Orientation and induction of newly hired teachers

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Part I

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WHEN we speak about the spectrum of Teacher Education, we refer to the phases that a licensed teacher undergoes—the pre-service phase, which covers from recruitment or from choice of a teacher education college, admission, progression and graduation from a baccalaureate in teaching—whether it be on early childhood, special education, elementary or secondary levels. The second phase is licensure preparation during which the pre-service graduate undergoes a review for the corresponding Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Many teacher education colleges conduct their own review apart from that by review centers operating under Philippine law. These centers conduct licensure examination reviews for the various professions. Granted the new graduate passes the LET and, fortunately, is hired in a public school, he enters the orientation and the “in-service” phase, which lasts through the years until retirement.

In western countries such as the US or the UK, and in Asian countries such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, there are nationwide established orientation and induction programs. In these countries, an induction program, which could last for a year after an orientation, is the next major phase for the professional teacher.

In any job we undertake, we always hope we start with the right foot. In the case of teachers, the first teaching assignment could make or break him/her. It could also leave either fond memories or a scar of a lifetime on students in his/her class. Hence, there is a saying that good teachers are costly but bad teachers cost more. Bad teachers could indeed cost more because they could destroy the lives of their students by how and what they teach. “Research indicates that the first teaching assignment of a new teacher is critical. Key education partners advise that the teaching assignments for new teachers should specifically set new teachers up for success in improving student learning.” Also, that new teachers are” guided by a culture that supports (their) assignment,” “ensure that (they) have support in the school, have the resources they need and, in particular, support with student assessment.” Our source puts a stress on the role of principals as instructional leaders in their respective schools, particularly “to the integration of a new teacher,” providing him/her a nurturing environment “instrumental to professional growth.” <http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teacher/pdfs/NTIP-English_Elements-september 2010.pdf>

Orientation and induction programs of new teachers provide them professional development from the start to the sunset of their career. They start their teaching by an orientation session to the organization—the ministry or department of education—its vision, mission and goals, organization and structure, accountability as government employees, promotion policies and procedures, and to other aspects of its culture. Then follows an induction to their responsibilities as teachers.

What then is “induction?” How does it differ from “orientation?” A broad definition of induction and orientation describes these terms as “interrelated processes that refer to a program designed to help new employees to adjust to an organization.”
<https://www.google.com.ph/?ion=1&espv=2#q =induction+and+ orientation+ meaning> Business organizations describe induction as the “initiation into a new job or company by which a new employee learns about and becomes part of an organization.” The overall purpose is to provide “necessary information, facilities and motivation to assist the employee to adjust to the new work environment, to learn the ropes and become productive on the job.” Induction programs help employees “understand the company’s expectations and convey what (the employee) “can expect from the job or the company.” Bottom line, induction programs foster the “development of loyalty and enthusiasm toward the company” and “gain employee commitment.” While “orientation can be completed in a day or two and is much simpler to organize and is less time consuming,” induction is an “overall long systematic training process” during which orientation can take place as “one small activity.” <https.//www.scribd.com/doc/47455343/18-Induction-and-Orientation-Program>

From an education perspective, a mentoring and induction program for newly hired teachers is designed “to promote excellence in teaching, enhance student achievement, build a supportive environment within school districts and area education agencies, increase the retention of promising beginning teachers, and promote the personal and professional well-being of teachers.” <> Another source defines induction as a “comprehensive, coherent, and multiyear professional development process consisting of a carefully crafted array of people and activities designed to acculturate and train a new teacher to the goals and visions of a school or the school district.” Besides integrating educators into the school community, the principal purpose of induction programs is “to teach a new teacher effective teaching strategies and techniques that will improve student learning, growth, and achievement.” <>

In a comprehensive induction program, there are assigned coaches—seasoned teachers who have been themselves trained by their respective districts “to function as a team and to provide classroom assistance with teachers and the students.” A third dimension of a comprehensive teacher induction program is the inclusion of mentors in the team. <http://www.newteacher.com/pdf/Significant_ Research_on_ Induction.pdf>

Another source describes induction programs as providing “the structure that maximizes new educators’ learning in the context of classroom experience.” Induction programs have built-in provisions for the new teachers to “learn from experienced and effective teacher leaders.” This way, “schools increase the possibility of retaining strong, well-trained educators; and most important, student learning can be improved.” <http://www.doe.mass.edu/ educators/mentor/guidelines.pdf> In brief, induction programs for newly hired teachers are meant to support their sustained growth and professional development. <http://imoberg.com/files/Unit_ A_ ch. _3_–_Breaux_Wong_ excerpt.pdf> Having referred to our sources, we will dwell next on our DepEd’s orientation and induction program.

Teresita Tanhueco-Tumapon, PhD, is one of the Philippines’ most accomplished educators and experts on institutional management in colleges and universities. Her studies included not only education and pedagogy but also literature, general science and history. She studied not only in the topmost universities in the Philippines but also in Germany, Great Britain and Japan. She headed chartered institutions, was vice-president for academics and for external relations and internationalization. She is copy editor of the Liceo journals, an internationalization consultant and professorial lecturer on-call and at the Graduate Studies of Liceo de Cagayan University (in Cagayan de Oro City). She holds a Lifetime Professional Achievement Award from the central office of the Commission on Higher Education.

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1 Comment

  1. Masipag na Pinoy on

    In the U.S., If I remember correctly, they used the term “probationary period” instead of Induction Program. Before a teacher can take a State Licensure Exam, s/he must have completed at least 12 semester hours (4 subjects) in Education, such as early childhood education, special education, and couple more classes in behavioral science. Before you even get on the platform, you must have completed an Instructor’s Course, where your public speaking ability is graded. Public speaking basically consists of speaking in front of people, delivery, timing, pronunciations and mannerism of a candidate is graded.

    Teaching is an honorable profession that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. I was once an instructor in a Technical College teaching math, computer programming and electronics subjects. My baccalaureate degree is in electronics engineering and I abandoned teaching profession and went to work for big companies for much, much more money. I have made a lot of money lol (more than the combined money earned by Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla in their lifetime- minus the amount of money they stole from Filipino people) and now I am ready to retire, but I have a long way to go before I can enjoy the privileges of senior citizens.