April 10, 2018 3:00PM
It will have a big impact not just on teachers, said KCCTE Director Greg Belcher, but indirectly on the students they teach.
State regulations require that each new teacher in Kansas receive support from a mentor for a minimum of two years in order to renew his or her teaching license. Typically, that's done in-house by matching the new CTE instructor with a veteran teacher in the same district.
"But many such teachers are the only ones teaching their content areas within their schools and have no one to mentor them on-site," Belcher said.
If that's the case, the new teacher might be paired with a teacher from another content area or a teacher who has no connection to career and technical education — say, an English teacher mentoring a technology education teacher, or a music teacher mentoring a broadcast journalism teacher.
With the approval of the KCCTE as a third-party mentor, the new CTE instructor can be paired with a qualified mentor in the same content area, even if the mentor teaches in another Kansas school district. The new teacher will be able to receive support which more closely matches their needs while meeting the requirement for licensure renewal.
Additionally, it allows the new CTE teacher to develop networks and relationships which benefit them in the classroom and with student organizations.
"The more we can align teachers with others like them, who have the same concerns, the same challenges, the more they can be successful," Belcher said. "They have unique questions that likely no one else in their building can answer when it comes to safety, or materials and supplies, or the approach to a particular lesson they're teaching. This will match them with a teacher who can be a mentor and understand all of that. This gives them an unparalleled opportunity."
Currently, the KCCTE serves 54 mentees from across the state at both the secondary and post-secondary level.
Mentor support provided through the KCCTE for Career and Technical Education will begin in August at the start of the new school year. The KCCTE will work to recruit mentors and provide training to allow new CTE instructors to begin their careers with support from the very first day of school.
Learn more about the KCCTE at https://kccte.pittstate.edu