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Subscribe to our Newsletter Get the latest tips, news, and developments. Located in Tucson, Arizona, Flowing Wells is a small suburban school district that achieves big results. Flowing Wells gives education top priority. Achievement scores are well above the national average, and seven of the district’s eight schools have received national academic recognition awards. TIPS is designed to transmit the district and community culture. The major goals of this program are to build a sense of culture and to articulate the district’s mission and philosophy.
It involves a structured training program for all teachers new to the district. This training provides not merely an orientation to the district’s organizational pattern, but also a framework of the district’s vision for student learning and success. In Flowing Wells it is difficult to determine where one aspect of professional development ends and another begins. Professional development is ongoing and careerlong, with training that is very specific to the stages of teacher growth.
Therefore, induction has no clearcut timelines. New teachers are inducted during their initial years in teaching and the training and support simply meld into ongoing careerlong professional development. TIPS begins with four days of intensive training in early August before the school year begins. Participation is mandatory for first-time teachers, and extra days are added to their contracts so that they can participate in induction.
On the morning of Day 1, new teachers are greeted by the induction team, the superintendent, and members of the supervisory staff. The focus for the next four days is on classroom management and instructional strategies. No time is wasted as new teachers delve into instructional practice and learn on Day 1 how to introduce a lesson, how to teach objectives, and how to engage their students in active participation. Procedures and routines for the induction classroom are established, modeled, and practiced from the very beginning. Day 2 continues with instructional practices.