Leap Year

Assessing and Supporting Effective First-Year Teachers

The first year is the most important year of a teacher’s career. We need to treat it that way.

Teachers who make a strong start are more likely to remain successful over time, but many schools and teacher training programs treat teachers’ first year like a warm-up. We should instead see it as a critical window of opportunity to help teachers develop essential skills and determine whether they can make a successful career teaching.

Leap Year describes the major lessons we learned from treating the first year of teaching with the care it deserves through the Assessment of Classroom Effectiveness (ACE), a multiple-measures evaluation system designed to ensure that first-year teachers in our Teaching Fellows and TNTP Academy programs meet a high standard of effectiveness.

Key Findings:

  • New teachers perform at different levels and improve at different rates.
  • Teachers’ initial performance predicts their future performance.
  • Multiple measures tend to point to the same conclusion about a teacher’s effectiveness.
  • A few specific core skills appear to be important to a first-year teacher’s success.

The report also offers recommendations for policymakers and education leaders to support effective first-year teaching, including how to make meaningful determinations about the work of first-year teachers.

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

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