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Research clearly shows that the quality of the teacher in the classroom has a great effect on student achievement. In order to become as effective as possible, every first-year teacher deserves the support of his/her principal and colleagues and, in addition, a trained mentor who works in close proximity to the new teacher, a trained mentor who works in the same content area or grade level as the new teacher (the previous two may be the same person), and the support of other beginning teachers.SEEC's Beginning Teacher Network (BTN) is a professional development program that offers new educators an opportunity for support and collaboration in order to enhance classroom practices. The program seeks to provide first-year educators with an opportunity for professional growth, collegial dialogue, support and guidance. BTN meetings provide a face-to-face forum for discussing topics that arise from the teachers' day-to-day pracies. Key ideas meant to trigger discussion include classroom management, state standards, assessment and responding to student needs.BTN is funded through a grant provided by the N.D. Teacher Support System.
The Teacher Support System was established by the North Dakota Legislature to provide trained mentors for first-year teachers in North Dakota. First-year teachers eligible to participate are those who are in their first year of contracted teaching and are employed by a public school district, Career and Technical center, special education unite, BIE school or REA. Teachers in private schools are not presently eligible. The Teacher Support System provides:
Visit the ND Teacher Support System website for more information at
Providing new teachers with an orientation to the school building, procedures and resources - both people and materials - helps them to feel comfortable and confident in their new school. It is important for them to become aware of the support available to them and their students and to begin to identify how they fit into the larger school learning community.This can be done in a variety of ways including meeting with a principal, having a "buddy", or a new teacher tour.
"I learned different ways of communicating with parents - some of which I have never thought of and discovered some really great ideas I wish to implement in the future! "
"I feel like I have learned a lot, been given ample amounts of resources, examples, websites, handouts - all of which I keep near when planning and preparing (and have shared with other teachers in my school. "
"I thought the training session was a great use of time, especially being able to chat with and learn from others who are in a similar position that I am"
"Thank you for this experience. I love the thought process involved and how this helps me have a clear picture and plan. I will definitely use this often next year."
Beginning Teacher Network Coordinator