Editor’s Note: The University of North Carolina Academic and University Programs Division releases its annual report this week. Great Teachers and School Leaders Matter surveys the work of the Division and UNC’s fifteen educator preparation programs that are focused on the University’s goal of preparing more, higher quality teachers and school leaders for North Carolina’s public schools. EdNC will be highlighting the report’s profiles of teachers, school leaders, programs, and partnerships from across the state as part of a nine-part series. The full report is available here.
The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program assists beginning teachers in their first three years of teaching, the period when a teacher is most likely to leave the profession. The program provides continuous professional development and pairs teachers with an instructional coach, an experienced teacher who acts as a mentor.
A cornerstone of the program are the regular Instructional Skills Institutes that occur throughout the year, across the state, giving teachers the opportunity to convene and learn from colleagues, coaches, and education professionals. In February, EdNC spent the day at the program’s Chapel Hill institute, and heard directly from participants about the triumphs and challenges of being beginning teachers and how the program supports them in their new roles.
“The first year of the New Teacher program has been great. I always have someone if I want to bounce off new ideas or if they walk in and there’s a situation, I’m like, “Hey, what would you recommend to do with this?” I know there is someone who can answer it immediately.”– Carson Ellis, Teacher, Southern Middle School, Person County
“I know that I have people that can support me, via email, being person-to-person, even text messages, just to see how I am doing, what’s going on, what’s new, what’s not working, suggestions–just feedback, natural feedback in any classroom that I have.”– Chelsey Robinson, Teacher, Northern Middle School, Person County
“I finished out the degree, my history degree, and I couldn’t wait for Warren County to call me and say, ‘Come back.’ And I went running, and I have loved it ever since.” — Earlene Clanton, Teacher, Northside Elementary School, Warren County, on transitioning from being a teacher’s assistant to a teacher in the Warren County Schools.
“It’s been challenging, but it’s also been wonderful. I can honestly say I have the same smile on the first day that I have right now.” — Earlene Clanton, Teacher, Northside Elementary School, Warren County, on her first year of teaching.
“Being in the program and having the mentors that I’ve had definitely helps to broaden my horizons with lesson plans. Everything I don’t have to do from scratch. I can recycle and reuse different ideas and plans.” — Chelsey Robinson, Teacher, Northern Middle School, Person County
“You want the kids to be productive and to have all the information. And if you aren’t organized and know what you are doing, it’s terrifying.” — Earlene Clanton, Teacher, Northside Elementary School, Warren County.
“You learn in teaching from the day you step foot in the classroom until the day you leave.”– Evie Garner, Person County Schools Teacher Mentor.
Learn more about the New Teacher Support Program
Video: Instructional Coach Tierney Fairchild talks about the program
Video: How does a teacher become a part of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program?
Video: What are the challenges and rewards of working with new teachers?
Great Teachers and School Leaders Matter Series
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Katie B. Morris
Part 3: Yolanda Black
Part 4: Jeff Vamvakias
Part 5: New Teacher Support Program
Part 6: Diana B. Lys
Part 7: Steve Lassiter
Part 8: Chase Schultz