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Support Program Shows Promise for Retaining K-12 Teachers

Student teaching Kindergarten children

As the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on teacher retention across the country, Virginia is implementing a teacher support model it hopes will reverse the trend.

Based at James Madison University, the Virginia New Teacher Support Program (VaNTSP) has provided coaching for more than 1,000 early-career teachers across the state since getting its start just as the pandemic began in 2020.

Bryan Zugelder, an associate dean in the JMU College of Education, said research shows that oftentimes mentoring for new teachers is superficial. “It’s, ‘This is how you do certain things in this building, this is how you find your classroom, this is how you make the copies, this is how you do x, y and z.’ Teacher induction though should be more than that.”