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School of Education & Social Policy

Merrimack Institute for New Teacher Support (M.I.N.T.S.)

The Merrimack Institute for New Teacher Support (M.I.N.T.S.) provides an ongoing community for new and early teachers currently in the field to receive guidance, resources, and developmental opportunities.

The first few years in the field for a new teacher is a crucial transition time, and often determines the teacher’s likelihood of remaining in the profession. “51% of new teachers report being under great stress several days a week.”  The issue is not teacher recruitment; but rather, teacher retention and national teacher shortages have begun to weigh heavily on the education field.*  

While new and early teachers feel confident in their content knowledge, often times they lack sufficient support/preparation for other aspects of the teaching profession and throughout the transitional process into the field.  Providing additional support, resources, and professional development opportunities to new teachers in the first few years can ease the transition from novice to professional, and provide early educators with more tools and strategies to improve retention.

Merrimack College’s School of Education & Social Policy, in conjunction with and funded through the Winston Center for Excellence, has created the Merrimack Institute for New Teacher Support (M.I.N.T.S.) to not only serve as a resource to aid in the transition of new teachers into the field, but would also serve to build a community of local educators, both new and experienced.


To support and empower beginning and developing educators to ensure that every student has a highly effective, well prepared, and confident teacher.

Mission Statement:

The Merrimack Institute for New Teacher Support (M.I.N.T.S.) is committed to providing professional support and human resources to new and developing teachers in the local education field.  Through collaborative mentorship and professional development, M.I.N.T.S. aims to foster a community amongst beginning educators, more experienced teachers, and alumni of our Teacher Education programs while providing holistic support and additional learning opportunities, in order to increase retention and better prepare new teachers in the field.

M.I.N.T.S. Components:

The Merrimack Institute for New Teacher is a multi-faceted resource, comprised of a multitude of supportive components for new teachers:

  • Various collaborative workshops, speakers and presenters from the field, and other professional development opportunities to engage new teachers in a supportive atmosphere.  
  • An online community, which can connect new teachers with each other and with more experienced educators in the area, will also provide additional resources for M.I.N.T.S. members.
  • Beginning-of-the-year and end-of-the-year new teacher support symposiums, consisting of several professional development workshops, allow for day-long immersion events between new and experienced teachers in the field, in order to foster deeper dialogue and connections amongst the local community.

Goals, Outcomes, and Objectives:

  • To provide support, guidance, and resources to ease the transition of beginning teachers from novice to professional.
  • To foster a heightened sense of confidence amongst new teachers, in regards to coping with stress, classroom management, motivating oneself and his/her students, etc.
  • To familiarize beginning teachers with the responsibilities of teaching and adapting to the culture of the education profession.
  • To provide strategies and resources from experienced educators to early teachers, in order to create a collaborative and supportive community.
  • To increase retention of new and developing teachers in the local area.

News & Updates:

Previous Events & Speakers:

  • “Empowering Educators: Easing the New Teacher Transition” (M.I.N.T.S. Launch Event) - November 9, 2016
  • “Make & Take” Classroom Resource Workshop - Saturday, February 25, 2017
    • Stations/Resources Included (Presented by School of Education & Social Policy faculty and staff):
      • Data Collection Resources/Sheets/Charts
      • Transitions & Ice-Breakers
      • Metacognition & Reflective Learning
  • Collaborative Learning & Team-Based Approaches Workshop - Wednesday, April 5, 2017
  • “Teaching Coding with Robots: From Kindergarten to Career” Root Workshop - Wednesday, April 26, 2017
    • Presented by Shaileen Pokress, Ed.M. and Raphael Cherney, M.S. EPFL - Scholars/Researchers from Scansorial & Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Developers of Root robot/coding software
    • Co-Sponsored by McQuade Library’s STEMsmart grant, M.I.N.T.S., and Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society
  • Second Annual New Teacher Support Symposium - Saturday, May 6, 2017
    • Welcome Address - Sydney Chaffee, 2017 National Teacher of the Year & Massachusetts Teacher of the Year
    • Keynote Address - Jon Saphier, Founder/President of Research for Better Teaching, Inc. (RBT) & Co-Author, The Skillful Teacher

For more information on the M.I.N.T.S. and how to get involved, please contact New Teacher Support & Transition Coordinator, Tim LeBel (





*National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Public school teacher attrition and mobility in the first five years. Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from: