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Question 2

  • What do I need to know about WELS New Teacher Induction (NTI) and what are my responsibilities?


The following is a list of major players in WELS New Teacher Induction - mentoring program and their titles:

  • WELS NTI Coordinator: Jon Schaefer (507) 766-9674
  • WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools Director: Jim Rademan (262) 224-1961
  • NTI Administrative Assistant: Lisa Fenske (507) 354-8221
  • NTI Data & Online Tools: Michelle Yotter
  • Building Administrator: Usually the principal or director of the building where the new teacher works. Sometimes, it may be the pastor or an interim principal/director.
  • District Lead Mentors: These persons have years of mentoring experience and complete a mentor & coaching credential. They will work directly with the mentors and district leaders to facilitate induction within the district.
  • Mentor Teacher: This person must apply/be accepted as a WELS mentor, complete NTI-approved training, and will work directly with the new teacher to provide support and to help improve instructional skills as a Lutheran educator.
  • New Teacher: As you are undoubtedly already aware, WELS teachers who are in their first two years of teaching are mentored through this program.

You can also read an overview of everyone's responsibilities [PDF].

As the building administrator, you have a significant role to play in WELS New Teacher Induction. Your responsibilities include:

  • Participation in this one-time training
  • Responsible for supporting the work of the new teacher in your building and their mentor. This means providing them with the resources necessary for their success, including the time to work together! Please see the section below on “What can and should I do to support new teachers in my building?”
  • Communicating and provide feedback to the mentor so that their work aligns with the needs and goals of your school or center. You are responsible for meeting with the mentor and new teacher in two triad meetings (often held during the first and third quarter)

Tools and Documentation

All Tools necessary for WELS New Teacher Induction are made available online at the Martin Luther College website at Please bookmark that page for future reference.

Each semester administrators guide and verify the mentorship work via the NTI Teacher Growth Reflection Tool. The tool is completed semi-annually between administrator, mentor, and teacher in order to share relevant data and collaboratively celebrating progress along the continuum of teacher development toward identified goals. The Teacher Growth Reflection Tool synthesizes evidence of practice to recognize the best in the teacher, to affirm teacher's past and present successes toward their goals, and to increase teacher's value - growing and developing their God give talents.

General Timeline for NTI Teacher Growth Reflection Tool

  • October - Administrators of 1-year assignments finalize Fall Teacher Growth Reflection Tool
  • November - Administrators of permanently and multi-year assigned beginning teachers finalize Fall Teacher Growth Reflection Tool
  • January/February - Administrators of 1-year assignments finalize Spring Teacher Growth Reflection Tool
  • March - Administrators of permanently and multi-year assigned beginning teachers finalize Spring Teacher Growth Reflection Tool

Your regular classroom visits are important to the completion of this semi-annual assessment. Please review and look over the Teacher Growth Reflection Tool so you are familiar with them as they are a tool used throughout the induction years.

Teacher Growth Reflection Tool Philosophy & Purpose Teacher Growth Reflection Tool

One-on-One First-year Teacher/Mentor Conferencing Expectation

The heart of the induction program is the conferencing time for mentors and new teachers to meet and work together.  Please take a look at the Collaborative Assessment Log (link below) that outlines discussion during these meetings.

The meetings will follow a protocol that will take the teachers through a cycle that includes: Reflection, Focus, Possibilities, and Planning to be followed by Implementation during the time before the next meeting.  The teachers will also identify the professional competencies they are working on, using the WELS Teaching Standards of good Lutheran teaching which your WELS district is using for teacher supervision. The intention is that this protocol will allow teachers to make the best use of their time together and to make sure their meetings are productive in improving the competence of the new teacher.  Mentors will be trained in the use of this protocol during their mentor training.

You will not have access to see these completed Collaborative Assessment Logs, as will be explained in “The very important firewall” section below.

These one-on-one conferences are to be in addition to what you are already paying teachers to do.  For example, if your school provides PLC time or grade level meeting time, those hours would not count toward the one-on-one conference expectation since that time is what your school is already providing for all teachers.

You can download and view a blank Collaborative Assessment Log to see what will be filled out.

Requirements for Release Time for Mentors and Mentees

In registering to be part of WELS New Teacher Induction (NTI), Martin Luther College agreed to provide two days of release time each semester for the mentor and one day per year for the new teacher to observe each other and/or another teacher. The college has agreed to pay for the substitutes for these required activities with WELS New Teacher Induction reimbursing the substitute teacher and the mentor training & travel costs. A beginning teacher is reimbursed for their travel cost when he/she exceeds 90 miles of travel.

Mentors should observe mentees teaching 4 times per year, once a quarter. Please note that due to distance some or all observations might be conducted using video technology in which case needed technological equipment is provided.

  • First-year teachers are generally observed or record themselves teaching and discuss this with their mentors in September, October/November, January/February, and March/April.
  • First-year and second-year teachers should observe a typical school day each year of another teacher (possibly including the mentor).

Beginning Teacher Seminars

WELS New Teacher Induction holds webinars for mentors/new teachers online throughout the year and in the fall and spring in conjunction with some teachers’ conferences. You will be expected to encourage mentors' and new teachers’ attendance at these seminars. Mentors will also participate in online training & forums throughout the year. The seminar, forum, and training dates are available on the NTI webpage and are shared at the District's New Teacher Seminar at the end of July/beginning of August.

Substitute Coverage

We do understand the difficulty of taking teachers out of their classrooms to do this work. Initial mentor trainings will be offered in the summer and online. Outside of the mentor training, the maximum amount of substitute coverage you can expect for mentor observations is four days and for first-year teacher observations is one day of coverage for observations (four for the mentor, one for the new teacher). As stated earlier, the school can be reimbursed by WELS NTI for substitute costs.

When Partners Meet

Mentors will receive an honorarium and free training for meeting all of the requirements of the WELS NTI program and new teachers will have the opportunity to earn up to 120 clock hours for their participation (20 hours each year plus additional hours for each of the 8 webinars they attend). These are offered to compensate for the time that will be needed for either the mentoring activities themselves or to make up for the class planning and preparation time that was missed during the school day because of mentoring activities. 

Triad Meetings (New Teacher/Mentor/Administrator)

Early on, it will be important to meet with the mentor and the new teacher so you all have the chance to discuss, ask questions and make sure everyone has the same understanding of the goals and requirements of the work they will be doing in the program. It is important for both the mentor and the new teacher to feel your support for their work.  Time will be given at your district’s new teacher seminar to set up meetings and mentors will have a protocol to use for these meetings. One triad meeting should be arranged during the first quarter and another during the third quarter. You are responsible for calling these meetings together during the year and will have an opportunity to put them on the mentor and new teacher's calendar at the District's New Teacher Seminar. The Teacher Growth Reflection Tool is an integral part of these meetings.

You will have a separate follow-up meeting at the year’s midpoint/end to touch base with each person.  For the administrator and mentor, these meets during the second and fourth quarter are to touch base and coordinate support. You will arrange these meetings too.  These mid-year/end-year meetings should be held with mentor-administrator and beginning teacher-administrator so you can discuss individual information and progress.

The Very Important "Firewall"

It's very important that you watch this to learn about how the firewall works in our program! It clarifies the mentor-administrator relationship!

Mentor Laurie and Professor Schaefer held a teleconference discussion about the roles and communication between mentor and administrator. Please click to watch this important video (8 min 21 sec).

If you have further questions about the firewall, please contact Professor Schaefer, If the video does not work for you, please contact the NTI office at (507) 354-8221 or

The Cost of Induction

Attrition costs! Most U.S. corporations expect 6% of their employees to quit yearly; many tech companies see 30% losses (Strack, 2014). This turnover is expensive because replacing workers generally costs 25% of the person’s salary (Ingersoll, 2003; Jones & Jones, 2013; Norton, 1999). A 6% loss of 1,000 workers in a major corporation, making $30,000 per year, would collectively cost $450,000. WELS schools experienced 37% teacher attrition out of the 596 teachers who entered teaching over the past five years. Over half of that attrition was from teachers leaving by their fifth year for other occupations or personal reasons. What does that cost?

Attrition can lead to high educational costs for schools. Higher teacher turnover negatively affects student achievement. García and Weiss (2019) observed a cycle in schools where teacher attrition was higher, as the schools typically received a disproportionate number of inexperienced teachers, these newer teachers typically left at a much higher rate than other teachers. Sutcher et al. (2016) also found that many of these teachers were underprepared in times of shortages, putting them at greater risk of leaving than fully prepared teachers. This cycle undermined student achievement due to the teachers’ inexperience, lack of preparation, and instability.

A lack of qualified teachers and faculty instability threatens students’ ability to learn. Stewardship and the encouragement of qualified teachers in their first years of teaching are part of effective teacher induction programs. Over thirty states in the United States (U.S.) have provided induction for their teachers during their initial years of teaching (Bullough, 2012). These induction programs' primary purposes included increased retention, accelerated teacher development, networking, and aligned school systems’ objectives and teacher needs (Sutcher, 2019). Quality induction often included a mentor teacher, common teacher planning time with other teachers, and regularly scheduled teacher collaboration (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011). Exceptional programs include additional programmings like professional development for mentors and new teachers, mentor and teacher observations, and program orientation (Knight, 2017). Personal processes like induction focused on working relationships and associated teaching conditions.

Schools and centers are responsible for the cost of NTI. WELS New Teacher Induction's two-year program = Year 1 is $1000 per new teacher + Year 2 is $1000 per new teacher

nti/admin-training/question-2.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/26 15:31 by Schaefer, Jonathan M