Friday, May 24, 2024

New Teacher Experience partnership launches to provide support for state educators

by BIZ Magazine

Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education will lead a key initiative from the Louisiana Department of Education that is designed to support new teachers in the state this year.

Called the New Teacher Experience, the program will focus on connecting new teachers with a cohort and mentor teachers to provide a support system throughout the early years of their careers.

“The New Teacher Experience is a comprehensive induction program that will offer multiple services designed to increase teacher effectiveness, enhance skills, and reduce attrition among beginning teachers,” said Laurie Carlton, Program Director for the state’s New Teacher Experience. “The department is excited to collaborate with Louisiana Tech University to develop Affinity Groups where new teachers will have opportunities to collaborate with peers to help improve their craft through discussion, collaboration, and purposeful materials.”

Over the past two years, a partnership between Tech’s Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) and Claiborne Parish Schools has supported new teachers in the district. This New Teacher Experience program for the state will build on the success of this Project BASE effort in Claiborne Parish and include educational leaders from districts around the state. These leaders will facilitate multiple affinity groups to help support educators in the state.

“These affinity groups will meet virtually outside of school hours and will provide a space for educators to collaborate, learn from, teach, and provide insight on a multitude of struggles and successes in the classroom,“ said Molly Rainwater, Coordinator of Strategic Learning Partnerships for SciTEC and principal investigator for the project.

At least twenty Affinity Group Leaders will also be selected. Affinity Group Leader applications will open Nov. 1 and close on Nov. 8. They will be paid a stipend of $2,500 for their commitment to the project.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the state’s best educators and leaders to support and encourage teachers who can become overwhelmed during their early years in the classroom,” said Dr. Lindsey Keith-Vincent, Associate Dean for Research, Outreach, and Innovation in the College of Education. “While we cannot address all of the factors that contribute to the obstacles early career teachers experience, we can help create shared spaces for discourse and support and share best practices that can assist them in the classroom. Teachers are unsung heroes; anything our College can do to help them flourish, we want to do.”

Other project team members are Chris Brooks, Morgan Fitch, Claudia Haynes, Lacy Hitt, Shea Lowe, and Scott Martin.

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