Supported Site Middle Tennessee State University: Induction & Mentoring

Successes

  • MTSU faculty visited the two in-state teachers during their first year of teaching. One was placed in a very supportive high school physics classroom, the other benefitted from weekly meetings to work on the details of classroom management.
  • The recent graduate that struggled during year 1 did return to teaching and had a very good year 2.

Challenges

  • Sometimes our teaching graduates move far from the university, and mentoring becomes more of a challenge.
  • One graduate replaced a middle school physical science teacher mid-year in an inner city environment, and was met with significant classroom management challenges.

Sustainability

  • The TIR is supported by recurring funds from the UTeach replication program, and will be available indefinitely for mentoring.
  • As we build our Teacher Advisory Group (TAG) with local teachers, there will be additional resources for our graduates that take positions in the area.
  • Job opportunities for our physics teaching graduates are being made available through contacts resulting from the TAG meetings.

Lessons Learned

  • Mentoring needs to begin when new graduates are comparing job opportunities, not after they begin teaching.
  • More interviewing skills need to be addressed in the Physics Seminar course.

Activities

  • Once or twice yearly visits are being conducted with all new teachers in the state.
  • Five-ten visits per semester have been conducted for new local teachers, especially those requesting extra help.