The Victoria ISD Office of Strategic Planning and School Improvement, in conjunction with our Talent Acquisition, Support and Retention (TASR) team have continued to work on ensuring that our zero-year teachers are provided with a mentorship experience that is aligned to our Leadership Definition: Developing self and developing others.
In VISD, someone who Grows in Genius by developing self is reflective, open to learning, and disciplined about personal and professional growth. Someone who Grows in Genius by developing others recognizes each learner’s potential and builds capacity through authentic coaching and modeling.
For this program, highly effective, experienced educators were nominated by campus leaders to serve as mentors for our new recruits. Mentor training sessions offered flexible scheduling to support mentor schedules. Our mentors will also be growing their genius as we partner with Lead4wards’s ePLC platform to provide mentees with guidance in instructional and management best practices.
Additionally, mentors were provided with training and resources to provide timely, effective feedback with granular, action-based tasks aligned to the Get Better Faster scope and sequence by Paul Bambrick-Sontoyo.
“With our VISD Leadership Definition as the cornerstone of leadership development, we look specifically at our Role Specific Behaviors which are tiered into four leadership opportunities: leader of self & students, leader of others, leader of leaders, and leader of school,” said Anita Taylor, Executive Director of Strategic Planning and School Improvement in VISD. “The “Leader of Others” portion of the Inspires Others and Develops Others indicators are directly tied to the work of our mentors. Many of our amazing mentors have served in previous years and some are engaging in this rewarding work for the first time.”
Mentors will be supported by their Campus Mentor Contact, the Office of Strategic Planning and School Improvement, and the TASR Office throughout the year in an effort to bolster the retention of high-quality teachers. Our TASR Office supports teachers who are working through the certification process and holds monthly virtual meetings to support them in reaching their goal.
“The mentorship program is extremely important as approximately 45% of our new hires are alternatively certified candidates who did not go through a traditional educator preparatory program,” said Steven Carroll, Director of Secondary Professional and Paraprofessional Talent. “We are very grateful to our experienced mentor teachers who have stepped up to help develop our wonderful new teachers.”
Our TASR department shares that as of the beginning of January 2023, VISD has lost 50% fewer new teachers that began the academic year prior to the start of the school year, as compared to the previous year. The continuous improvement cycles are in full motion and we hope to improve the effectiveness of our current mentorship program each year.