Impact of Mentoring Program for Teachers and their teaching

Supporting early career teachers and making an impact on teaching practices

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During the training period, teachers have the opportunity to gain solid subject knowledge as well as learn teaching and learning theories. Regardless of expertise, entering the school and dealing with students and parents, curriculum development, school management and administration and working on assessment all at the same time is a unique experience.

Some first-year teachers leave the profession because they are unable to deal with the high level of stress, lack of administrative support, inability to manage personal and professional expectations, limited teaching resources, lack of professional development and difficulty dealing with behavioral problems in the classroom. According to Le Maistre & Pare, as many as 50% of teachers leave teaching within the first three to five years, indicating an increased rate of attrition.

The early years of a teacher’s career can determine their longevity in the profession. This article will look at how to provide support to new teachers during their early career which would help tackle the issue of teacher attrition.

Benefits to Adopt Mentoring Program for New Teachers

During their first year on the job, teachers face numerous challenges. First, they are dissatisfied with the perceived lack of support from other teachers and the administration. Second, they are unable to strike a balance between work and family life. Finally, low motivation levels of the students present several difficulties for the new teacher.

They experiment with both traditional and unconventional methods. All of these issues can be mitigated by implementing a mentoring program for first-year teachers.

Teacher mentoring in schools is advantageous to schools, teachers and students. Mentoring within schools increases teacher retention and consistency. Mentoring programs not only boost job satisfaction and help teachers emerge as leaders in their schools, but they also improve student achievement and engagement.

Teachers collaborate as valued team members. When schools effectively implement mentoring programs, knowledge sharing among teachers becomes an inherent quality that benefits students, teachers and the school climate.

According to research, mentoring programs help new teachers advance their professional development, making them more effective in less time, improving student learning and lowering new teacher attrition (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011). One way for school leaders to support new teachers in realizing their dreams of contributing to the lives of children is to establish a strong teacher-mentoring program with transformational teacher leaders.

Also Read: 5 Ways Data Analytics Is Enhancing Education Technology in Schools


Characteristics of Successful Mentoring Practices

Several characteristics of effective teacher-mentoring programs have been identified by researchers. In advocating for effective teachers, highly qualified teaching is unquestionably required; thus, strong professional development for mentors—i.e., training of the trainer—is essential. Teacher-mentoring programs must provide mentors with clear and concise goals for imparting basic information and soliciting feedback for new teachers.

Pirkle (2011) proposed that mentors receive professional development in educational leadership. Mentors must be leaders who can guide new teachers toward long-term professional goals, such as discovering how students think and aiding in the development of student’s critical thinking and reasoning skills.

According to research, highly qualified and trained mentors may be linked to higher student achievement, better student behavior and increased teacher enthusiasm (Kent et al., 2012).

Mentoring programs for new teachers are most effective when they are designed to address new teachers’ fluctuating beliefs and limited experience, as well as their short and long-term needs. When new teachers receive content-specific support, they have a greater impact on their teaching practices.

Successful mentoring programs provide numerous and varied opportunities for open and honest communication from an experienced colleague to a new teacher. Mentors can provide advice on classroom management, help with lesson planning and material acquisition, wisdom gained from experience with school policies and procedures and facilitation of reflective practice.

The mentor teacher should not be an evaluator of the new teacher, but rather a facilitator of the socialization process required to assist the new teacher in adapting to and becoming an essential part of the school environment and the profession of teaching.

Impact of Mentoring on Teacher Retention

According to global research, mentoring must be an integral part of the new teacher’s induction phase to experience the success that will lead to retention (Kent et al., 2012). According to Winters and Cowen (2013), teacher quality does not improve significantly after 5 years; thus, quality teachers must be developed during their first few years of teaching. Teacher attrition correlates with teacher quality, in that teachers who are not effectively contributing to student learning become disengaged and leave the profession.

Schools should help new teachers get started in their careers. One of the most effective ways to provide regular guidance and support to teachers is through a mentoring program. Participation in mentoring programs should be mandatory for new teachers. When new teachers take part in a mentoring program, they are more committed to their jobs, have higher job satisfaction and are more likely to stay in the teaching profession.

Mentoring programs help new teachers perform at a higher level in areas such as retaining students’ focus, developing effective lesson plans, using appropriate questioning techniques, adjusting classroom activities to meet student interests, cultivating a positive classroom environment and establishing successful classroom management.

Student achievements also improve when new teachers participate in a mentoring programs, as evidenced by higher scores on academic achievement tests.


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