UCSC Currents online

Front Page
Classified Ads
In Memoriam
AppointmentsUCSC in the News

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 city’s 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.”

“We’ve 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,” said Bloomberg.

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 good teachers.”

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.

Return to Front Page

  Maintained by pioweb@ucsc.edu
UC Santa Cruz Home Page Contact Currents Currents Archives Currents Home Maintained By Email Contact