The Miami-Dade County
Public Schools’ Strategic Plan has identified the recruitment, development and
retention of high performing, diverse and motivated faculty and staff as a
critical district goal. The M-DCPS Mentoring and Induction for New Teachers
(MINT) Program, designed by the Professional Development Department, directly
supports this objective by establishing a comprehensive three-year plan aimed
at developing and retaining new and early career teachers through a variety of
new teacher initiatives. The program outlines a research-based framework to
facilitate the transition from new/early career teacher to accomplished
educator. By providing sustained support for new teachers hired each year, MINT
will impact the professional norms, attitudes and standards that guide a
teacher’s practice over the course of his/her career. MINT is based on current
research confirming that successful new teacher retention practices involve
mentoring, principal support, teacher collaboration, participation in learning
communities and guided reflection. To enhance the program’s effectiveness in
preparing new and early career teachers, MINT is also modeled from effective
induction programs that offer sustained support throughout the teacher’s
initial years as a classroom practitioner. Experienced school site teachers
serve as mentors for teachers that are new to the profession. Prospective
mentors will receive specialized training that will enable them to guide new
teachers in reflecting on their practice, assessing their skills and setting
goals to facilitate professional growth. MINT utilizes high quality
professional development activities to foster collaboration and collegiality
among new teachers, mentor teachers and the school principal. The program also
incorporates technology tools, including web logs, discussion forums and
webinars to enhance communication and thereby promote supportive learning
communities.

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