A Mentoring Process to Support Teachers’ Growth and Retention
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 5 No. 3 (2004): Vol-5-Issue-3-March-2004
Collectively studies on the impact of mentoring programs have provided empirical evidence that it has
a positive impact on teacher retention (Ingersoll and Kralik 2004). The National Education Association
cites several key reasons for requiring teacher mentoring, such as, recruitment, retention, and overall
improvement of teacher practices. Essentially, a school or school district that can retain more of its
teachers will positively affect teacher morale and student achievement.
As educational consultants one of the pressing needs that we find administrators often recognize is the
need for mentoring new and veteran teachers. Despite their concerns mentoring is often not part of the
school system or it is executed in a haphazard manner. For example, when principals are asked to
describe the current teacher mentoring system they often report that they just assign new teachers with
veteran teachers who are willing to take on an additional responsibility. This suggests there is a lack of
attention given to the importance of the quality relationship that must be established between mentor
teacher and new teacher protégé. Most importantly, there appears to be a lack of attention given to the
process for supporting and mentoring new teachers.