by Julie Dodd
JEA Mentor Committee
More than 300,000 veteran teachers nationally retired between 2004 and 2008.
Nationally $7 billion is spent every year to recruit, hire and train new teachers.
About 50 percent of all new teachers leave the profession within three to five years.
All of these were statistics shared by reporter Ash-har Quraishi in a feature on the PBS NewsHour that focused on the New Teacher Center and its efforts to help reduce teacher turnover and provide improved new teacher induction. (The program aired July 4, 2013.)
We’re glad to see the New Teacher Center being promoted as a model of best practices for helping new teachers. We know from our six years with the JEA Mentoring Program that NTC practices are successful.
When we began the Journalism Education Association Mentoring Program in 2007, we looked to the NTC to help guide us in developing our mentoring process and goals.
Mentor committee member Nick Ferentinos was a NTC trained mentor. Three other committee members — Linda Barrington, Peggy Gregory and Steve O’Donoghue — had participated in training by the New Teacher Center. So with funding from the Yellow Chair Foundation, our committee established a cooperative connection with the New Teacher Center. Committee members and JEA executive director Linda Puntney attended a New Teacher Center Symposium and met with NTC founder Ellen Moir. We developed our mentoring tools based on the New Teacher Center.
As Ellen Moir said in the PBS program: “As the country’s talking about developing teachers, I think there’s a much greater understanding and recognition that really talented teachers are not born. They’re made. And we have to be systematic about it and we need to really build off of the talent that we have in our school systems.”
The JEA Mentoring Program is active in 17 states and in the six years of the program has provided mentoring for more than 220 new journalism teachers. The JEA Mentoring Program provides that systematic approach to helping new teachers not only survive those first few years of teaching but to develop into talented teachers — teachers who will make a career commitment to teaching.
The JEA Mentoring Program is part of the Journalism Education Association, a 501(c)(3) organization. Other funding is from Yellow Chair Foundation, and more than 20 state and regional journalism education groups. Please contact us if you would like more information about the program. You can email lbarring (at) wi (dot) rr (dot) com