An Evaluation of the New Teacher Perceptions of the New Teacher Induction Program in a Suburban School District in Southwest Texas
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the new teacher perceptions of the New Teacher Induction Program in a suburban school district in southwest Texas. The evaluation provided district leaders with critical feedback from the new teachers on their background, perceptions of their first year of teaching and the teacher induction program. The study consisted of analysis and evaluation of the district-administered New Teacher Induction Survey that was sent via a unique survey link to 240 new teachers to the district during the 2013-2014 school year. The quantitative study involved descriptive statistical analysis of closed survey responses. The results of this quantitative study revealed information as to the various backgrounds of new teachers in a suburban school district in southwest Texas. It was found that the district had higher averages than the state of new teachers to the profession, along with alternatively certified teachers. The study also revealed new teacher perceptions during their induction period of mentoring and coaching, as well as perceptions about school culture and climate, administration support, teacher performance and evaluation, and professional learning. Descriptive statistics revealed that the new teachers to the district perceived their mentoring and coaching experiences to be marginal. Overall support provided by mentors was not perceived by new teachers to be at a high level, but new teachers felt positively about the accessibility of their mentors. The new teacher perceptions of their school’s culture and climate were positive. An overwhelming majority felt a sense of belonging and that the whole school community was invested in their development. It was revealed that new teachers received marginal administration support during their first year of induction; particularly in the areas of individual face to face meetings, classroom observations, and the modeling of lessons and behavior management strategies. The study found that new teachers had a positive experience with the teacher performance and evaluation process. An overwhelming majority felt that information given to them by their administration was in line with the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) process, and that this information was clear and understandable. Also, it was revealed that new teachers had positive experiences with professional learning on classroom management and building relationships. New teachers did not perceive their professional learning opportunities on working with diverse parent and student groups to be effective. In particular, working with special education students and families was the highest reported need for additional professional learning. In addition to providing perspectives of why induction is necessary due to obvious benefits and teacher attrition rates, the study considered the unique recruitment and retention demands of a rapidly growing suburban school district in southwest Texas. The study provides a historical perspective of induction and describes the components of a successful induction program. Results from the study will allow stakeholders in the district to consider the new teacher perceptions on the success of each component and determine the overall effectiveness of the New Teacher Induction Program, which may influence future practice.