We are an NGO dedicated to the growth of strong new generation of teachers in Estonia
While developing various initiatives in support of new teachers and undertaking analysis and awareness raising activities over the issue, at the heart of our organisatsion there is the learning network of school leaders who are committed to constant improvement of their people related practices and processes - making schools better spaces for growth for all.
We begin with new teacher onboarding. Here is a set of 10 baseline principles which we propose our schools to follow, taking into account the special nature of hosting a new teacher. After signing these principles, a school enters our network.
The leadership team of a school supporting new teachers -
- When agreeing with the new teacher on her / his job tasks and scope, clarifies how much time lesson preparation and each other task entrusted to her / him is expected to take, and sees it fits with the total number of teacher's working hours.
- Arranges the tasks and scope of new teacher's work in such a way that she / he could concentrate on lesson planning and execution and the related activities, and that there would be time for the new teacher to analyse her / his work, and to meet her / his mentor. When the new teacher's skills grow, the number and scope of her / his tasks can grow (organising school events, substituting other teachers, leading task forces etc).
- Introduces the new teacher to school staff, school facilities and school traditions; explicitly passes her / him the information about whom to turn to in various matters (names and contacts).
- Assigns the new teacher a mentor who is motivated, aware of her / his role and competent to carry it out.
- Supports and enables new teacher's meetings with other new teachers and experienced colleagues.
- Carries out at least two conversations / development interviews with the new teacher during her / his first year to support her / his growth.
When the new teacher is a teacher of particular subject(s), the leadership team of the school will also make a point to
- Allocate the new teacher the parallel classes as much as possible.
- Allocate the new teacher the grades that do not have graduation exams or other high impact exams coming up*;
- Enable the new teacher to carry out lessons at the same space / classroom or the one nearby, in order to avoid unnecessary stress that comes along with more logistics;
- As a rule, not to assign 'class teacher' role to the new teacher*. When it is unavoidable, the tasks related to it and the respective time needed will be clearly mapped and agreed on, and respectively the other tasks and their scope will be reduced.
* While doing so, it is important to enable new teachers to be involved and contribute to these activities next to experienced colleagues, learning from them.
Our other current initiatives include
- Collecting and sharing schools' practices related to new teachers
- Recognition of schools supporting new teachers
- Professional 1-on-1 instruction for new teachers
- New teacher supervision groups
- Mainstreaming the celebration of 100 first days of teaching
- Coaching for school leaders
In our activities we seek to work with various partners, learn from others and be well-informed by research.
In case any of this sparked your interest and you think there could be potential for mutual benefit, please contact us.