What is IGNITE?

IGNITE is Idaho’s Growing Network of Inspired and Thriving Educators. This statewide group is focused on providing relevant and timely professional support to Idaho educators who are recent graduates or who are transitioning from another career.

Comprised of recent early career educators, IGNITE offers pertinent professional development, social functions, and one-on-one mentoring to Idaho’s newest generation of great public school teachers. These opportunities occur throughout the year, giving early career educators a professional community that grows with them.

This is not a series of professional development weekends; it is a continual promise of mentorship and support for educators during the earliest (and frequently most stressful) time in their profession. Given the current 20% turnover bubble and teacher pipeline shortage, the IEA recognizes that new educators deserve as much support as possible as they enter this challenging and deeply rewarding profession.

IGNITE is making news around the state. Watch a feature story about IGNITE from KLEW-TV in Lewiston.

What is IGNITE doing to empower early career educators?

Through its mentorship program, IGNITE empowers early career educators to lead their profession both in and outside the classroom. Mentors from each area of the state are matched with early career teachers to help them through classroom difficulties and help them find their voice in public education.

Early career educators across the state have used the IGNITE program to grow by speaking at local school board meetings, contacting local legislators about education concerns, attending school district negotiations, sharing why public education is important to those outside the education community, utilizing NEA resources for the classroom, and working with the local PTO to meet the needs of students.

Mentor Roles

Here are just a few of the ways IGNITE mentors help early career educators
  • Mentors listen and play an active role in the mentoring relationship
  • They encourage individualized participation in the Association
  • Mentors are available for consultation and assistance, not evaluation
  • They provide support as an advocate and are a professional confidant
  • Mentors share personal experiences and insights
  • Mentors help early career educators set realistic goals and targets that will impact student learning
  • Mentors adhere to professional and ethical codes of conduct at all times
  • How can I get involved with IGNITE activities right now?

How Can I Become an IGNITE Mentor?

Just fill out a short application form to be considered as an IGNITE mentor. This form contains a brief overview of mentor roles and responsibilities.

IGNITE is dedicated in supporting providing early career educators with mentorship and resources to help them lead and succeed. If you have questions or comments, please send an email to IGNITE@idahoea.org

IGNITE hosts several specific events throughout the year.

Empower 2018: Early Career Educator Conference will take place this October in the Treasure Valley, North Idaho, and Eastern Idaho. Topics include education law, lesson planning, ELL and SPED supports and more. These sessions are free for IEA early career members and continuing education credits are available through Northwest Nazarene University.

IEA Summer Institute. The IEA’s marquee professional development event takes place at the end of July each year. This is a great opportunity to get to know other early career educators and learn from veteran educators. This event is free for IEA members and college credit is available through NNU.
Summer Institute Social – In conjunction with the IEA Summer Institute, this social event gives early career educators a chance to mingle with other educators in an informal setting.

SPARKS. These small group retreats are great for getting valuable information about how to navigate the first few years in the classroom. IEA facilitators also share their insight and expertise on how the Association can help support early career educators. Get more information about SPARKS retreats.

If these events don’t fit your schedule, talk to your local association president about opportunities your local may have available to you. Local presidents are a great resource for connecting you to IEA opportunities beyond IGNITE.

Testimonials about IGNITE

It’s great to hear from other new teachers who are going through the same things I am. I LOVE the IGNITE mentor program!

Tiffany MbodjiLewiston

IGNITE came around right when I needed it! Practical experiences, techniques, and support…what more could a new educator ask for.

Annie HartleyLewiston