Becoming a first-year teacher involves a lot of questions
you didn’t cover while obtaining your degree: What is the code to the school
copy machine? Where do you get the best room decorations at the lowest price?
Who do I call for curriculum support? Am I ready for a classroom full of
students? Luckily for our first-year teachers, Indianapolis Public Schools has
a dedicated coach to help them navigate the first stage of their teaching

“Brand-new teachers are like sponges – it’s fun to work with
them and see how eager they are to learn new techniques and best practices,”
said Amanda Koth, IPS New Teacher Induction Coach. With a background as a
teacher and a principal, Koth supports our first-year teachers throughout the
year and ensures they are poised to promote student success from day one!

The 133 educators joining IPS for their first-ever teaching
jobs kicked off the school year earlier this month with a three-day new teacher
institute. Koth invited district leaders to this orientation to share best
practices on a variety of important topics including licensing, curriculum and
building relationships with students. The group even took a field trip to
Teachers’ Treasures, a local organization that graciously and consistently distributes
free school supplies to our teachers.

Each new teacher has a mentor – a veteran teacher who works
in the same school. Koth provides training for the mentors and guidance on ways
to help their mentees have a fantastic first year. The pairings occur before
school starts, so new teachers have already established a relationship with a
trusted colleague before the first day of school!

In addition to planning professional development and
additional supports for our new teachers, Koth travels to schools across the
district four days a week to check in with new teachers and their mentors.

“It’s important for new teachers to build a relationship
that’s not evaluative; I’m a support service to them only,” Koth added. While
principals and other administrative staff members are charged with evaluating
the performance and progress of our teachers, Koth’s role is solely to support
our new teachers. By fostering relationships with our new teachers early on,
she can help identify areas of focus for professional development opportunities
she offers.

The district is proud to be able to provide a strong network
of support to our newest educators, and we are hopeful that ensuring a solid
start to their careers will increase the number of long-term teachers within
IPS. We look forward to seeing the impact of their hard work for many years to