Dallas ISD: New Teacher Induction

Case Study is based on Clarence Bowles, a fictitious first year teacher. His experiences reflect the concerns of all new teachers. You will learn how he interacts with his mentor and how they work together to improve classroom instruction. Also included in the Case Study are interviews with real teachers from the Dallas ISD discussing techniques and resources to promote student achievement.

Syllabus: Click here to Download

Clarence Bowles is in his first year teaching tenth grade geometry. At his weekly meeting with his New Teacher Mentor, Kathryn Hauser, he reveals he’s having trouble keeping control of his fourth-period class.

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Marcus Garrett and Brenda Danser discuss the Mentoring Program. “She takes care of me,” Garrett said of his mentor.

Clarence Bowles is in his first year teaching tenth grade geometry. At his weekly meeting with his New Teacher Mentor, Kathryn Hauser, he reveals he’s having trouble keeping control of his fourth-period class.

A month into his first year of teaching things hadn’t gotten much easier for Clarence than they had been on the very first day. When he tried to call his class to order, the voice that came out of his mouth surprised everyone in the room, himself included, with its meekness. Clarence, possessing more than a little natural authority, cut an imposing figure in the front of the classroom. Even so, he found himself out of his element trying to keep control of a garrulous group of twenty-odd teenagers.

As he gathered the day’s teaching materials from his desk and left his classroom, he felt grateful for one thing at least: his weekly mentor meeting. He was on his way there now. Kathryn Hauser, a thirty-year veteran of the district and his mentor, had seen it all, and three decades of teaching hadn’t diminished her enthusiasm one bit. Clarence often felt when they sat down together that their roles had somehow switched. It seemed that she was the sprightly, eager greenhorn, fresh out of college and ready to inspire, and he was the wizened veteran, dispirited by years on the job.

“Clarence!” Ms. Hauser greeted him, setting aside the student journals she’d been grading, “Come on in and have a seat.” He felt better already. These meetings were a refuge for him. “How has your week been?” she continued, “Are you feeling any more comfortable with using Curriculum Central?”

“Yes, it’s getting easier. I was able to use it for my geometry lesson plan last week. But I’ve been having other problems, especially with my fourth period class.”

Watch Dallas ISD teachers Marcus Garrett and Brenda Danser discuss the Mentoring program. [dial-up OR broadband]

Module I Article 1: Collaboration, Teamwork, and Mentoring

Click here to access Curriculum Central

Tenth grader Hector Bolano feels unfairly targeted by Mr. Bowles.

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E.B. Comstock Middle School, one of over 35 middle schools in the Dallas ISD.

It was his worst section and he dreaded it daily. Among other difficulties, the class contained two inseparable young men, both talented athletes and among the most popular students in school, who were bent on challenging his authority at every turn. Hector and Carlos were ESL students, but thanks to the district’s immersion program, they were able to receive instruction in English, and they became successful students.

Hector and Carlos had been giving him trouble from day one, but he hadn’t brought the problem to Ms. Hauser’s attention until last week. He knew he should have broached the subject earlier, but Clarence was a natural optimist, and he thought that once the boys got to know him a bit, once they realized how kind he was and how he only wanted the best for them, they would quit their disruptive behavior and show him the respect he deserved.

“It’s not going so well.” Clarence admitted this with a sigh and a bow of his head.

“Hector and Carlos still?”

“Yes, yes.”

Ms. Hauser could hear the note of defeat in his voice. In last Thursday’s meeting she’d counseled him to have a talk with each of the boys, telling them that if their behavior didn’t improve, he’d have no choice but to contact their parents and discuss the matter with them.

“I talked with the boys—each of them separately—last Friday,” Clarence began. “They were polite and respectful. They both listened to me. I didn’t see any menace in their eyes, none of the defiant attitude they get when they’re in each other’s presence. I was happy with myself and I felt some relief for the first time this year. I even had a very relaxing weekend after that. I was convinced that, come Monday, things would be different, that we could have a fresh start and get down to business.”

“Something tells me,” Ms. Hauser chimed in, “things didn’t quite go as planned.”

“Not quite,” said Clarence.

That past Friday, after school, Hector Bolano had waited in the side-lot by the gymnasium for his friend Carlos Lopez. He dribbled a basketball and aimlessly practiced lay-ups. When it wasn’t basketball season, Hector and Carlos usually walked home from school with a group of girls who lived in their neighborhood; they’d goof around, go over to someone or other’s house—all harmless fun. Today, however, Hector was feeling indignant. Mr. Bowles had asked both he and Carlos to stay after school for “a little chat.” And on a Friday! All the other teachers in the school knew that, while Hector and Carlos did get a little unruly sometimes, it was all in good fun. They were best friends, and had been since before kindergarten. They lived on the same street, played on the same teams, studied together; they were like family. Moreover, they were two of the top students in the class. They always had their homework in on time and they studied every night, often quizzing each other before a test. And they were good kids—everyone said so, from their parents to their parish priest. They were used to receiving the benefit of the doubt. Now they were being targeted, Hector felt, vilified by this newcomer, Mr. Bowles, who knew nothing about them and where they came from, who assumed the worst and was trying to make some sort of example of them. It wasn’t their fault Mr. Bowles couldn’t keep control of his class! It wasn’t their fault he stammered and sweated his way through fourth period! But he was holding it over them, threatening to call their parents.

Hector’s parents took this sort of thing very seriously. He received a detention once in fifth grade and was grounded for a week. He was about to receive his driving permit and he couldn’t afford any trouble at home.

Dallas ISD Teachers discuss Classroom Management techniques [dial-up OR broadband]

Module II Article 1: Are You With It?

Module II Article 2: Creating a Discipline Plan

Dallas ISD teachers Claudia Robles and Leslie Parker discuss ESL instruction. Part 1 [dial-up OR broadband]

ESL Instruction Article 1: How to Create a Welcoming Classroom Environment

Dallas ISD teachers Claudia Robles and Leslie Parker discuss ESL instruction. Part 2 [dial-up OR broadband]

ESL Instruction Article 2: Study Skills for ELLs

Watch Dallas ISD Teachers discuss Best Practices: Part 1 [dial-up OR broadband]

Best Practices Part I Article 1: Managing Culturally Diverse Classrooms

Best Practices Part I Article 2: Strategies for Reading Comprehension

Best Practices Part I Article 3: Tactics that Encourage Active Learning

Watch Dallas ISD Teachers discuss Best Practices: Part 2 [dial-up OR broadband]

Best Practices Part II Article 1: Flexible Grouping

Best Practices Part II Article 2: The ABCs of Website Evaluation

Watch Dallas ISD Teachers discuss Instructional Resources [dial-up OR broadband]

Instructional Resources Article 1: Deciding to Teach them All

Instructional Resources Article 2: Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning

Dallas ISD Teacher Victoria Gardner discusses project-based learning [dial-up OR broadband]

Project Based Learning Article 1: The Advantages of Rubrics

Project Based Learning Article 2: Rubrics

Project Based Learning Article 3: Cooperative Learning

Dallas ISD Teachers Vernon Wright and Fernando Hernandez discuss their Team Teaching model. [dial-up OR broadband]