In 2012, an article was published by the ASCD organization which presented research regarding three challenges faced by new teachers. One challenge discovered was linked with mentoring by veteran teachers and the fact that new teachers were “sinking in unsupportive environments”.
What was disturbing about the findings was that mentors, in some cases, contributed to the lack of support felt by first year teachers. It appears that not all teachers appointed as mentors were helpful nor interested in providing daily guidance to novice teachers.
It is imperative that administrators find the teachers who are good role models and who want to help nurture the future teachers in their schools. It must also be recognized that mentors be given the time to be with the new teachers to whom they are assigned. Being a supportive mentor means having opportunities to share information and guidance.
Mentoring first year teachers successfully leads to building a “school team of teachers” who collaborate and respect one another. Veteran teachers must feel as though they are the resources who provide expertise…novice teachers must believe they can learn from experienced teachers and soon become valued contributors in the school environment.
Here are some links to research and helpful ideas regarding teacher mentorship. If your school has a successful mentor program…please share on Twitter!