At a time when Washington state is experiencing an influx of first-time public school teachers—and teacher shortages in some areas—strategies for supporting new state teachers are becoming even more important.
Now there’s a University of Washington study out that suggests the state’s BEST teacher mentorship program — short for Beginning Educator Support Team — makes a difference in keeping first-year teachers in the classroom. The finding supports what education advocates have said: Mentorship matters.
The study, completed this month by the UW College of Education’s Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, examined school districts that were fully engaged in the BEST program and compared them with districts that were not. The report was prepared at the request of the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The report looked at retention and mobility trends among all beginning teachers from the 2010–11 school year through the 2014–15 school year.
Based on those five years, the study found that just 6 percent of first-year teachers in districts that fully adopted the BEST program were predicted to leave their job within one year, either by moving out of state or quitting the teaching profession altogether. In school districts that did not participate fully in the mentorship program, 10 percent of first-year teachers were predicted to leave their Washington teaching jobs.
Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.