Teacher induction: learning in community
Teacher induction methods and their effects on teacher practices on Vancouver Island, BC were investigated using a mixed methods exploratory approach. An online survey instrument was used to collect the data from the recruited teachers who were within the first three years of their teaching career. Literature reviews suggested that teacher induction programmes were designed to manage the issues of: teacher retention and job satisfaction; to provide a structured environment of support; teacher professional development; and for teacher certification or assessment purposes. Descriptions of existing teacher induction programmes in New Zealand, Scotland, the USA, and Ontario were included in the literature review. Comparisons were also made to the Province of Saskatchewan where there is currently no teacher induction mandate. All of these studies helped to inform the current study. Mentorship models including professional learning communities were predominant in the literature reviewed. The contentious contract negotiations between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the Ministry of Education affected the school environment during the time that the research was conducted. Limited generalizability resulted with only 2.8% of the estimated population of beginning teachers in School District #68 participating in the study. Three themes emerged from the data analysis. These themes and were: (1) the lack of time; (2) being welcomed into the community; and, (3) the role of leadership for support and advice.