Source: Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Volume 18, Issue 1 (February 2010), pages 61 – 74.
Teacher mentors of first-year teachers provided insight into those practices they viewed as essential for their success in the mentoring role. Specifically, they were queried about teacher involvement/support, staff development, administrative support and resource materials.
Almost all of the mentor teachers believed a teacher mentoring program that had well-defined goals was necessary for retaining beginning teachers.
Some of the mentor teachers considered that staff development that provided strategies to serve students in special populations better was important for retaining beginning teachers.
Mentors indicated that the most difficult parts of their duties involved scheduling conflicts with the mentee, receiving little support from administration (e.g., limited release time to meet with beginning teachers), and having no guidelines or preparation for what they were expected to do.
Additional comments made by mentors consisted of the need for more time for new teachers to be able to reflect upon their teaching practices and a de-emphasis on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores.
They also indicated that because too much time was being spent on students' standardized test scores, schools and schooling were being negatively influenced.