The Palo Alto Unified School District Beginning Teacher Induction Consortium (formerly known as Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment – BTSA) is a program accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, offering a two-year comprehensive professional support designed to enhance teacher competence and enable participating teachers to receive a California Professional Clear Credential. The Consortium extends services to beginning teachers employed in the Palo Alto Unified School District as well as Mountain View-Los Altos and Los Gatos-Saratoga High School Districts.
Every participating teacher is matched with an experienced mentor who provides individualized regular support and assistance. The over-arching goal of the New Teacher Induction Program is to prepare teachers to address the academic and social needs of all students. This involves preparing Participating Teachers with strategies for working with different student populations together with instructional practices for differentiating instruction to meet the varied needs of all groups within the classroom. The program is designed to assist all teachers in meeting each of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.
During the two-year program, the Participating Teacher and Mentor meet an average of one hour per week and work through a formative assessment process leading to the development of reflective practice. Each formative cycle includes observations, conferencing, individualized learning plans and professional growth goals, and analyzing student work.
All newly hired PAUSD teachers are required to participate in a two-year series of Equity Workshops. The workshops advance the various recommendations issued by the Minority Achievement and Talent Development Advisory Committee in May 2015. The series is facilitated by teachers and features a comprehensive curriculum that includes an overview of PAUSD data and helps to promote culturally responsive instruction to interrupt the inequitable practices leading to the achievement and opportunity gap experienced by historically underrepresented students.
The workshops are intended to provide teachers with a space to both reflect on their own internal preparation and collaboratively work with colleagues to create culturally responsive learning environments and instruction through purposeful relationships with students.
Self- Awareness and Identity:
Teachers will personally and collectively reflect on their own racial and cultural identity and how it shapes their practice as educators. Teachers will examine the impact of bias and become aware of the diversity of Palo Alto.
Relationships and Community:
Teachers will understand the aspects of building learning focused trusting relationships across difference relationships to support students’ investment in their own learning.
Teachers will personally and collectively understand and apply equity focused instructional practices in their everyday teaching in order to better serve the most underserved students.