This week we are shining a spotlight on New Teacher Center (NTC), one of the very first clients to join the Torsh family.
NTC is a national nonprofit dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers and school leaders. NTC works with schools, districts, state policymakers and educators across the country to develop and implement induction programs aligned with district learning goals. Last year alone, NTC worked with 8,500 mentors and more than 31,000 new teachers.
Part of what makes NTC unique and effective is their research-backed teacher induction model. The program provides weekly on-the-job mentoring for new teachers from a peer mentor. NTC provides training for these mentors to make sure they are prepared for the role. Mentors are then able to connect online through mentor forums which support professional learning. Principals and site leaders also receive training on the process and structure for how mentors will help new teachers. Finally, central to the model, NTC provides a Formative Assessment and Support System, which provides tools and resources for teachers, mentors and site leaders. Together, this model has been shown to increase both teacher effectiveness and retention.
NTC became a client back in 2012 when they were searching for a classroom observation tool to help new teachers capture and share videos with their mentors. Before NTC found TALENT, video observations were optional because of the challenges with uploading video and sharing it with mentors. Marc Dembowski, Program Consultant at NTC spoke about how TALENT enabled them to make video observations part of the program expectations:
“Prior to using Torsh TALENT, conducting video observations was very difficult. Sharing a 15-minute video cannot be done through email, and we did not want to use a public site to store our videos either... video observations had been optional for our teachers, because of all the challenges that come up with conducting a video observation. Now it is a part of the expectations and all of our beginning teachers are using TALENT to conduct video observations with their mentors."
NTC now uses TALENT for a number of their efforts. Just recently, NTC received the prestigious SEED grant to fund instructional coaching for K-8 teachers at Austin Independent School District and Volusia County Public Schools. Another one of NTC’s well-known programs is e-Mentoring for Student Success (eMSS), an entirely remote program to provide high-quality mentoring to teachers in rural areas that lack access to coaches. This program would not be possible without the TALENT platform.
Our relationship has grown over the years and we appreciate the feedback that NTC has provided us to help shape the platform. From suggesting new features and how we can make the experience better, it truly is a wonderful collaboration. Together, we can help each other make a difference in improving teacher effectiveness and in turn improving student outcomes. We hope to continue to work together for many years to come.