Mentoring Programs

Read Complete Research Material


Mentoring Programs

Mentoring Programs

Literature Review

More and more school districts across the country are starting mentoring programs for new teachers. These districts recognize that new teachers need emotional and pedagogical support and that mentoring can effectively meet these needs (Bennett, 2007). In using mentors school districts are providing an important incentive that increases job satisfaction and helps to attract and retain competent professionals. Mentoring programs give teachers the support they need early in their careers and reward mentors for sharing their experiences and expertise with their colleagues (Bennett, 2007).

Currently1 many school districts are exploring the use of mentoring as part of a teacher incentive system. This paper is written to provide background information from the professional literature related to teacher mentoring programs. It describes the rationale for mentoring, reviews information about mentoring in education and other professions, discusses the conditions necessary for success, and presents some program development considerations (Bennett, 2007). It concludes with recommendations for establishing a mentoring program.

Mentoring Rationale

Three key propositions provide the rationale for mentoring relationships for new teachers

New teachers need support and continuing staff development to succeed.

Mentoring is a successful induction strategy.

Mentoring benefits all participants, namely new teachers, mentors, and schools.

New' Teachers Need Support

A compelling reason for implementing a mentoring program is that new teacher's need the support mentoring can provide (Boags, 2007). Even the best preservice programs do not fully prepare teachers for the reality of the classroom. Most teachers begin teaching with idealism, subject matter information, and untested theoretical knowledge about teaching. Their practical experience gained in student teaching, while valuable, cites not fully prepare them for the minute-by-minute decisions they must make in their own classrooms (Boags, 2007). New teachers' confidence may erode as they find that they are expected (by both themselves and others) to perform as veterans, but they cannot possibly do so because much of good teaching must be developed over time from actual experience. As new teachers are confronted by the expectations and demands of the school context, by the teaching decisions which must be made, and by the problems that arise, they may falter. Left to their own resources, many new teachers find their early experience troubling or traumatic (Boags, 2007). Some may eventually master these early difficulties, but others “give up” and adopt unproductive teaching behaviours. When such teachers stay in the profession, they do not readily discover the teaching strategies that can increase their instructional competence (Boags, 2007). Far too great a number become discouraged and leave the profession. Without early assistance, the potential of many new teachers is lost. Mentoring program for new teachers works to improve retention rates.

There is ample evidence from both research and practice that mentoring is a useful induction strategy (Boags, 2007). The literature on teacher induction identifies a variety of new teacher needs and a range of purposes which induction programs seek to fulfill. For example, an induction program might help teachers resolve immediate problems or questions about what to do in the classroom, ...
Related Ads