TEACHERS: Mentoring gives new educators support

COLUMBIA CITY — Teachers who will enter the Whitley County Consolidated Corporation as first-year teachers in August will receive mentoring through the district’s New Teacher program.Research shows educators are more likely to stay in education if they are supported or mentored during their first two years on the job, according to Whitley County Consolidated School (WCCS) Dr. Patricia O’Connor.“It’s a coaching model to really help our new teachers,” said O’Connor.O’Connor said the Teacher Program is designed to assist first and second year teachers, since it is a two year long professional development program.Each new teacher that has never taught before is assigned a mentor teacher to give them support, and they will also attend monthly meetings. Reflective discussions concerning how things are going for the new teachers will also take place.The program is headed up by Michelle Urban, assistant principal of Indian Springs Middle School.While this is the third year for the program, O’Connor said they have about 30 first and second year teachers participating in it this year.