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Northampton Teachers Get the Boost They Need
County prepares 20 new teachers for classroom success.

January 2006
NORTHAMPTON CO., NC - When Northampton County Public Schools found it had more than 20 new teachers coming into the system last spring, administrators knew they needed to do something quickly to support and prepare them for the classroom. "We had an opportunity to get these teachers some top quality support and we certainly found it," says Dr. Nicholas King, the Chief Academic Officer of this northeastern North Carolina county. "We put the focus on supporting teachers this year and we got off to a great start by enrolling them in the New and Emerging Teacher Institute."

Like many other school districts, Northampton County has turned to hiring non-traditional teachers who come from business and industry rather than education programs. Many of these teachers receive some training before they are hired, but they don't graduate from colleges of education. "Most of the new teachers we hired were from organizations that pull out the cream of the crop from colleges and universities and they give them a little training, but they weren't prepared for what it would be like in the classroom," commented King.

The New and Emerging Teacher Institute, or NETI, gives new and lateral entry teachers a practical, realistic understanding of the process of teaching before they face the challenges that are common to new teachers. It prepares them to meet administrators' expectations, to initiate relationships with their new peers, to communicate with parents, and to "navigate the system." It provides strategies for managing all of that without taking away from their most important task: engaging and teaching their students.

Some newly hired teachers have insufficient knowledge of the state standards and how to use objectives to build lesson plans. NETI prepares new teachers with strategies for success, helps fulfill some state-mandated professional development requirements, and aids in teacher retention. (To learn more about the NETI program through The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning, go to

NETI participants attend in their own district for three days in the summer, as a part of the state mandated 10 days of professional development before entering the classroom. Then, NETI participants are engaged in three more days after school starts, so that they are supported in situations they perhaps didn't foresee. The other positive Dr. King sees in the NETI program is the opportunity for teachers to collaborate and participate in a forum that is focused on good teaching practices and aimed at strengthening their instructional strategies.

Centora Holder, a 2008 NETI participant from Johnston County, agrees. "I learned so much in terms of classroom management," says Holder. "It's one thing to be given information; but to have someone who has put it into practice and can teach you to put it into practice... that just takes it to a whole new level." Hear more about NETI from participants at our Quality Teaching website or visit the NETI home page on this site for more information.

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