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Monmouth University School of Education Alumni Novice Teacher Mentoring Academy Kicks Off Its Third Year

The Monmouth University Alumni Novice Teacher Mentoring Academy held the first session of its third membership year at Monmouth University on September 26. Lafayette Mills Elementary School Principal and Monmouth University Adjunct Professor Greg Duffy began the session by presenting information on how State of New Jersey mandated Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) can be an effective measure of student learning. Members analyzed components of a well-formulated SGO and discussed a series of “next steps” for novice teachers.

Student Growth Objectives are long-term academic goals that teachers set for groups of students. These goals must be: specific and measureable; aligned to New Jersey’s curriculum standards; based on available prior student learning data, and measures of student learning between two points in time. In requiring teachers to develop SGOs, districts are requiring that they do the following: teach a curriculum that is aligned to standards; determine the needs of students using several methods including a variety of assessments; differentiate instruction based on the needs of students; set goals for students appropriate to their grade, subject, and readiness level; use high-quality assessments to measure student performance; work in collaborative groups to improve student achievement; formalize and document the process; be recognized for doing these things well.

“Professor Duffy’s presentation was incredibly informative and explained SGOs. If you are thinking of having undergrads attend a presentation or workshop to explain the SGO process, I would highly recommend Professor Duffy,” said Academy member Daniel Schwamberger, a sixth grade replacement language arts teacher from Crossroads North Middle School in South Brunswick.

The School of Education Alumni Novice Teacher Mentoring Academy was developed to provide a comprehensive three-year induction program for novice teachers, create a forum for dialogue and an exchange of ideas and experiences, and provide guided professional growth opportunities for using data-driven assessment and 21st century teaching skills to promote K-12 student achievement. Additionally, it will create a network of support for our graduates and establish a continued collaborative relationship with the University and its resources.

“The Academy is a wonderful tool for novice teachers to express their ideas in a safe forum and to create professional relationships beyond our home districts,” said Schwamberger.

Future mentoring academy sessions are scheduled 5 to 7 p.m. in the Samuel Magill Commons at Monmouth University. The dates and room locations are November 14, 2013, rooms 107 and 108; January 30, 2014, Club Dining Room; and May 1, 2014, Club Dining Room. We encourage all Monmouth University alumni who are interested in becoming members of the Academy (whether or not they have attended previous sessions) to contact or (732) 571-7518 for a registration form. There is no fee for membership in this academy.