Planning and Implementing Induction and Orientation
By Annick M. Brennen

 

 

The Definition Phase

  1. Establish an Induction Committee. This committee will include the principal, the vice-principal, two or three experienced teachers, two teachers who have completed their first-year, a member of the community, a member of the local school district. The committee will be responsible for preparing a proposal for the school board taking into consideration limitations such as funding restrictions, time limits, union contracts, etc. The committee will be responsible for determining the goals of the induction program and examine the philosophies concerning a planned program of induction.

  2. Using a survey, the committee will gather information from teachers in the school and from outside sources such as the school district.

  3. Having gathered information, the committee will begin the process of analyzing the data in light of the previously determined needs and limitations in preparation for designing the teacher induction program.

 

The Development Phase

  1. Following the analysis, the committee will prepare the proposal. It will include the goals and objectives of the induction program, an outline of possible activities, and a method of evaluation. The program should not conflict with the existing staff development program. After the superintendentís approval, the proposal will be presented to the school board for ratification.

  2. Once accepted, the induction program will be presented to the staff. This will provide an opportunity to teachers to discuss their roles. However, as principal I will bear the responsibility for implementing and coordinating the induction program.

 

Orientation Phase

  1. When the hiring process is completed, the director of human resources will telephone the candidates and will welcome them into the school district and will notify them of the specific grade level and building assignment. As principal, I will telephone the new teachers and invite them to visit the building and make curriculum guides available.

  2. A formal orientation program will be planned and all new beginning teachers will be required to attend. It will be conducted by the superintendent of schools. The orientation program will consist of two phases. In the first phase six sessions will be held: (1) Making contact. This session will give the new teachers an opportunity to meet the people the teachers will be working with. Key people will be introduced, with a description of how each will assist in their transition. (2) In School and around town. This session will give them a sightseeing tour of the community and school building. (3) Part of the big picture. This is the organizational session. An overview of the schoolís vision, philosophy, goals, and objectives will provide the new teachers with a better idea of how his or her efforts will contribute to the schoolís mission. The system will be discussed, and the organizational structure of the school will be explained. (4) Student matters. During this session topics will include classroom management, positive reinforcement strategies, classroom rules and expectations, grading, corporal punishment or the absence thereof, alternative education programs, suspension and expulsion, performance assessment procedures, lesson plans preparation, etc. (5) Teacher dos and doníts. We will review teacher illness procedures for reporting, bad weather days, school closures, and day-today procedures. (6) Tools and techniques. We will clarify curriculum expectations, the process for ordering materials, introduce mentor partnerships, and provide the staff handbook.

  3. The second phase of the orientation program will occur upon the return of the experienced staff. It is during this time that I will conduct the first staff meeting and review the staff handbook containing schedules, building policies, discipline procedures, and so on. New teachers will be introduced to the veteran teachers, the secretary, and the custodian. I will introduce the new teachers to their mentors. During this session I will provide the beginning teachers with information that clarifies expectations in the classroom and how these will be evaluated. I will explain the clinical evaluation cycle. After the staff meeting, all teachers will work in their classrooms and then will direct their attention to planning and instruction.

 

The Operation Phase
During the first month of school, I will monitor the performance of the beginning teacher carefully by visiting their classroom and initiating regular informal discussions with them. From these discussions, we will identify areas of interest and/or concerns which will be addressed in an individually designed program for professional growth such as clinical supervision and/or through a staff development program suited for beginning teachers.
 
The Evaluation Phase
This phase occurs before the end of the school year and will provide data upon which to base improvements to the induction program. The plan will be modified and will be recycled for the incoming group of teachers. All beginning teachers will be surveyed regarding their impression of the components of the induction program. I and the new teachers will evaluate the growth achieved and discuss future plans. Together we will decide on the need for a less formalized plan during the second year or there may be apparent needs which still need to be addressed through such a plan.