Making Teacher Mentoring work
In recent years, there has been a proliferation of mentoring programs for new teachers. And no wonder. Effective mentors can pave the way for novices to make a successful transition into teaching, weather the emotional turbulence of their first years, and make sense of the culture, context, policies, and instructional priorities of their new workplace. Research suggests that mentoring has positive effects on beginning teachers’ job satisfaction, professional development, and retention (Bullough, 2012; Ingersoll & Strong, 2011; Kardos & Moore Johnson, 2010). In addition, when skilled veterans step into the role of mentor, they expand their sphere of influence, strengthening their identity as teacher leaders.
But while the overall benefits of mentoring are clear, not all mentoring programs serve teachers as well as they could (Bullough, 2012; Kardos & Moore Johnson, 2010). So what makes mentoring work? Here are four practical, research-based strategies to ensure that mentoring programs provide the supports, structures, and resources your mentors and mentees need.