The Iowa Mentoring and Induction Program began as part of the Iowa Teacher Quality legislation enacted in 2001. Every beginning educator in the first or second year of the profession enters into a two-year induction program that addresses personal and professional needs and trains him or her on Iowa’s eight Teaching standards.
The beginning educator must be employed by a public school district or an area education agency (AEA). A mentor is assigned - not to evaluate for employment purposes, but to observe, critique, and provide support and advice on effective teaching practices. In 2006, guidance counselors, teacher librarians, and interns (hired under alternative licensure) were approved to participate in the mentoring and induction program in addition to classroom teachers. Iowa pays $1,300 for each first or second year educator. $1,000 of those funds is paid to the mentor and the remaining dollars can be used by the district or AEA to pay for related program costs, including FICA or IPERS.
Mentors must have at least four years of teaching experience and demonstrated skills in classroom training and coaching. They receive training on district expectations, based on Iowa’s eight teaching standards. Mentoring programs can be designed by the district or the AEA, which provides school improvement services for the local education community. The mentor must follow this program while focusing on the teacher’s individual needs. One hundred percent of the public school districts and all AEAs in Iowa have a Mentoring and Induction plan that has been approved by the Iowa Department of Education.
After the two-year induction program, the beginning educator receives a standard license in most cases. The state fully funds induction for the required two years. If an educator does not meet the requirements after the two years, a third year in the induction program can be granted by the district, but must be funded by the district. If the educator does not successfully complete the program after the third year, that educator cannot receive a license and cannot continue to teach in the state.
Each year, approximately 3,000 beginning educators participate in the state-funded Iowa Mentoring and Induction Program. This total is comprised of both first and second year educators in LEAs and AEAs statewide.
School districts and AEAs report the number of first year and second year beginning teachers eligible for Mentoring and Induction funding and the number of beginning administrators eligible for Administrator Mentoring and Induction funding.