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Quality in the Classroom (Tennessee)

TENNESSEE: Mentors for New Teachers

BellSouth Quality in the Classroom’s goal in Tennessee is to improve teacher retention rates by integrating a proven induction model into existing school-reform initiatives. The model provides mentors for new teachers and engages business and community volunteers to support these teachers.

Using the BellSouth Teaching Quality initiative as a catalyst, Tennessee Tomorrow, a statewide public-private partnership working toward improved quality of life for all Tennesseans, has created and convened a statewide reform group, the Education Design Council (EDC).

The EDC is working to integrate the BellSouth Teaching Quality initiative with other state initiatives to make the most of existing resources and to maximize the initiatives’ impact. BellSouth Quality in the Classroom is providing a proven teacher-induction program that uses mentors to increase the retention of teachers at participating schools. The program awards mini-grants to participating school districts, and volunteers are creating new welcome packages for teachers, establishing collection boxes for classroom supplies, and coordinating celebration activities throughout the state. An initiative aimed to address the specific needs of new teachers demonstrates that their community values and supports their efforts.

The EDC convenes regularly to share findings and to facilitate the improvement of overall working conditions for Tennessee teachers.

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