Atlanta, GA

UGA collaborates with Clarke County to support new teachers

Sophie-Ann McCulloch

ATLANTA, GA — Erica Gilbertson, doctoral candidate of the University of Georgia’s College of Education, created a system to support new teachers addressing challenges in the school year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Together with three faculty members in the Marry Frances Early College of Education and three Clarke County School Districts, Gilbertson established a new teacher orientation or NTO team to design, implement and evaluate the district’s induction program.

“The NTO team sustained momentum and commitment, despite the pandemic, because we all believe so passionately that new teachers need multiple layers of support to succeed in their transition from pre-service to in-service teaching,” said Gilbertson.

After collecting data for two years—including the data from teacher survey, NTO observation, and focus group discussion or FGD—NTO then designed a virtual NTO for 175 new teachers in the CCSD based on what they are most interested in and what their best support system in class is according to the data.

A clinical associate professor in the department of mathematics, science, and social studies, Janis, said they want to make teachers feel like they are part of a community and eventually can help students feel the same.

Based on the data collected, new teachers are mostly concerned with diversity and equity issues. Therefore, Morgan Faison, clinical assistant professor in the department of educational theory and practice, created an equity workshop for NTO facilitators.

As a result of the NTO, new teachers not only gained positive learning experience but also valuable resources to collaborate with other teachers. Gilbertson said it is their goal to support them thrive in their profession and be able to provide a good impact on their students.

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