This refreshing article discusses professional development programs that are in place for new teachers in Virginia and Louisiana that have shown to have profound effects on school culture and teacher success. This article should be of interest to those looking for ways improve teacher attrition rates.
These programs provide services to new teachers for three years, beginning with short but highly structured summer sessions focusing on classroom management issues. New teachers continue to explore these issues at monthly follow-up meetings and they work regularly with mentors or curriculum facilitators who provide ongoing training. As a result of these programs, these schools have found that teachers tend to be more confident and, as a result, more interested in taking on leadership roles in their buildings. "These teachers--curious, interested in professional growth, and eager to explore new ideas in education -- are not satisfied with the status quo...It's invigorating to be around people who are excited about what they're doing. It makes for a lively, enriched atmosphere, where people are determined to find ways to teach more effectively."