The Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators was awarded a $300,000, two-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a best practice, research-based New Teacher Support Program. This exciting program generated a variety of resources and opportunities for involvement for middle and high school STEM educators, institutions of higher education STEM and Education faculty; community organizations and businesses; school district administrators and others who are interested in supporting new STEM teachers and making the Philadelphia area a regional leader in STEM education. Please check back periodically to see what opportunities to serve are listed and new resources we have posted.
During the 2014-15 school-year, the PRISE/PRNP New Teacher Support Program (NTSP) supported ten (10) first or second year teachers. These new teachers started the year by completing a Needs Assessment to determine the instructional, professional, and personal areas of growth they wanted to work on during the year. From the Needs Assessment, they developed along with the NTSP Individual Support Plan Facilitator, an Individual Support Action Plan for their professional development and were matched with a mentor who would work with them on a regular basis throughout the school year. The new teachers attended monthly cohort meetings which provided them with learning experiences based on their identified needs as well as a forum for talking about practice with their fellow new teachers. In 2015-16 the New Teacher Support Program worked with 12 new STEM Teachers and in 2016-17, six additional teachers participated in the program.
Mentors for the new teachers were also involved in professional growth throughout the year. They met on a monthly basis to discuss problems of practice that their new teacher might be experiencing, shared and gathered ideas and resources for resolving challenges and focused on their own professional growth as a mentor through targeted professional development. Some topics that the mentors explored were active listening skills, culturally proficiency/competency, and the coaching continuum. Mentors identified their own growth areas through a Self-Reflection for Mentors and reviewed their progress at the end of the year.
Outcomes: A total of 28 teachers went through the Philadelphia Regional Noyce Partnership New Teacher Support Program. Of that total, after 3 years, 23 are still teaching in high need schools in the Philadelphia area. This indicates a retention rate of 82%. This average for retention is higher than the national average, 50-60% retention for new teachers during the first 5 years, as reported in studies by Richard Ingersoll and other researchers (Ingersoll, R. and Strong, M., 2011. “The Impact of Induction and Mentoring Programs fro Beginning Teachers: A Critical Review of the Research.” Review of Education Research. Vol. 81(2), 201-233.)
PRISE is offering the New Teacher Support Program as a fee for service. For more information about the New Teacher Support Program, contact Bonnie Hallam, Program Coordinator, at [email protected]
Cohort Teachers Transition to School-based Collaborators!
After Spending a year with an external mentor who visited with them twice a month in their classrooms, New Teachers went through a process of transitioning to school-based collaborators. New STEM teachers were able to choose a person in their school whom they felt would be the best person to help them fulfill their action plans for growth. They are working with their school-based collaborators on improving practice as well as finding avenues for teacher leadership.