“Participating in Western’s [beginning support] program was very valuable to me during my first year of teaching."
Anna Blakely, Scotts Creek School
The North Carolina Teacher Turnover Report confirms that teachers continue to leave the profession at an alarming rate. In the 2007-2008 academic year, the turnover rate was 13.85%, an increase over the previous year. SUTEP remains committed to providing support for beginning teachers. The Induction Committee, collaborates with Western’s Center for the Support of Beginning Teachers (CSBT) to develop a comprehensive induction program for new teachers in western North Carolina.
The SUTEP Induction Committee joins the CSBT and regional beginning teacher coordinators to offer the annual Western Carolina University Beginning Teacher Induction Symposium. This two-day event is held in August and fulfills two of the three orientation days required for beginning teachers. A similar symposium is held in January for teachers who were hired between August and January.
There is clear evidence that beginning teachers who receive intensive mentoring by master teachers are more likely to remain in the profession. SUTEP and CSBT co-sponsor mentor training and mentor refresher workshops to prepare career teachers for this role. These professional development sessions are based on the North Carolina Mentor Standards. “Instructionally-focused walk-through” training, a proven strategy for impacting new teachers’ practice, also is included in the program.