Frequently Asked Questions by HC120611184816


									     Frequently Asked Questions: Chapter 118: Purposes, Standards and
          Procedures for Educational Personnel Support Systems

     I.      Teacher Action Plan/Professional Certification Action Plan (TAP/PCAP)
1.      How can the 10 Initial Teacher Certification Standards be used to write a TAP?
By the end of the initial two year period, the teacher should use the 10 standards in a holistic
manner. Therefore, when writing the teacher action plan, consider the needs of the beginning
educator based on those ten standards. The mentor should help the beginning educator to
create reasonable and appropriate goals based upon the ten standards. It is often best to
combine some of these goals with whatever professional goals the beginning educator’s
evaluation is based upon. As adding more on top of those goals contributes to the very
“overload stress” that mentoring and induction is intended to alleviate. See Question # 3
 Sample Teacher Action Plans can be accessed from
One suggested strategy for writing the initial Professional Certification Action Plans is to
bring all of the beginning educators and their mentors and the certification PLCSS members
together for an after school session. Provide forms and directions and have all of the
beginning educators together when writing their plans. This provides an opportunity for the
mentors and beginning educators to write the plan together, and certification questions can be
answered and support provided by the PLCSS. The plans are handed in at the end of the
session. This saves time on the part of the PLCSS, and allows the beginning educators and
their mentors to be supported through the initial Professional Certification Action Plans
writing process. It also helps with consistency issues, as all of the beginning educators are
hearing the same directions and the same answers to their questions. Another similar
approach is to perform this same after school session at each building or department with the
mentor/mentee pairs operating there. This can be especially useful to address differences in
scheduling, content area and level taught, i.e. elementary vs. secondary schedules.
2.      Do educators need to meet all ten Standards to be recommended for a professional
All ten standards need to be addressed and worked upon by the end of the initial period.
Working toward meeting the ten standards, is an on going process. The assessment should be
based on looking at the candidate’s progress holistically in relation to meeting the ten
standards as they are reflected in their initial Professional Certification Action Plan.
3.      Can an educator’s goals for a principal and goals for their TAP be the same?
Yes, the goals can be the same if the local PLCSS committee feels comfortable with this
practice. Many of the state’s administrators are using the ten standards with their educators.
The goals on the initial Professional Certification Action Plans need to be appropriate and
authentic, and therefore, there may be crossover from the goals that are written for the
administration. However, a mentor should never discuss a beginning educator’s progress in
meeting these goals with an administrator.

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4.       Should educators with a transitional license be assigned a mentor and should they
write a TAP/PCAP?
 If the beginning teacher holds a provisional certificate as a base, an educator with a
transitional license will need to set goals as well in order to fulfill the requirements to become
a professional certified educator. Therefore, a mentor should also be assigned to help the
educator through the process and to provide support as needed, though this support will
probably be of a different nature than that needed by a beginning educator. No, if the teacher
holds a professional certificate as a base, the requirement of setting goals if left to the
determination of the local PLCSS. Assigning a mentor is also left to the determination of the

5.      If an educator is issued a waiver and needs support, may the PLCSS assign a
mentor and ask this educator to have a TAP/PCAP?
This is left up to the determination of the local PLCSS. An educator with a waiver may
especially need support from a mentor. Additionally, you may ask the educator to write a
TAP/PCAP based on his or her professional goals. This policy should be written in your local
PLCSS plan.

6.      Where can I find sample TAP/ PCAP forms?

                                       II.     Mentoring

7.       Is the Maine Model of Mentor Training required?
No, mentors must all be trained, but they do not have to have the specific three day mentor
training based on the Maine Department of Education’s model. The mentor training must have
certain components in order to be “approved” by the Department of Education. Private
schools who want an approved PLCSS must also have approved mentor training. More
information about mentor training can be accessed from the Department of Education web site

8.     What are the required components for mentor training?
        Understand the needs of beginning educators
        Become familiar with confidentiality guidelines
        Understand the role of the mentor/coach in addressing beginning educator needs
        Have a shared definition of coaching and mentoring
        Become familiar with Maine’s Initial Teacher Certification Standards
        Enhance listening and questioning skills to promote reflection
        Learn to match mentoring approaches to beginning educator needs
        Learn and practice the Coaching Cycle
        Enhance knowledge of classroom observation techniques
        Increase awareness of how objective observation data and
         non-judgmental feedback can provide a framework for
         educational decision-making
        Use Maine’s Initial Teacher Certification Standards in mentoring and coaching

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          Enhance listening and questioning skills to promote reflection and effective
          Understand the needs of adult learners
          Enhance knowledge of educators’ developmental stages and the phases of
           mentoring relationships
          Understand and practice conflict resolution skills
          Observe and practice the techniques used to plan instruction and assessment
          Observe and practice coaching using Maine’s Initial Teacher Certification
           Standards and Maine’s Learning Results

9.     How many observations of the beginning educator, to be completed by the mentor,
are required?
Six formal observations are required by the end of the initial certification period.

10.     What is meant by the term “recently active practitioner”?
This language was added to Chapter 118 to allow educators who may not currently be
teaching to serve as mentors. A mentor must have a current Maine professional educator
certificate. This new language will allow recently retired educators and others who have left
the profession for a variety of reasons to still serve as mentors. Educators, who have been out
of the profession for many years, would generally not make the most effective mentors as the
profession has changed over time. Therefore, the language, “recently active”, was included to
help insure that beginning educators would be assigned an effective mentor, familiar with
modern practices and approaches.

11.    Do retired educators need to maintain their certification in order to mentor?

12.      How can I find a list of mentor trainers in my region?
This list can be accessed from the Maine Department of Education’s Teacher Induction web
site at

13.    What are some funding sources for mentoring and induction in my local district?
Possible funding sources (in the interim until this allocation is added to the EPS formula, or to
supplement the additional EPS funding once it becomes available in 2010) :
        Professional Development funds
        NCLB Title IIA– Teacher Quality Grant funds
        Rural Schools Grant (RSG) and Rural Low Income Grant (RLI)
        Certification Budget line
        Contracted Stipend line
        Course reimbursement line
        $$ saved from the retirement of senior faculty (e.g. retires at $50,000; hires at

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                                    III.    PLCSS Teams

14.    How many administrators are allowed to serve on the local certification committee
The revised Chapter 118 requires that one administrator serve on the PLCSS.

15.    When should revised Local Certification Plans (Local Support System Plans) be
submitted to the Department of Education?
Revised plans must be submitted not later than December 31st, 2009. Revised plans may be
submitted at any time prior to this and it is encouraged to avoid long waits for the approval
process. Samples of revised plans are in process and will be posted on the Maine Department
of Education Teacher Induction Website as soon as they become available. It is strongly
recommended that these revised plans be written by and for the newly formed “Regional
School Unit” members so as to reflect the needs and circumstances of all involved parties.

16.     Will every school administrative unit have to submit a revised plan?
Yes, every school administrative unit (Regional School Unit) will have to submit a revised
plan. Private schools who want an approved PLCSS must also submit a revised plan.

17.     What is the certification committee/ PLCSS training required by Chapter 118?
The Department of Education will be offering on-going workshops and informational sessions
to help local PLCSS groups implement the amendments to Chapter 118. Each PLCSS should
assess their training needs as a result of revising their plans. For example, a PLCSS chair may
attend one of these sessions, and then in turn train the rest of the PLCSS members. Technical
assistance can also be provided by Department of Education staff. Resources and information
can be found on the Department of Education Teacher Induction web site:

18.     Where can I find Professional Learning Community Resources?

                   IV.    General Induction and Certification Questions

19.    Who can I contact if I have questions?
For certification questions: Maine Department of Education Certification Office 624-6603 or
For assistance with mentoring and induction questions: Daniel J. Conley at 624-6639 or or Crystal Polk at 624-6881 or

20.    How can I promote educators taking responsibility for their own certification
An educator’s certification is a professional responsibility that should be taken seriously. In
some cases educators may not understand local and state certification requirements. Thus,
each PLCSS should take steps to ensure that teachers in their school system are aware of and
understand these requirements. Clear understandable documentation, including the necessary

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forms and timelines for renewing Maine State educator Certification in their school system,
should be provided to staff. A possible procedure would be for a member of the PLCSS to meet
with educators to assure that the expectations are clear. Educators need to understand
certification is a condition of employment. Local PLCSS plans may want to include a policies
and procedures to address situations where educators are not taking responsibility for their
own certification.

21.     Do educators who are completing goals for renewal of their certificate use the 10
Initial Teacher Certification Standards?
Yes, the ten standards replace the 5 “Competencies” in all sections of Chapter 118.

22.    How can an educator obtain a Master Teacher certificate?
The Master Teacher Certification will now be awarded using the standards for the National
Board Certified Teachers as developed by the National Board of Professional Teaching.
Information about the initial Master Teacher Certificate and the Renewal of the Master
Teacher Certificate is found in sections 7.1 and 8.1 of Chapter 118. The Chapter document can
be accessed from

23.    Who will monitor the local induction programs?
Mentoring and Induction are key professional development strategies supported by the No
Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The Maine Department of Education NCLB Team began
monitoring of local induction processes in their regularly scheduled monitoring visits to school
administrative units during the 2007-2008 school year, and will continue this monitoring on a
regular basis.

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