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Participation grows in innovative mentorship program for area teachers

September 8, 2021
Participation grows in innovative mentorship program for area teachers

The El Paso Community Foundation and the Council on Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) announced that more than 80 new teachers will participate in the region’s innovative Miner Teacher Mentorship Program. Sixty teachers participated in last year’s inaugural program.

The El Paso Community Foundation, CREEED, the University of Texas at El Paso, and the Tornillo, Canutillo, and Fabens independent school districts are partners in the mentorship initiative, which provides new educators with the dedicated training and support that many newer teachers don’t typically receive. It matches them with experienced coaches.

“Our goal for this program is to help new teachers master the instructional techniques they need to drive student outcomes and lead in the classroom,” said Amy O’Rourke, CREEED’s Choose to Excel Director. “Teachers come to El Paso from various training programs, some which are more robust than others; and this program enhances that training so all teachers are classroom-ready during those first three years of teaching.”

Research shows that up to 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession after five years of teaching. The COVID-19 pandemic has made more teachers reconsider returning to the profession altogether. Inadequate support is among the most cited reasons why teachers leave.

“We feel that this mentorship program tackles this issue head on by providing new teachers with the dedicated support, guidance, and insight they need as they adjust to teaching, plus the encouragement to continue to make a difference as an outstanding educator for years to come,” said Stephanie Otero, Vice President of the El Paso Community Foundation.

Through the partnership, UTEP is embedding instructional coaches within each school district to work directly with new teachers while simultaneously training the mentor teachers, instructional coaches, and school leadership. The goal is to build capacity to sustain the new teacher support system. The teacher mentorship program is one of several initiatives spearheaded by the Teacher Pipeline Taskforce, a collaboration between the UTEP College of Education, CREEED, and EPCF to produce strong teachers in the El Paso region.

To learn more about CREEED’s teacher development efforts and other initiatives, please visit: www.creeed.org.