An investigation of the administrator's role in the design, support, and evaluation of induction programs in rural, public K-12 schools in Northwest Missouri
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Novice teacher induction programs impacted teacher fulfillment and confidence (Coffey, 2010; Darling-Hammond, 2003), and high-quality induction improved effectiveness of instruction and improved student learning (Brownell et al., 2010; Potemski et al., 2014; Strong, 2005). Administrators are challenged in their responsibilities to develop teachers, manage turnover, and retain teachers (Chan et al., 2019). This qualitative study provides awareness of the administrator's role, using the conceptual underpinnings of novice teacher induction, rural education, and leadership in public K-12 school districts. Fifty-nine school districts in Northwest Missouri served as the participant pool for surveys, interviews, and a document analysis of districts' induction materials. The lived experiences of administrators provided insight into their roles in the design, support, and evaluation of induction programs, and formal and informal roles emerged as the themes. Recommendations for practitioners included: (a) the design of a formal evaluation tool to make data-driven decisions (Newcomer et al., 2015), (b) a review of literature surrounding successful induction programs to guide decision making (Kaufman, 2007), and (c) a design of formal activities to reduce novice teachers' stress (Coffey, 2010; Darling-Hammond, 2003) and to further create a sense of belonging within their new school districts (Schein, 2004). Recommendations for scholars include further investigation surrounding: (a) how administrators transfer the culture of growth mindedness (Dweck, 2016) during the novice teacher induction process, (b) how the administrators' modeled behavior supports novice teachers' social identities and their sense of belonging (Schein, 2004), and (c) tools available to administrators for formal evaluation of novice teacher induction (Newcomer et al., 2015).