red Supported Site University of Missouri-Columbia: Induction & Mentoring

Successes

  • The new graduate from MU BS program successfully competed for a fellowship teaching position in Columbia Public Schools (CPS) next year.
  • Physics education majors expressed enthusiasm for the new community of future physics teachers whom they could relate to. This was an improvement over the two most recent graduates' experiences descriptions of feeling isolated prior to the PhysTEC project.
  • The TIR's mentoring of three local non-PhysTEC teachers has led to the development of a three-week summer academy for ten local teachers, organized and taught by the TIR.

Challenges

  • New teachers in Columbia Public Schools have needed more extensive mentoring than anticipated.

Sustainability

  • Having physics education students work as Learning Assistants helped them develop a mentoring relationship with the TIR, which will support them through their educational career.

Lessons Learned

  • Many new teachers need more mentoring and professional development than is feasible during the academic year. Helping Columbia Public Schools continue to offer their new summer professional development workshops for new Physics First teachers would be beneficial to both local teachers and to our future teachers who rely on local high-quality early teaching experiences.

Activities

  • There were two new graduates in 2012-2013 (one from BS, and one from MS). We helped both participants become connected to excellent mentors in reformed teaching classrooms.
    • We helped arrange for the MS participant's internship to be with a mentor teacher who participated in MU's professional development program, A TIME for Physics First curriculum (http://physicsfirstmo.org/). We also met with this participant and provided study resources to help her pass the Praxis exam.
    • The new graduate from BS program was placed as a Learning Assistant in a Physics First classroom during the fall of her senior year. After graduating, she accepted a teaching fellowship position in the same district, where she will use the Physics First curriculum and pedagogy. The TIR will continue to visit her and offer help next year.
  • We had no recent MU graduates to work with during 2012-2013. However, the TIR mentored three non-PhysTEC teachers, including extensive daily support for his replacement, and weekly meetings with all three. In 2013-2014, the TIR mentored one recent PhysTEC graduate and two (non-PhysTEC) CPS teachers.