New program helps new and experienced teachers in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New program helps new and experienced teachers in Iowa

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MARION (KWWL) - Vicki Pitstick has been teaching for eight years but knows there's always new ways to help students so she's working with an instructional strategist, which is basically a coach for a teacher. They go over how students are doing and find ways to help them improve.

"We've always looked at data and tried to have that drive our student achievement and our lesson planning and how can we meet our goals but I think with a strategist coming in, to help us look at it more broadly," said Vicki Pitstick, fourth Grade Teacher.

It's part of the new  Teacher Leader Program in the Linn-Mar Community School District, which puts more teachers in leadership positions.

"We can co-plan, we can look at data and try to analyze the data and how to improve student goals," said Molly Dabroski, Instructional Strategist.

Another big part of the program is mentoring first and second year teachers. That's because statistics show that 50 percent of teachers burn out in the first 5 years.

"Helping them with lesson planning, answering questions, observing them in the classroom, maybe co-teaching with them," said Debra Barry, Teacher Leader Program Coordinator. "Really helping them get off the ground."

The goal with the new program is to help teachers across the district find ways to improve, which will then help students do better in school.

Thirty-nine districts in the state have a new teacher leadership program this year -- including Waterloo, Dubuque, and Cedar Rapids.

The goal is to have all districts in the state participate by the 2016-2017 school year.

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