Arkansas state law requires that each novice teacher employed at a public school participate in mentoring that: (1) provides training and support to novice teachers to increase teacher retention, (2) establishes norms of professionalism, and (3) leads to improved student achievement by increasing effective teacher performance (Teacher Support System Legislation, A.C.A. 6-17-2806). There are two primary components of novice teacher mentoring in Arkansas. One is training and preparation for an effective summative evaluation rating under the Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS). The other is individualized support provided by a qualified support person. Mentoring programs and school districts are expected to support novice teachers through their formative years through professional development training, coaching, and guided practice. Although most support should be offered in person, virtual support is also available through emails, surveys, and individual online meetings. Mentoring plans for each district that ensure all novice teachers receive training and support shall be readily available upon request from the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
For more information, please contact:
Angie Gilbert, State Mentoring Specialist
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 406-B
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201