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Volume 26, Number 1
January/February 2010

Principles of High-Quality Mentoring

An instructionally intensive approach to supporting new teacher development


NYC public schools mentor George Georgilakis takes observation notes on tablet. Photo: Jon Silver, New Teacher Center

The educational landscape in the United States is shifting. As more politicians call for reform efforts that are proven to improve student outcomes, an awareness has emerged among policy makers and school district leaders that a focus on new teachers represents powerful leverage for increasing teacher, and teaching, quality throughout the system.

The theory of change is simple. Research is clear that new teachers, because of their lack of experience and underdeveloped skills, are the least likely to help students achieve their academic potential. Yet school districts, especially in urban settings with high levels of attrition, have disproportionately large numbers of new teachers. By supporting new teachers and raising their level of effectiveness early in their careers, school districts can dramatically improve student outcomes across the board.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


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