Henrico County Public Schools is committed to providing a professional, continuing induction program that assists all newly hired teachers. Much time, effort and expense goes into recruiting outstanding educators. It is imperative that these newly hired teachers have a rewarding first year and remain in the school system. The mentor program in Henrico County is structured to provide multiple layers of support to ensure that no newly hired teacher feels s/he is “all alone.” The department of Staff Development trains Mentor Coordinators from each building to work with the building level administration and mentors to ensure regular assistance and site-based training is in place to support new employees.
The mentor is a friend, confidant, and role model who helps with the development and training of 0-1 year experienced teachers. A mentor provides enthusiastic, non-evaluative support while helping the new employee learn the “ropes” of teaching in Henrico County. The mentor is available to share and provide assistance to the newly hired teacher. Understandably, the most important ingredient in the process is the relationship between the experienced professional and the teacher who is new to the county.
In addition to being assigned a mentor, beginning teachers have the opportunity to spend a day observing a master teacher and participate in formative observation-feedback sessions with their mentor. This year the county is implementing division-wide training on the Fred Jones Tools for Teaching model of classroom management and instruction.