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Ariann Lovato and Domenique Roush setting in front of green plantsBeing an educator is not without its challenges, especially for first-year teachers and those entering the field after spending years in another profession.

As excellent teaching and leadership are vital to student success, personal development plays a key part in the retention and effectiveness of Colorado educators. An Induction program, mandated by the state in order to obtain licensure, helps set the stage for continuous growth and support of educators.

In the District, the two-year Induction program is facilitated by two Teachers on Special Assignment, Domenique Roush and Ariann Lovato.

“Our two Induction TOSAs have the main goal of providing new teachers high-quality professional learning opportunities for classroom management and rigor,” said Kelly Warren, who as Director of Professional Development oversees the TOSAs. “They teach content on our non-work Fridays and then follow up with new teachers in the classroom to assist with the implementation of effective strategies."

While Domenique works with 28 teachers at the elementary level as a supplemental mentor, Ariann works with 13 middle school teachers as a main mentor.

“Mentoring is critical to the success of our new teachers and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve our new teachers in this capacity,” said Director Warren.

Research shows that a comprehensive induction program cuts new teacher turnover rates in half and that comprehensive induction is a sound investment to address teacher recruitment and retention.

Research also indicates that support and assistance for beginning teachers has a positive impact on three sets of outcomes: teacher commitment and retention, teacher classroom instructional practices, and student achievement.

The District’s Induction program includes mentorship, observation followed by feedback, and hours of professional development.Domenique sets across the desk from a teacher she is mentoring

“As this is our first full year of implementation of our type of position, we are building as we go and determining best practices to best support our new teachers," Domenique said. "One of our goals is to ensure all our new teachers feel supported and that we are all on the same team with shared goals.”

“One of the main goals of the program is to increase retention,” added Ariann, who noted that the feedback and direction provided by the TOSAs has been well received, especially when it comes to classroom management.

"I've already implemented the countdown and check for understanding in my classes, as well as putting more effort into scripting my speech and trying to break my instructions down into more concrete ways," noted one teacher. "I will start making sure I am more prepared for class with materials as such, as well as have a more concrete plan of what I need to do and get done so my students know the purpose of our lesson."

Added another, "I am planning on implementing more specific directions in my class. I felt like I had already been using specific directions, and I was but this session made me realize that I could get more specific than that. I also want to try to minimize downtime during our lessons."

“We are looking forward to seeing improvement with our new teacher turnover rates as well as improvement on the types of support our new teachers receive based on the Teaching and Learning Conditions Colorado New Teacher survey data results,” Director Warren said.