Two Year Alternative Licensure Program Field-Based Communication Protocol:

Each teacher candidate in the program is assigned a support team. The support team is composed of three experienced educators. Two members of the team come from the school and one is assigned from the program. The principal or principal’s designee is one member of the support team and provides direct supervision of the teacher. The principal also selects an in-building mentor for the teacher. The program encourages the principal to appoint an experienced teacher, who works in the same grade level or department to act as the mentor for the new teacher. However, the Two Year Alternative Licensure Program does not participate in the appointment of the mentor. The program does, however, provide a Field Coach appointed by the program director.

The Field Coach, appointed by the director of the program, is responsible for direct observations and coaching of the alternative licensed teacher. In all cases, the Field Coach is a very experienced, retired teacher, principal, or administrator. Every effort is given to matching teachers with a Field Coach who shares the same grade level or content area background.

The staff member selected as the mentor of the alternative teacher will meet the following qualifications:

• A staff member with a Colorado professional teaching license (this may not be the case in charter schools).
• A minimum of three years of teaching experience that is related to the assignment of 2YALP teacher.
• Knowledge of and experience with the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards and Elements.
• A teaching schedule that allows the mentor to observe/coach the new teacher.
• Early in the two year program, the alternative licensed teacher, the mentor, and the field coach attend a five hour seminar on the roles and functions of the mentor/mentee relationship.
• The mentor and mentee are issued a log with which they record meetings and topics (located under Resources). The mentor log is designed as a monthly log with suggested topics for conversations. The suggested topics are not required but strongly suggested. Suggested topics are timed to be relevant to the cycle of the school year. That is, for example, a conversation regarding accommodations for state test taking well in advance of the scheduled tests. Another example might be a conversation regarding parent conferences prior to the date of the conferences.

The teacher’s support team (building supervisor, mentor and field coach) will assist the new teacher in becoming competent and a confident teacher. This includes the following:

• Recognizing that the teacher needs different support than a traditional teacher.
• Attendance and participation in the mentor/mentee workshop held in the fall.
• Identifying the knowledge and skills the teacher is required to demonstrate regarding the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards and Elements.
• Logging 100 hours of observed/supervised professional development (Professional Development Log is located under Resources).
• Communicating the progress of the teacher (including any difficulties they may be having) with the 2YALP staff.

Each Field Coach will observe a new teacher for approximately fifteen to twenty hours (Pre- and post-conferences included) during the first year of the program. In addition, Field Coach will:

• Use principles of Cognitive Coaching
• Meet with principal and mentor during each teacher visit, or as needed
• Fill out necessary forms
• Document standards and elements
• Hand over observation responsibility of teacher for second year to principal
• Contact program director with issues/problems
• Meet with teachers at fall mentor workshop and January midyear review and during the first day of the summer session
• Contact the principal of your teachers periodically to check on progress and offer support, if needed

The program and participating schools are in partnership in support of the new teacher. Listed below is the recommended process in which contact should be made between a new teacher’s school and the program regarding urgent matters:

• The program field coach is to be contacted first.
• The field coach will then consult with others to determine if other individuals need to be involved (e.g., teacher, mentor, principal, program administrators).
• The field coach is encouraged to consult with other coaches in order to obtain professional insights and perspectives on the matter at hand (confidentiality shall be maintained).
• If any party feels that matters cannot be resolved at this initial level, contact should be made with the program administration in which further actions can be determined.