New Mentors Relieve Teacher Isolation

Nov 16, 2015

Educators from the Council Bluffs School District joined the governor at his weekly news conference today with an enthusiastic report on the first year of Iowa’s new Teacher Leadership and Compensation Program, known as TLC.  

Eventually schools will get 150 million dollars a year to promote teachers from the classroom into mentoring roles. 

Superintendent Martha Bruckner says the mentors are helping both new and experienced teachers.

“It's fairly easy to illustrate that our beginning teachers are supported more than ever by our eight full-time mentors,” Bruckner says.   “But the teacher leadership program is helping teachers who are already good at their jobs.”  

“I was a good teacher but I was alone with the door shut in my isolated classroom,” says language arts teacher Samantha Adams.

Council Bluffs Schools have spent close to three million dollars from the new program to pay mentors more and to hire new teachers to take their place in the classroom.   

Bruckner says they haven’t hired as many mentors as they expected.

“We hoped it would be about one mentor for eight teachers, but it’s been more like one to 18,” Bruckner says.  “That includes 1st year teachers and 2nd year teachers because they mentor them for two years.”

Two-thirds of Iowa school districts are now participating, and officials expect 100% participation by the program’s third year.  When fully implemented, as many as 25% of teachers statewide will assume leadership roles.