Improving Beginning Teacher Induction Programs through Distance Education

 

Teachers are faced with many barriers during their first few years of teaching, and they desire support to help them through this challenging time. Unfortunately, many beginning teachers rarely receive this assistance. Lack of support can create barriers that grow into to overall job dissatisfaction and lead to the failure of teacher retention. In the past, state departments of education and school administrators have focused on the use of mentoring programs to help address these concerns. However, much inconsistency exists among these programs’ duration, structure, and intensity, with many beginning teachers changing schools or leaving the profession all together. The purposes of this paper are to discuss key problems and concerns faced by beginning educators, to explore current professional development practices created for assisting beginning teachers, and to examine new ways to support beginning teachers through the use of educational technologies. Specifically, this article proposes principles to guide the design and improvement of beginning teacher induction programs through the incorporation of distance education technologies