LOOP: Policy Brief 2

Mentoring and induction programmes are essential to support teachers at different stages of their careers, ensuring their well-being, motivation, and retention, according to a European report.

The report, published by the LOOP project, supported by the European Commission, reveals that induction programmes for teachers supported by mentoring offer opportunities for personalized training, professional development, and career progression, as well as preparing teachers to face the challenges they encounter, supporting them in five dimensions of their action – didactic-pedagogical, disciplinary, bureaucratic and administrative, emotional, social, and cultural.

The successful experience of programmes in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Croatia suggests that they should be politically legitimized and incorporated into teacher training, so the experimental implementation involving 888 teachers currently underway will prove the need for their effective implementation in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, and Greece.

The Induction and Career Progression Model of the LOOP programme is a reference in the introduction and renewal of sustained mentoring programmes in the seven countries of the LOOP Project consortium.

Mentors are selected based on practical criteria, such as personal motivation to support, participation in innovative projects, and years of experience, which translates into accumulated knowledge, allowing these teachers to embrace a new and noble professional challenge of supporting and training other professionals.

The creation of mentor training schools and a committee to monitor programme implementation is also considered relevant in this report. The LOOP induction programme is organized into three blocks, containing 14 modules and more than 50 activities that invite exploration, allowing adaptation to the needs of teachers in induction, as well as enough flexibility to adapt to different contexts and realities.

The implementation of LOOP requires a partnership between the authorities, school principals, and intermediate leadership, ensuring that the right conditions are provided and the programme is successful.

The Portuguese teachers call themselves the LOOPers!

In Portugal, 29 schools, 83 new teachers and 49 experienced teachers accepted the challenge and tested the teachers‘ induction programme from January to July 2023!

The induction programme humanizes the role of a teacher in the school.

In the aftermath of the close of the school year, the implementation of the LOOP induction programme reveals to be a success and Portuguese teachers value the opportunity they had to take part in the process.

The planning of the implementation of the LOOP programmes started at the end of the school year 2021-2022 and beginning of 2022-2023, with a set of meetings that DGAE, INOVA+ and Casa do Professor had with principles from schools from the North and South of Portugal.

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The Teachers Induction Programme: useful and promising fieldwork in the framework of the LOOP project in Spain

The implementation in Catalonia (Spain) of the Teachers Induction Programme was carried out with 21 mentors and 24 new teachers from 7 educational centres from all over our territory. They are, on the one hand, nursery and primary schools and, on the other hand, secondary schools. The schools/institutes that participated in the project were: “El Torrent de las Bruixes”, Escola “La Mercè”, Institut “Joan Oró, Institut-Escola “El Temple”, Institut “Antoni Martí I Franqués”, IE “MdD Portal”, and the school La Canaleta”. Todos los centros están situados en Cataluña, en la provincias de Barcelona, Tarragona y Lérida. 

The training was conducted virtually due to the distance between the schools and the time availability of the teachers.  All the training took place from February to July with a total of 7 sessions. In general terms, we can say that all the schools value the training very positively because they consider it an essential training for future teachers. Being a teacher is a complex profession and it is necessary to be accompanied during the first year in order to establish a solid practical basis for training competent teachers who are committed to education and today’s society. The materials generated in the LOOP project have been valued as useful instruments, not only for the training of new teachers, but also as elements of interest for the training of the school as a whole and for the individual and collective growth of all the teachers who form part of the school’s teaching staff.