MLC master’s graduates are leaders in WELS schools. They are equipped to lead others through the complexities of teaching and classroom management, as well as home/school relationships. As a graduate, one way you can show leadership is by mentoring new teachers.
Over the past three decades the field of education has experienced a greening trend. New WELS teachers leaving the profession went from 287 in the 1980s to 867 in the 2000s, excluding those who resigned because they got married or had children (Continuing Education for Called Workers Committee, 2012). Mentoring supports are designed not only to retain teachers but also to develop the skills and mindsets of effective teachers.
New Teacher Induction (NTI) closely walks a new teacher through their first two years of teaching using instructional mentoring punctuated by management seminars and mentor observation. Along this path mentors receive free training in how to encourage discussion and reflection around teaching standards and instructional practice.
The key to quality induction is quality mentoring. WELS mentors are specifically trained in instructional mentoring, coaching, and observation. An NTI mentor has the following characteristics.
Qualities and Qualifications
has a minimum of three years of effective classroom teaching
is recognized as an exemplary Lutheran teacher and a Christian role model by administrators, colleagues, and community
demonstrates the ability to actively listen and collaborate with all members of a school community.
actively participates in ongoing professional development
observes their new teacher’s classroom 2 times per semester
meets twice a month with their new teacher to formally discuss what is happening in the beginning teacher’s classroom
maintains weekly contact through email, phone, Facebook, or text
The Commission on Lutheran Schools (CLS) and Martin Luther College cover the cost of training and reimburse substitute teacher expenses and mileage for mentors’ activities.