The Newsletter for SUHSD Teacher Induction

January 2018

New Year - New Opportunities for Growth!

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SUHSD develops and adopts Mission and Belief Statements: Induction strives to operationalize them!


Located in the heart of an international border community, the Sweetwater Union High School District ensures a safe, inclusive, collaborative culture that empowers each student to actively engage in a meaningful educational experience to pursue personal and academic success.


  • We believe each student can succeed.

  • We believe in a welcoming community that is inclusive, equitable, and promotes positive academic, social, and emotional well-being.

  • We believe relationships and collaboration matter.

  • We believe resources shall be equitably distributed to ensure the success of each student.

  • We believe in the value of community voice in decision-making.

  • We believe in a culture of trust based on integrity and transparency.

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Primary Goal of Teacher Induction: Ensure Effective First Instruction for Each Student

Below is SUHSD Teacher Induction's working definition of this important construct.

Effective First Instruction is a personalized approach to teaching and learning whose default expectation is success for each student (instead of inevitable failure by some/all). Success is defined in terms of demonstrated mastery of challenging, important outcomes. Based on purposeful planning that aligns written, taught and tested dimensions of curriculum, Effective First Instruction draws on the principles of Universal Design for Learning and a tiered system of supports. Its ultimate goal is agency by/for each student.

What does Effective First Instruction look like?

Indicators of Effective First Instruction

Per Dr. Janney: our collective purpose is to implement effective first instruction through engagement toward mastery for equity.

SUHSD Teacher Induction has identified five indicators of Effective First Instruction:

  1. Student: Produces original oral/written language (Engagement/voice)

  2. Student: Generates evidence of comprehension, analysis and evaluation of text (Text/stimulus)

  3. Student: Uses text to collaboratively build understanding (Text/stimulus)

  4. Teacher: Deliberately solicits answers from non-volunteer students; returns to reluctant respondent(s) after initial query (Questioning/inquiry)

  5. Teacher: Describes expected outcomes (content, language, task) (Purpose/expectations)

    The degree to which these indicators are evident can be described by the Continuum of Teaching Practice (linked below).

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SUHSD Teacher Induction links beginning teachers with experienced colleagues to ensure student success

As of this month, our program serves a growing number of participants:
  • 253 Induction Candidates in all content areas at nearly all SUHSD school sites
  • 67 Induction Mentors representing all content areas at nearly all sites

What is "Mentoring" in the SUHSD?

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How do SUHSD Induction Mentors spend their time with Candidates?

Collaboration around the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) drives Mentor-Candidate interaction during the first semester of the 2017-18 school year.
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Q2 Induction Mentor Workshop: October 23 & 24

Goals of this workshop included:

  1. Consider alignment between SUHSD Teacher Induction and other district initiatives, especially as related to Quality/Effective First Instruction.
  2. Locate induction work within context of Round Tables and other collaborative learning opportunities.
  3. Identify indicators of Quality/Effective First Instruction.
  4. Explore topics of interest and problem-solve as needed.

Find presentation slides for this workshop linked here and on the SUHSD Teacher Induction web page linked here.

Q2 Induction Candidate Seminar: November 13 & 14

Goals of this workshop included:

  1. Reflect on individual CSTP strengths and growth areas
  2. Revisit “visible learning” as evidence of teacher growth
  3. Participate in structured social interaction for learning
  4. Consider use of evidence to illustrate teacher growth
  5. Plan for Semester One Round Table event through collaborative examination of evidence

Find presentation slides for this workshop linked here and on the SUHSD Teacher Induction web page linked here.

Semester 1 Round Table: December 11 & 12

Goals of this event included:

  1. Recognize and celebrate the power of teaching
  2. Reflect on individual and collaborative growth
  3. Evidence self-identified growth areas with classroom artifacts
  4. Describe plans for continued professional growth

Find presentation slides for this workshop linked here and on the SUHSD Teacher Induction web page linked here.

UCSD Extension/SUHSD Math Tasks for Authentic Assessment Course

SUHSD Teacher Induction partnered with UCSD Extension and the San Diego Math Network to offer a new course for Induction Program participants and other teachers from throughout our region. Mentors Aly Martinez and Mimi Williams led the class.
Semester 1 Math Tasks course featured the "Math Tasks Expo" in conjunction with Semester 1 Induction Round Table. Awesome!!

A Second New UCSD Extension/SUHSD Course for Induction Program Participants: SUHSD Lesson Study!

Led by CVH chemistry teacher and Induction Mentor Melanie Villanueva, the course engaged science teachers from various sites in the Lesson Study process. Follow Melanie Villanueva @MrsVchemistry

Lesson study is an in-depth professional practice where a small team of teachers collaboratively plan a research lesson, observe the impact on student learning, and then revise and re-teach the lesson based on their findings. Seven science teachers formed two lesson study teams and focused their work on improving students' ability to communicate about science, both verbally and in writing. Upon completion of the experience, teachers said:

"Being able to plan a lesson with colleagues that do not work at my school site, implement the lesson, document student progress and interactions within the lesson, revise, and reimplement the lesson was a process that re-opened my eyes to the joys, challenges, and complexities of teaching."

"I appreciated the rare opportunity to be able to thoughtfully research and collaboratively plan a lesson with other colleagues and then have sufficient time to reflect, revise and reteach the same lesson. As a teacher, we are so focused upon whether or not students are actually engaging in a positive manner, that we might not be as aware of whether or not students are producing the type of work that we would like them to.”

"Since doing the lesson study, I have been inspired to slow down a little bit in the classroom and listen for what my students are truly saying to one another, not just reacting off of what I assume their conversation must be like."

Collaborative activities in candidate classrooms foster Academic Language acquisition

Find presentation slides from the CTC Teacher Induction Conference presentation linked here.

Mentor Aly Martinez and Program Manager Katrine Czajkowski also presented at the 2017 California STEAM Symposium (San Francisco, CA; December 10-11, 2017). See slides to this presentation linked here.

Several Induction Program Mentors and Candidates Presented at SweetPD18 on 1/9/18

Julia Anker (MOH), Rebecca McKee (MVH), Rebeca De Leon Pardini (SYH) and Jesus Silva Ibarra (RDR) are among Induction Program participants who shared their expertise with peers at Otay Ranch High School.
Find Jesus and Rebeca's presentation slides linked here.


Q3 Induction Mentor Workshops: January 22 or 23 (PDC)

Mentors attend ONE of these workshops. Each begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 6.

Q3 Candidate Workshop: February 12 (ELH) and February 13 (SYH)

Candidates attend ONE of these workshops. Each begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 6.

Please note changes to locations of selected Semester 2 Induction events!

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Peruse earlier issues of our newsletter!

See links below for Trailhead between May, 2016 and today.