One-hundred-seventy-five new educators were welcomed to VPS at the New Educator Training in August. This week-long program gives our new teachers a toolkit for success in their classrooms and schools, and opportunities to meet and work with district staff and peers. Throughout the year, teacher mentors provide personalized, practical guidance and support to ensure a successful school year. The award-winning teacher-mentor program also has proven to be effective in lowering turnover and keeping talented new educators in our schools. Key to the success of this program are the relationships based on trust and respect that are formed between the mentors and their teachers.

Starla Manchester, director of professional development and human resources, manages the teacher-mentor team. “I work with an incredible team every day. They are outstanding individuals as well as highly skilled teachers, and they are dedicated to providing personalized support to all educators that are new to the district,” she said.

“What our new teachers represent in terms of impact on students is truly immeasurable, and our ability to appropriately support them largely determines the impact they will have,” said Nick Hanson, teacher mentor. “How do you take 175 new educators, and provide them with enough support and enough preparation to start and continue this journey, which a lot of times seems impossible? You don’t do it alone. You give them more than just tools. And you build a culture of unconditional support that lasts well beyond one week.”

“Supporting our new educators is truly a collective responsibility,” added Mentor Connie Hogan. “It’s not about just one person. It’s not about just one team. It’s truly a community effort. For example, this year’s New Educator Training could not have been made possible without the generous contributions of more than 50 community partners.

“Our new educator induction is about building and acclimating teachers to a culture,” said Hogan. “We ensure that every new educator for Vancouver Public Schools receives the support they need in this first year. … The ultimate goal of the program is success for each student.”