New/Beginning Teacher Development & Retention Programs

"Research confirms what we know from experience. Students who have an ineffective teacher during any given year may test as much as one year behind peers taught by a more effective teacher. Those unfortunate enough to have weak teachers for three or more years in a row may never catch up." - National Commision on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF) report

The retention of teachers in Florida and the nation is a critical challenge.  It impacts the future of the profession, adequate staffing of our schools, and most important, the achievement of our students. The FLDOE issued a report predicting that more than half of Florida's teachers may leave the classroom, with some 27% leaving the profession within the next five years.

Realizing the importance of not only retaining Florida teachers, but helping them develop as quality educators, the Council has partnered with some of Florida and the nation’s leading philanthropic organizations to implement programs specifically tailored to help new teachers.  The programs particularly target schools with significant challenges, which are also traditionally difficult to staff. 

The Council programs average 97% rate of retention of new and beginning teachers in the program exceeds both the state and national averages!


  • began in 2004 with Wachovia foundation pilot, funded for 3 years
  • 525 participants, mentors and mentees served through 4 programs
  • implemented in 11 districts: Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier, Duval, HIllsborough, Leon, Osceola, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, and Pasco
  • served 60 participant schools
  • funders include Helios Education; Wal-Mart Foundation; and JPMorgan Chase Foundation

Program elements include:

--on site and after hours mentoring of new teachers by successful mentor teachers who use best practices, innovation and collaboration in their instruction
--workshops with learning and strategies for both mentors and mentees, delivered by experts in effective teaching and learning and mentoring
--site visits to schools to determine progress and provide extra support as needed
--resources—online information, newsletters, books, etc. to bolster learning and share best practices
--independent evaluation, including long range tracking of retention results
--learning experiences such as the Council’s Florida Leadership Academies and ASCD Conferences
--the development of the leadership and skills of the mentors, many of whom have assumed increased leadership roles and responsibilities at schools and the district level.

Council New Teachers Programs:

Helios Education Foundation STEM Teachers Initiative (TI):  TI is a two year program to develop and retain new and beginning teachers with a special focus on supporting Science and Math teachers, including those new to the subject fields, at the secondary level.  TI combines the tenets and current best practices of effective instructional delivery to help new teachers become successful in their assignments and to fast track student achievement. Working with the districts and school leadership, Mentors are hand picked to work with new teachers or those new to the subject areas of Math and Science. The Mentors guide the development of thRalph Hewitt with teacher mentorse new teachers, sharing their strategies in the field and the essentials of high quality teaching. Observation, team teaching, co-teaching and individual working meetings are just a few of the strategies used. Specially developed workshops for the program participants further enhance their skill development.  The TI team members also work with individual schools and faculties, as needed to improve teacher effectiveness.  Site visits to all the schools are designed to monitor the program progress and provide extra support. While supporting the new teachers, TI also develops the leadership of the mentors at their schools, and in the profession of teaching. The program is independently evaluated annually. TI is currently being implemented in Hillsborough.

Wal-Mart Foundation TEAM (Teachers Empowerment and Mentoring) Program: One year program, recently sunset, to develop and retain new and beginning teachers at schools with severe socio-economic challenges and problems attracting and retaining quality teachers.  Served participants and Schools in the Orange and Osceola Districts.

JPMorgan Chase Foundation Teachers Initiative (TI):  Two year program at Sulphur Springs Elementary in Hillsborough to help develop and retain teachers at that school which had significant staffing challenges.

Wachovia Foundation Teachers and Teaching Initiative (TTI):  Council’s inaugural new teacher program started in 2004 and part of Wachovia’s national TTI  year program started in school year 2004, serving 28 statewide schools. The focus was on teacher development and retention in schools with high numbers of free and reduced lunch students and high teacher attrition.

For additional information about this outstanding program, please contact:
Peter Bucholtz, Program Director