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Mentoring teachers go back to class

South Harrison Community School Corp. has begun a Mentor Teaching Training program in keeping with a new state requirement that all educators who mentor be certified by the 2007-2008 school year.
Assistant Supt. Jeff Hauswald made the announcement at the Sept. 12 meeting of the South Harrison Community School Board of Trustees. He said there has already been one session.
‘The mentor certification program certifies teachers to be mentors for any teacher that has a beginning teacher’s license that requires one,’ said Hauswald, who is excited about the new program. ‘The first session seemed to go really well.’
‘It’s a great program to get started out,’ said Susan Eastridge, a fourth grade teacher at South Central Elementary.
Last year she mentored a new teacher and will do so again this year.
‘It’s nice for a professional organization to recognize giving someone a mentor who will help them be more successful,’ Eastridge said.
This year, South Harrison has 17 teachers in the program, which includes five after-school sessions and four all-day sessions.
Before, the corporation was sending its teachers to become certified mentors at the Regional Educational Service Center in Charlestown. Classes were on Monday nights, which had become a burden for the teachers.
First grade teacher and recent Indiana University at Bloomington graduate Cortnai Boone, will be mentored by South Central Elementary first grade teacher Susan Freiberger.
‘I know Susan will help me with classroom management and trying different things, and when I’m not getting through to the students, she’ll be there to help me get through to them with the things she’s tried,’ Boone said.
Boone, along with other beginning teachers, will create a portfolio and tape some lessons for review.
It is also a state law for teachers to renew their license every five years. The corporation has already made an agreement with Indiana University at Bloomington, in which the teachers participating in the mentor training can receive three credit hours.
The teachers must pay for their training but may recoup some or all of the costs from the corporation, which gives teachers $250 per year for tuition reimbursement. Also, those who are mentoring a beginning teacher are paid through the Indiana Dept. of Education.
The amount depends on the available funds, but the mentor can receive up to $600.
South Harrison also has invited other school corporations to participate, being aware that their program might be easier and less expensive for neighboring districts. Hauswald said this would result in a greater range of experiences and more diverse group of participants.
‘Additionally, this could lead to a richer dialogue for all participants,’ he said.

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