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New Teacher Institute helps novice educators prepare for success

Superintendent of Schools Kathy Mears greets participants at the Archdiocese of Boston New Teacher Institute hosted by the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Pilot photo/courtesy Meghan Stellman, Catholic Schools Office

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This week more than 80 teachers joined a team from the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) and members from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College for the Archdiocese of Boston New Teacher Institute. During the two-day seminar, held Aug. 13-14, Catholic teachers who are new to the profession partnered with experienced practitioners and Lynch School of Education faculty to set the foundation for a successful academic year.

The Institute was sponsored by the CSO and planned and executed by the Lynch School at Boston College, a nationwide leader in thoughtful and impactful Catholic teacher education.

While the CSO has held training for new teachers in the past, this conference is a new format for the induction of early career teachers.

Dr. Amy Ryan, deputy superintendent of the CSO, said of the partnership between the Archdiocese and B.C., "It is so wonderful to build upon the great work happening at the Lynch School of Education. Combining the efforts of our Catholic Schools Office with Boston College is enabling us to provide our faculty and staff with more resources, more knowledge, and more practical experience."

Approximately 40 Catholic schools were represented at the institute, with the majority of attendees focused on grades K-8, with three or fewer years of experience as a teacher.

On the first day of the Institute, teachers focused on critical topics such as parent engagement, culturally proficient and responsive teaching strategies and curriculum and assessment in the Archdiocese of Boston. Beginning teachers were presented with opportunities to learn more about parent-teacher conferences, technology tools, and social emotional learning. On the subsequent day, teachers explored classroom management, differentiated instruction, and classroom organization.

Christine Power, director of Practicum Partnerships and Professional Development at the Lynch School, organized the event.

She said, "The first few weeks of the school year is a critical time for novice and veteran teachers alike. During this period, engaging learning environments are established, high expectations are set, trusting relationships are formed, and curriculum and instruction is created to meet the needs of all learners."

"Thus, the focus of the institute was to provide novice teachers the skills and knowledge they need to establish a successful learning environment. The RCAB teachers brought great enthusiasm and interest to the institute and came away with essential skills that will positively impact learning for their students," she continued.

Dr. Andrew Miller, director of Academics for the CSO, offered a presentation on curriculum and assessment.

"This conference introduced teachers to the opportunity of teaching in a Catholic school, but I am most excited about the fact that it also focused on becoming a professional in the earliest stages of a teacher's career," he said.

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