A Glossary of Induction Terms
By Barry Sweeny

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While it is not important what words you use to describe things, I know it is vital that all persons in a mentoring and induction program use the SAME terms to describe it. Therefore, it is important that each program define it's use of terms and seek to build a common vocabulary. The following are terms I have found help us to make the more important distinctions:

Beginning Educator
Any educator with less than two years of recent experience, whether a classroom teacher or in a specialist's role such as a school nurse or school social worker.

Recent Experience
At least half-time paid work which was in the same or a similar job responsibility to that for which the person is being hired, and which has taken place within the most recent five years

New Educator
Any educator with at least two years of recent experience but who is new to the district, whether a classroom teacher or in a specialist's role such as a school psychologist, a LD/BD teacher, or a social science teacher.

The role that a beginning or new teacher assumes when working with a mentor. The role requires and assumes a willingness to actively work with and to learn from the mentor.

The critical role and responsibility assumed by an experienced, caring, and wise educator who agrees to help, build a relationship with, and facilitate the professional growth of one or more proteges. Mentors are to be models of effective teaching and of a very visible desire to continue to grow professionally, every day, and throughout the career.

The Mentoring Process
A developmental process in which a new and an experienced educator commit to working and learning together over at least two years for the purpose of mutual support and professional development. The mentoring process includes a series of phases in which the mentor's leadership of the process is adapted to the developing strengths and changing needs of the protege. The result of an effective mentoring process is a self-confident and competent professional educator who also values what educators can do collectively on behalf of their students.

The Mentoring Relationship

The developmental relationship of a mentor and protege which is characterized by confidentiality, trust, caring, and mutual support. The mentoring relationship creates the necessary context of safety and confidence for the mentor and protege to take the risks of trying new teaching strategies and of learning in front of each other. This context is necessary for accelerated professional growth.

Induction Partners
The individual professional educators and the educational agencies and institutions which collaborate with and within school districts to implement an effective continuum of professional development for teachers from preservice throughout the professional career.

An example is the partners in the proposed Illinois Induction Initiative which are the mentor and protege, the protege's university supervisor/evaluator, the school district, the nearest Regional Office of Education or (in Cook County) the district's nearest Intermediate Service Center, the representatives of the universities teacher education programs, and the Illinois State Board of Education.

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© by Barry Sweeny, Best Practice Resources
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Web site at <http://www.teachermentors.com>.