trained teacher-mentors to more than 5,000 new teachers in the city.
The New Teacher Center will train 300 mentors, each of whom will work
with about 17 beginning teachers. Training began in late August, said
NTC Executive Director Ellen Moir, who joined New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg and other city officials for the August 23 official announcement
of the program.
This is a fantastic opportunity to support the development of
new teachers in New York City, said Moir. New teachers thrive
when exemplary, trained mentor teachers support their work in the classroom.
This program will help to retain new teachers and accelerate their development.
Flanked by New York City schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Bloomberg said
the program will help our newest teachers learn and benefit from
the experiences of our veteran instructors.
Weve worked hard to recruit the best and brightest teachers
for our schools, and now we want to provide them with the wisdom and
guidance they need to adjust to and succeed in their new careers,
The NTC has developed a nationally recognized program with an impressive
16-year history of success. Now active in 31 states and Puerto Rico,
the program has dramatically increased teacher retention and boosted
student achievement. Nearly 90 percent of teachers who have participated
in the Santa Cruz model have remained in the teaching profession after
six years, compared with the national rate of 56 percent.
New York City schools face the same problem confronting school
districts around the nation--that of keeping promising new teachers
in the classroom through the challenging first years of their career,
said Klein. Departing teachers most frequently cite lack of support
and their initial inability to be effective in the classroom.
Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, called
mentoring a critical support that helps schools develop and retain
The new mentoring program will ensure that all of the more than 5,000
first-year teachers joining New York public schools this year receive
a high-quality induction into the school system. Each new teacher will
be matched with a carefully selected, skilled mentor who will meet with
the new teacher approximately every week. In addition, new teachers
will participate in regional and central professional development opportunities
and attend monthly new teacher seminars.
Program mentors were selected on the basis of their experience as effective
classroom teachers and include former classroom teachers, coaches, UFT
Teacher Center staff, and regional leaders. More than 1,600 people applied
for the 300 mentor positions that were available. Each mentor will be
supported by one of 11 regional directors and one of 10 UFT Teacher
Center Mentor Liaisons who will assist mentors in gathering resources,
planning schedules, and problem solving.
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