Beginning Teacher Support Program (BTSP)
Asheville City Schools is committed to the success of each beginning teacher. The Beginning Teacher Support Program (BTSP) assists novice teachers (those issued a Standard Professional (SP) 1 Professional Educator’s License) in meeting qualifications leading to a Standard Professional (SP) 2 Professional Educator’s License. Public Schools of North Carolina Licensure Division determines teachers who must participate in the Beginning Teacher Support Program. Part of the assistance provided by Asheville City Schools during the required three-year support program includes initial orientation, on-site mentors, professional development, and collaboration with exemplary teachers. Administrators, a Beginning Teacher Coordinator, and instructional coaches partner with beginning teachers and mentors for a cohesive system of support.
Beginning teachers participate in a rich, formal orientation experience. While procedures, policies, and curriculum take center stage, beginning teachers enjoy an Asheville City Schools tour featuring both school and district history. Participants often rate the tour as a highlight of orientation. In order to connect faces and names, teachers meet Central Office staff and hear greetings and suggestions for success from both the Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year. Mentors are often available to assist in setting up classrooms and preparing for that important first day of school.
Getting started on the right foot is important. Readings outlining steps for a successful start to school and for building positive student/family relationships guide beginning teachers in preparing for the first days of school. Staff make frequent classroom visits during the first month of school to check in with beginning teachers. Support from mentors, administrators, and the Beginning Teacher Coordinator continues throughout the year. Beginning teacher conversations assist in developing expertise in classroom management, parent support and engagement, effective formative/summative assessments, curriculum, and other topics identified by the beginning teacher group. Frequent times of sharing between beginning and veteran teachers yield practical advice and tried and true suggestions.
Requirements to complete the Beginning Teacher Support Program include attending orientation, teaching successfully for three years, submitting a portfolio (including components from the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System) in each of the three years of the program, attending required professional development and beginning teacher meetings, successfully completing necessary coursework for certification, achieving the rating of Proficient or higher (Accomplished, Distinguished) on all five NC 21st Century Teaching Standards by the final third-year summative evaluation, and being recommended for an SP2 license. North Carolina 21st Century Teaching Standards information can be found at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/effectiveness-model/ncees/standards/prof-teach-standards.pdf.
Websites of Interest to Beginning Teachers:
NC Public Schools
NC Public Schools Licensure Division
North Carolina Educator Evaluation System (NCEES)
For more information about Asheville City Schools Beginning Teacher Support Program, contact the ACS Human Resources Department, 828-350-6137 or 828-350-6118.