ERIC Number: EJ816193
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
The Mentor Role: Is Training Necessary?
Journal of In-service Education, v33 n2 p245-247 Jun 2007
Currently in the United States, an estimated 30% of new teachers leave the profession within three years. One way to increase the retention rate is to train constituents involved in the student teaching experience, a crucial experience wherein a cooperating teacher mentors the intern who ostensibly learns to navigate all facets of the teaching role. However, preservice teachers report great variability in the relationships they have with cooperating teachers; some report that the cooperating teachers offer little guidance, whereas others indicate a relationship where the cooperating teacher demonstrates teaching techniques for the preservice teacher to emulate. Cooperating teachers may lack experience as mentors, and thus experience confusion about their new roles as mentors. In this article, the author describes what research has shown about effective mentoring--the need for collaboration between mentees, mentors and university personnel to promote mutual sharing of ideas and information, so that theory and practice are linked, and all constituents can reflect and develop in the process of active engagement. Without proper training and the conceptualization of mentoring as a mutual learning experience, mentors may perceive that they need to instruct their mentees on what they consider to be a proper technique, which could contradict the mentees' unique ideas, as well as information they learned in their university programmes. Both the mentor and mentee need time for reflection, and the mentee must develop his/her own teaching style.
Descriptors: Inservice Teacher Education, Mentors, Teaching Styles, Teacher Characteristics, Teaching Experience, Cooperating Teachers, Learning Experience, Teaching Methods, Beginning Teachers, Beginning Teacher Induction, Teacher Role, Teacher Collaboration, Faculty Development, College School Cooperation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A