- Florida lawmakers introduced legislation this week to create a School Teacher Training and Mentoring Program, providing stipends for retired or current teachers to mentor new and underperforming teachers, focusing on classroom management and teaching skills improvement.
- Mentors in this proposed six-month program, based on the University College London Mentoring Handbook, would receive $2,000 stipends.
- The program guidelines emphasize a non-managerial, confidential mentor-mentee relationship for unbiased professional development support.
As Florida’s educational system continues to struggle with a teacher vacancy crunch, lawmakers in the state House of Representatives filed legislation on Thursday that would establish a teacher training and mentoring program to bolster instructor effectiveness in schools statewide.
The School Teacher Training and Mentoring Program, proposed by Rep. Yvonne Hinson and sponsored by Rep. Karen Gonzalez Pittman, would allocate funds for stipends to retired or current teachers who take on mentorship roles. The mentors would assist new and underperforming teachers, focusing on improving classroom management and overall teaching skills.
According to the bill, each mentor would receive a $2,000 stipend, with a provision to prorate these amounts if funding falls short. The program specifies three mentors for each school.
“The purpose of the program is to increase the effectiveness and involvement of classroom teachers and improve student achievement, classroom management, and excellence in the state’s public schools,” reads the measure.
The mentorship is designed as a six-month program, following standards based on the University College London Mentoring Handbook, and includes detailed session plans, from goal-setting to progress reviews, aimed at fostering professional growth among less experienced teachers.
A key feature of the program, according to the bill, is its emphasis on a non-managerial, confidential relationship between mentors and mentees. This approach is intended to provide unbiased support and foster a focused environment for professional development.
The state currently administrates the Teacher Apprenticeship Program, established by House Bill 1035 this year, which offers an alternative entry point into the teaching profession. Participants who meet the program’s criteria are employed by a school district and receive on-the-job training under the guidance of teacher-mentors for two years.