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Golden LEAF Educational Consortium
What has the Golden LEAF Educational Consortium done?




 
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Golden LEAF Educational Consortium
Recruitment and Retention in North Carolina
Recruitment and Retention in Other States
Recruitment and Retention in Other Countries
College and University Research
Organizational Research
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The Golden LEAF Educational Consortium has focused on the following initiatives:

The Toolbox of Recruitment and Retention Strategies: The Toolbox contains strategies that are taken directly from research done by the Golden LEAF Educational Consortium Project as well as strategies resulting from research done in other states and other countries.

Mentor/New Teacher Release Days: A challenge constantly faced by mentor teachers is how to balance the needs of their class and the needs of new teachers.  Time is a limited commodity for teachers (Lytle & Cochran-Smith, 1990). However, Bird (1986) found that teachers judge the worth of their mentors by the amount of time they are visibly engaged in the work of mentoring (Little, 1990). Additionally, new teachers need time to plan (NCDPI, 2002; RNT, 2000; GLEC, 2002, 2003), to observe other teachers (RNT, 2000; Wong, 2002; GLEC 2002, 2003), and to talk with other teachers (RNT, 2000; GLEC, 2002, 2003).  These activities need to occur during the school day and not be added on to the already long hours new teachers spend working. For this reason, the Golden LEAF Educational Consortium provided new teachers and mentor teachers in the target school systems release time which gave teachers the opportunity to meet together during the school day. Release time was rated the most effective Golden LEAF Educational Consortium strategy for retention by the target school system’s ILT coordinators, mentors and new teachers (GLEC, 2005).

New Teacher Conferences: Fuller (1969) defined the stages of new teacher development. While other researchers have added information over the years, everyone agrees that new teachers experience feelings of disillusionment and disenchantment in late fall.  In fact, many new teachers decide not to return for the next school year before Christmas break.  To help new teachers during this difficult time, the Golden LEAF Educational Consortium provided intensive emotional and professional support through new teacher conferences. New teachers were given the opportunity to socialize with other new teachers and to attend workshops on classroom management, technology, and diverse learners. Many new teachers stated that the conference motivated them and helped them go back to their schools with positive attitudes to finish out the year (GLEC, 2004).

Leadership Forums for School Administrators: Administrators are a key factor in the retention of new teachers. The lack of administrative support has been one of the top reasons cited for teachers leaving North Carolina (NCDPI, 2001, 2002). Most of the new teachers surveyed by the Golden LEAF Educational Consortium (2002) cited a lack of administrator knowledge about INTASC and issues associated with new teachers. East Carolina University and UNC Pembroke worked together to hold separate leadership forums for the principals of target school systems to receive updated training on the needs of new teachers and other leadership practices. New teachers stated that the number one reason they would return to their system was due to the support of their principal (GLEC, 2004).

Advanced Mentor Training: Research states that quality induction programs for new teachers must include intensive mentoring (NCTAF, 1999; Wong, 2002). New teachers frequently cite a lack of mentoring support and knowledge as a reason for leaving (SREB, 2001).  Many new teachers surveyed in the targeted school systems cited the lack of knowledge by mentor teachers as a major problem (GLEC, 2002). Mentor teachers who were surveyed in targeted school systems admitted having a lack of knowledge on the needs of new teachers and they requested guidelines that would help them work more effectively with new teachers (GLEC, 2002, 2003). Mentoring and induction programs yield the promise of reducing new teacher turnover rates. After researching several mentoring and induction models, the Golden LEAF Educational Consortium contracted with the New Teacher Center (University of California at Santa Cruz) to provide a Mentor Teacher Academy. The academy was designed as a train-the-trainer model focusing on the following goals: (1) to develop teacher capacity as defined by the North Carolina Mentor Program Standards, (2) to direct support toward student achievement, (3) to use formative assessment practices to guide support, (4) to model and encourage ongoing self-assessment and reflection and (5) to foster collaboration and leadership among teachers. Many mentor teachers who participated in the academy felt they had a better understanding of the development of new teachers and how to support them. They also felt a true connection between effective mentoring and teacher retention (GLEC, 2005).

Teachers-Teachers.com: Recruiting new teachers for rural, low-wealth areas of Eastern North Carolina is difficult. To increase the difficulty of the situation, the No Child Left Behind legislation mandates that each teacher be licensed in the area they are teaching.  Therefore, school systems need to hire licensed teachers to fill vacant positions. In Eastern North Carolina, competition for these teachers is fierce. The Golden LEAF Educational Consortium provided target school systems access to Teachers-Teachers.com, an online database, a web-based recruitment tool that allowed school systems to both post openings and browse the database of over 100,000 prospective teachers. Over a two-year period, 50 new teachers were hired in the target school systems and as a result of this project; the NC Department of Public Instruction is providing this service to all school systems in North Carolina.
http://www.teachers:teachers.com/northcarolina.cfm

Teacher Resource Centers: New teachers feel they do not have enough resources to meet their needs and the needs of their students. In order for them to be effective teachers, they must provide a classroom environment rich with resources. Many new teachers spend up to twenty dollars per month of their own money for resources to build these collections (GLEC, 2002). The Golden LEAF Educational Consortium implemented teacher resource centers to provide teachers with a variety of these resources. The centers contain instructional materials: North Carolina State adopted textbooks, supplemental books, copies of the NC Standard Course of Study, audiovisual materials, reference resources equipment, etc. The resource centers are located at Craven Community College, Edgecombe Community College (Rocky Mount Campus), Edgecombe Community College (Tarboro Campus) and Wayne Community College. Of the teachers surveyed, 100 percent rated the teacher resource centers useful and that the materials used influenced the effectiveness of their teaching.

Access to Technology and Training: The use of technology increases the retention rate of teachers, and teachers who used technology are less likely to leave the profession (Adams, 2002). The Golden LEAF Educational Consortium and Apple Corporation awarded Apple Wireless Mobile Classrooms to four of the target school systems: Edgecombe County Schools, Greene County Schools, Jones County Schools and the Public Schools of Robeson County. Greene County Schools (2003) put a computer in the hands of each middle and high school student as a way of closing the achievement gap.