Providing greater support to starting teachers pays off ultimately for Ontario students, the teaching profession’s self-regulatory body says.
“We’re encouraged to see that the province is providing support to newly certified teachers,” says Ontario College of Teachers Chair Marilyn Laframboise.
“New teachers want nothing more than to become as effective as they can as fast as possible,” says Laframboise. “Mentoring goes a long way to making the transition to teaching easier and more quickly rewarding.”
Laframboise welcomed Ontario Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy’s announcement today introducing a New Teacher Induction Program. The proposed program echoes much of the advice the College gave to the government two years ago in its New Teacher Induction: Growing Into the Profession policy paper.
At the time, the College recommended that the government fund a mandatory, two-year program of support in every Ontario school board for new teachers.
According to College studies, one in 13 new teachers leave the profession within their first three years, which is a tremendous loss in human and financial terms to the province and teaching profession, Laframboise says.
The College’s annual Transition to Teaching survey of new teachers shows that it can take up to three years for new grads to find full-time work. Even then many report getting the worst assignments â€” split grades, EQAO test years and placements in portables. They want extra support, but only 23 per cent of those who found teaching jobs this past year reported receiving any kind of formal mentoring.
“As new teachers learn the ropes, their confidence soars and their students benefit. Everyone wins,” says College Registrar Doug Wilson.