Student Well-Being

Mentor Like You Mean It

August 12, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new school year means a batch of brand-new teachers entering the classroom for the first time, fresh credentials in hand. However, statistics from a 2006 National Education Association study show that nearly half of those new teachers will leave the profession within five years. In an effort to decrease attrition rates, many schools employ mentoring programs that pair new teachers with more experienced colleagues. But not all mentoring programs are created equal. Drawing data from a pilot program conducted in New York City public schools, a report published last May by the New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz, identified six distinct features of successful new-teacher induction programs. Based on its findings, here’s a checklist:

What Works What Doesn’t
Selecting mentors based on evidence of superior teaching skills, respect of peers, and knowledge of professional development Selecting mentors based on who is available or has the most seniority
School-sanctioned time for mentors and new teachers to meet—at least an hour each week Scheduling meetings whenever both parties are available; allowing mentor meetings to be pushed to the bottom of the priorities list
Specific guidance and instruction for improving the new teacher’s practice Nonspecific, mostly emotional support (“You’re doing great—keep up the good work!”)
Continuing training and professional development opportunities for mentors No specific training for mentors
Documentation and data-based evidence of new teacher progress Informal, off-the-cuff remarks about new teacher progress, without documentation
Multiyear mentoring—ideally at least two years First-year mentoring only, which can help new teachers survive, but not thrive

SOURCE: The New Teacher Center, University of California, Santa Cruz. For the complete report, visit:
newteachercenter.org/nyc_policy_paper.php

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Q&A When Social Media and Cellphones Are Lifelines to Kids Who Feel Different
Like it or not, social media is an important venue for teens to find community and hone their identities.
4 min read
Young girl looking on mobile phone screen with multicolored social media icons. Finding community, belonging. Contemporary art collage. Concept of social media, influence, online communication and connection.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week + iStock
Student Well-Being Q&A ‘It’s OK to Not Be on Your Phone’: An 18-Year-Old on Teaching Cellphone Etiquette
Whether it's asking permission to take a photo of someone or dimming a screen in a movie theater, kids need lessons in cellphone etiquette.
3 min read
Photo collage of hands holding phones with communication symbols superimposed. Learning phone etiquette.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week + iStock/Getty Images
Student Well-Being How Video Games Can Combat Chronic Absenteeism (Yes, Really)
In one district, middle school esports clubs are helping to boost attendance and student engagement.
5 min read
AA studio shot of a Mario Kart diecast vehicle from the video and animated Nintendo series.
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being Teachers View Chronically Absent Students Less Favorably
Teachers report poorer relationships and lower academic perceptions of chronically absent students, research finds.
4 min read
Illustration with blue background and three bubbles, within those bubbles are a teacher and students. Two bubbles are connected.
Nadia Snopek/iStock/Getty