We Teach Texas P12 Mentoring and Coaching Academy begins at Texas A&M
By Matthew J. Etchells
The overarching vision of the We Teach Texas P12 Mentoring and Coaching Academy is to transform the preparation of teacher mentors by providing evidence-based professional development for P12 mentors and coaches who support beginning teachers throughout the state of Texas.
“The We Teach Texas P12 Mentoring and Coaching Academy is a great opportunity for veteran teachers to become certified mentors. The MCA is supporting the capacity building of teachers in Texas through this Tier I researched program and the creators of the courses are all experts in their fields and offer decades of teaching and mentoring experience in their modules,” said Dr. Erin A. Singer, director of curriculum and instruction for the MCA.
The first cohort included 79 educators from school districts across Texas in June and July. One of the participants explained why a capacity-building and evidence-based academy is needed.
“During my first year in the classroom, my mentor was very aggressive and unsupportive. There were days where I was in tears because she would scold me while students were in the room,” said Valerie Choron. “I think the reason for these behaviors were (and may currently be) the fact that the mentors lack the proper training to work with mentees. While they may be experienced teachers, they have little idea on how to mentor teachers.”
“I’ve worked to support educators my entire career and I’ve heard many teachers share similar narratives with me. We can change this and I’m so proud that Texas A&M University is leading by example and that the college and ELRC can support this academy with our expertise in providing professional development across Texas,” said Dr. Beverly J. Irby, director of the Education Leadership Research Center.
Texas school educators like Christi Fuchs, an elementary teacher at Hunt Elementary School, echo Irby.
“I would say this Mentoring and Coaching Academy is necessary for every teacher at every stage of their career. We are all mentors even when we are not formally assigned.”
The next Mentoring and Coaching Academy will begin on August 3 and leaders like Dr. Adrain B. Johnson, Superintendent, Hearne ISD believe that building a culture of mentoring and coaching will have an impact on student performance. Educators from Hearne ISD participated in the initial academy and are participating in the second as well.
“This will help us train 14% of our veteran teachers and specialists with tier I research-based resources in mentoring and coaching from experts in the field to support our early service teachers,” said Johnson. “The Effective School Framework has indicated that the quality of teachers and the quality of teacher mentors has a direct positive correlation to improving student performance outcomes.
About the academy
“Our mission is to serve Texas, so we initiated this academy to meet the needs of the state through Texas HB3,” said Dr. Valerie Hill-Jackson, executive director for the MCA.
The Academy is a collaboration between the College of Education and Human Development, the We Teach Texas initiative of the Texas A&M University System. It is facilitated by the Education Leadership Research Center and offers four levels of professional development.
Level 1, Certified Mentor, blends personalized learning with a community of practice in an online self-paced, 10-day, 15 continuous professional education unit (CPE), training focused on the fundamentals of mentoring and coaching.
Level 2, Certified Recognized Mentor, is an online and practicum 30-day, 50 CPE unit, train-the-trainer certification cohort program that provides teacher leaders, who are recommended by their district, with mentoring and coaching tools for training and supporting the professional development of campus and district mentors.
Level 3 and 4 will each provide six graduate credit hours to develop mentoring and coaching capacity for their campus or school district and evidence-based practices for implementing and leading a school or district-wide mentoring or coaching program.
Get connected to the mentoring and coaching community on social media by going to Facebook @MCATAMU and Twitter @we_p12
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