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Induction/Mentoring Program

2014 TUSD Teacher Mentors
Tucson Unified Teacher Mentors

All new teachers in the Tucson Unified School District upon their hiring are enrolled in the Tucson Unified Induction/Mentoring Program. This is a two-year induction program for teachers new to the profession.

The Tucson Unified School District believes that a period of induction is important for all new teachers and teachers new to the district. Teacher induction provides assistance and encouragement to teachers in the initial stages of their professional journey within the district to promote teacher effectiveness. Tucson Unified also believes that new teachers benefit from the opportunity to collaborate with veteran teachers. To that end, all new teachers are provided a mentor to support them in their teaching. Teachers are introduced to mentors at the Tucson Unified 4-Day New Teacher Induction. Teachers who attended Induction and new teachers hired after the 4-Day Induction will be contacted by their mentor to set up their first meeting.

The Tucson Unified Induction/Mentoring Program provides ongoing professional development for teachers through formal mentoring and opportunities to participate in seminars and study groups. As educators we continue to develop professionally throughout our careers. The Tucson Unified School District believes that teachers who engage in reflective practice gain insight to their teaching and become more effective teachers.

Program Components

The Tucson Unified Induction/Mentoring Program has three components: 1) a 4-Day New Teacher Induction, 2) Mentor Support, and 3) Professional Development. Each component builds beginning teachers' capacity to be reflective practitioners and collaborative members of their professional learning communities. Each element of the program also encourages teachers to engage thoughtfully with students from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds using culturally responsive pedagogy.

4-Day New Teacher Induction

At the beginning of each school year the Tucson Unified Induction/Mentoring Program will provide a mandatory four-day orientation to the Induction/Mentoring Program for new participants. The 4-Day Induction will provide an overview of the program as well as introduce new certified hires to district initiatives. Teachers hired after the 4-Day Induction will be oriented to the program by their respective mentors.

Mentor Support

Each teacher in the Induction/Mentoring Program will be assigned a mentor who will provide ongoing support through regular classroom collaboration visits. The mentor will use Formative Assessment System (FAS) tools to gather data and guide reflective conversations. Teachers and their mentors will use such tools as professional development plans, class profiles, analyses of student work, and video reflections to move their practices forward. Mentors will offer teachers effective instructional strategies and the resources required to meet the needs of their students and accelerate their own professional growth.

Professional Development

The Induction/Mentoring Program offers professional development throughout the year. Teachers have the opportunity to participate in study groups and seminars focusing on planning, classroom management, instruction and professional growth, which are the four domains of the Danielson Framework for Teaching. Seminars and study groups are designed to move participants' teaching practices forward on the Danielson Framework. The district goal is for teachers to be at the proficient level or beyond by the end of their third year in the Tucson Unified School District. In addition, new teachers will develop a network in which they can meet and collaborate with other teachers to problem solve, share information, and exchange ideas. The purpose of professional development through the Induction/Mentoring program is to encourage teachers to become autonomous, reflective practitioners who are building capacity toward teacher leadership.