The WCBVI Mentoring Program began in 2016 as a way to support new and returning teachers of the blind and visually impaired and orientation and mobility specialists in Wisconsin.
The mentoring program matches newly licensed teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs), first year TVIs and Orientation & Mobility specialists (O&Ms) who have completed an approved program, and TVIs and O&Ms who are new to the state or re-entering the profession, with experienced vision professionals in Wisconsin schools.
This program strives to provide a mentor through the first year of employment and for one entire school year beyond the completion of all training and certification requirements.
Why do new TVIs and O&Ms need a mentoring program?
The mentoring program is designed to train credentialed participants in the practice of mentoring teachers new to the field, and to assist the new teacher in the transition from novice to professional.
Working with students with visual impairments is unique because the Teacher of the Visually Impaired or Orientation and Mobility Specialist:
- Works with students aged birth to twenty-one with a wide range of visual, cognitive, and physical abilities.
- Is often the only vision professional employed by small and rural districts, frequently isolated from peers who could provide knowledgeable support.
- Must be able to interact successfully with parents, other teachers, health professionals, and administrators in numerous locations, who might be unfamiliar with the needs of this population.
- Needs to have well-developed organizational skills to meet the demands of a fast-paced job that requires flexibility and creativity with unique students, environments, and schedules.
Mentoring Program Co-Coordinators: