Cherry: Keeping good teachers in the classroom

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Monday, February 4, 2019 9:14 am

Oftentimes, when an educator leaves the teaching profession within the first five years, it is due to lack of support in the classroom. To reverse this trend, lawmakers are working to provide more resources to students preparing to enter the teaching profession, and pairing new teachers with veteran educators.

College students preparing for a teaching career need real-world experience, including opportunities to lead a classroom. Proposed legislation would establish a teacher residency grant pilot program so that college students pursuing a teaching degree would receive training from an experienced educator. They would also receive a stipend as they pursue additional training. Similar to a traditional student teaching program, a teacher residency would pair aspiring educators with veteran teachers for a full school year to experience more rigorous in-depth training.

Beginner teachers could also benefit from support and guidance from their veteran colleagues. The first year of teaching can be difficult. In fact, nearly 1 in 10 new teachers quit within their first year. Recent studies have shown that new teachers are more likely to remain in the classroom when they receive training from highly effective educators. By implementing a mentorship program, new teachers could learn from the experience of others and gain skills to help them in a long-term, fulfilling career.

In addition to mentorship programs, the legislation also encourages school corporations to implement career ladders. Many teachers want to work in the classroom, but believe the only way to advance in their careers and earn more money is to become school administrators. While this a great career path, our veteran educators deserve opportunities to take on additional roles mentoring newer teachers while staying in the classroom and getting paid more. Retaining our best teachers is in the best interests of our students’ future.

Educators play a vital role in preparing our children to succeed, and I am dedicated to helping effective teachers stay in the classroom. To learn more about House Bill 1008 and House Bill 1009, visit iga.in.gov. Your opinions matter, and as proposals for new laws progress through the process, let’s stay connected. For questions or input, please call 317-232-9651 or email H53@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) represents House District 53,

which includes portions of Hancock and Madison counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.