UCSC's New Teacher Center receives $175,000 from MetLife Foundation to fund next generation of mentoring tools

SANTA CRUZ, CA--MetLife Foundation has awarded $175,000 to the New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as part of the foundation's Teacher Development and Retention Initiative. The $1 million initiative addresses the critical needs of new teachers who benefit from strong professional support as they work to raise student achievement.

The New Teacher Center (NTC) helps school districts across the country launch teacher induction programs that transform the early career experience of new teachers. NTC trains exemplary teachers to mentor first- and second-year teachers in their classrooms. Mentors focus on improving instructional practice rather than just survival during the challenging first years in teaching.

The MetLife award will fund the development of a new generation of mentor trainings, tools, and videos that will help new teachers integrate effective strategies throughout academic content areas. The award will also fund the creation of new strategies to help new teachers who work with students who are learning English.

"The nation's students most in need of outstanding instruction are often taught by new teachers," said NTC Executive Director Ellen Moir. "This award will help us offer these dedicated and enthusiastic new teachers the support they need to thrive."

Five organizations were awarded grants on a competitive basis to develop projects in response to the findings of The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, 2006: Expectations and Experiences. An emphasis was placed on projects that will promote alignment between teacher education programs and classroom practice; develop and enhance new teachers' skills; and strengthen relationships among schools, teachers, students, and families.

"With almost half of new teachers today leaving the profession within their first five years, we need to address what needs to be done to support our nation's schools and keep good people in them," said Sibyl Jacobson, president of MetLife Foundation.

MetLife Foundation supports programs that increase opportunities for young people to succeed, give students and teachers a voice in improving education, create connections between schools and communities, and develop leadership. The foundation works with national nonprofit organizations to develop a variety of initiatives, many of which address issues raised each year in The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. For more information about MetLife Foundation, please visit www.metlife.org.

Established in 1998, the New Teacher Center is a national resource for new teacher professional development. Through a combined focus on research, policy, and practice, NTC works to improve student performance by increasing teacher retention and effectiveness. The center has worked in 40 states and abroad to help educators implement intensive teacher induction programs. For more information about the New Teacher Center, visit www.newteachercenter.org.