eMSS Program At-a-Glance - roll over graphics below for more information
- A private area designed for mentees to work with their mentors. Mentees discuss their teaching practices and receive 1-on1 mentoring from an experienced teacher in the same grade and subject.
- Discussion forums for larger groups of mentors. Mentor Place offers ongoing professional development and support for mentors.
- Self-selected small groups examine pedagogical or content practices that can be applied directly to the classroom. A foundational part of eMSS, this is a structured and facilitated curriculum, which guides participants through a plan/prepare, teach/assess, and reflect/analyze cycle.
- A community of teachers participates in discussion forums facilitated by teacher leaders and practicing mathematicians, scientists, and special education university professors. Content focused discussions, dilemmas of practice, and access to resources are the heart of this area.
The New Teacher Center e-Mentoring for Student Success (eMSS) is an innovative, nationwide content and exceptionality specific online mentoring program that advances high-quality math, science and special education instruction for all students by accelerating the effectiveness and increasing the retention of new teachers of these subject and specialist areas.
Talented and expert science, math and special education teachers are often in short supply in hard-to-staff schools. School leaders have limited availability to release the few content experts available from their classrooms to focus on instructional mentoring or professional development of their newer colleagues. Even with face-to-face induction and mentoring programs in place, science, math, or special education teachers may have nowhere to turn for content or exceptionality specific support or professional development related to their subject area.
A cost-effective, high-quality induction solution for math, science and special education teachers,
Accelerating the Effectiveness of New Teachers
Independent research has shown that when new teachers participated in eMSS their pedagogical and content knowledge increased.
Building State and District Leadership Capacity
NTC staff manage all aspects of eMSS program administration providing our partners with a ready-to-use, capacity building solution and access to a wide community of experts.
Research Proves eMSS is a High-Quality Program
By encouraging the reflective practice of new teachers, promoting mentor growth and learning and effectively building an online community eMSS is confirmed as a high-quality by numerous studies.
Independent research proves eMSS accelerates the effectiveness of new
science, math and special ed teachers and improves retention
Independent research shows that new teachers in eMSS increased their pedagogical and pedagogical content knowledge understanding in and benefitted participants’
- Ability to teach subject-specific content and preparedness to teach challenging courses and curricula
- Confidence to teach content
- Accurate representation of material
- Preparedness in basic teaching and classroom management skills
- Willingness to experiment – particularly when traditional methods do not work
- Overall teacher satisfaction
- Rejuvenation for science and math teaching
- Encouragement to remain in the field
eMSS participants attribute their learning and development specifically to support from mentors as well as reading, discussing, practicing and reflecting on their eMSS program experiences.
A study of eMSS from the University of California, Santa Cruz, showed that STEM teachers in eMSS have a retention rate of 80-95% - similar to in person induction programs.
eMSS Builds District Capacity and Expertise
New Teacher Center’s e-Mentoring for Student Success (eMSS) program brings together new and veteran teachers and university mathematicians, scientists and special education professors to collaborate in an interactive online community, exchange information, ideas and experiences and expertise framed within a structured program curriculum. View White Paper.
eMSS provides state, district and organizational partners with:
- Research and curriculum-based support for new teachers that is based on best practice in teacher development and online learning and continually evaluated and refined by both experts in the field as well as feedback from eMSS participants
- A matching of new teachers with mentors who teach the same content/exceptionality and grade level(s) and can advance practice
- Improvements in new teacher skill level and understanding of content
- Improved teacher satisfaction and retention
NTC staff manages all aspects of the program administration from enrollment and reporting to individual new teacher support, providing seamless implementation and a read-to-use solution for our partners.
Research proves eMSS is a high quality program
An array of studies; dissertations and a master’s thesis have identified eMSS to be a high-quality program based on three key findings:
1. eMSS encourages reflective practice of new teachers
The eMSS design utilizes varying levels of reflection processes. Making connection between the professional development in eMSS and the new teacher’s classroom is a marker of effective professional development that impacts student achievement. The addition of using video of teaching practice as part of an observation cycle has deepened the level of reflective practice.
2. eMSS promotes mentor growth and learning
Mentors in eMSS are engaged in ongoing professional development to support the teachers they serve. eMSS is design to promote social knowledge construction through the interaction with the community and eMSS has been show to meet mentors’ professional learning needs. Mentors in eMSS have a more focused level of support specific to STEM and special education.
3. eMSS effectively builds an online community
Vibrant and dynamic online communities of practice require support, nurturing, and topics that engage participants. The active facilitation in the design of eMSS has shown to increase the quality of dialogue which impacts classroom practice, confidence, and leadership skills. Access of new teachers to an established online community builds their capacity for high quality instruction, strengthening their content knowledge, and offers both personal learning networks and professional networks.
While all new teachers have needs that are unique to the early years in their careers, research by Billingsly, et al, 2009 outlined four broad areas of need specific to special education teachers. Two studies have focused on eMSS for Special Ed teachers. Both used the findings of the Billingsly research as a benchmark and found that eMSS addresses each of these specific areas of need.
Research from the University of Central Florida highlighted the responsiveness of mentors, the opportunities for increased interactions with a larger community and the clearinghouse of high quality special education resource available on the site as key benefits for participating Special Ed new teachers. This research also showed statistically significant differences in levels of basic and advanced special ed teacher preparedness as well as knowledge of standards and law before and after participation in the eMSS program.
A dissertation by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found interactions with mentors, the larger community, and specific professional developments within the program addressed the specific needs of special ed teachers and concluded that the conversations between mentor and mentee were substantive and the support from a community of other special educators was highly valued by participants.
The eMSS program originated from a partnership of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the New Teacher Center (NTC), and the Science Math Resource Center at Montana State University (SMRC@MSU) with funding from the National Science Foundation to develop a national network for online mentoring for beginning science and math teachers.