Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 25, Issue 5, pages 681-689 (July 2009).
This study investigates Estonian novice teachers' perspectives on relationships with mentors.
It also explores experiences of mentoring and mentors' tasks during the Estonian teachers' first year of teaching.
The induction year with mentoring as one of the support structures was introduced into Estonian teacher education a few years ago. Experiences indicate that this is a valuable support, but there are areas of mentoring that need to be developed.
The data are based on thematic interviews with 16 novice teachers in the second half of their first year of teaching, i.e. the induction year. A content analysis revealed that the novice teachers experienced support for personal development and professional knowledge development, feedback, collegiality, reciprocity of the relationship, mentor availability and mutual trust as components of the mentor–mentee relationship.
The study identified undeveloped potential in mentoring related to three main areas: 1) facilitation of reflection, 2) mentor training, and 3) integration of mentoring into the school community as a whole. The last area also includes matters pertaining to socialization and school leadership.