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ERIC Number: ED602971
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
10 Mentoring and Induction Challenges in Rural Schools and How to Address Them
Hayes, Lindsey; Lachlan-Haché, Lisa; Williams, Haidee
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders
Beginning teachers need strong support systems. In addition to adjusting to the demands of the teaching profession, beginning teachers are often required to teach heavy classloads, manage the most challenging classrooms, and take on non-teaching responsibilities in addition to their regular teaching assignments. Although beginning teachers face similar challenges in every type of school, these challenges are often amplified in rural schools, which frequently have a higher proportion of beginning teachers than their urban or suburban neighbors. Challenges for beginning teachers in rural schools are even further amplified by the fact that these teachers are more likely to have to juggle a greater number of responsibilities to meet the needs of their small school communities. Strong mentoring and induction supports have been linked with improvements in teacher retention, instructional practice, teacher working conditions, and even student achievement. However, in rural schools, mentoring and induction programs must be designed and implemented with the unique challenges of the local context in mind. This brief outlines 10 common challenges encountered by rural schools when implementing mentoring and induction programs along with strategies to address the challenges and examples from the field. The challenges described in this brief are as follows: (1) The demand for qualified mentors is greater than the supply; (2) Beginning teachers are not matched with a mentor in their subject area or teaching role; (3) Beginning teachers may teach multiple courses, grade levels, and subjects; (4) Teachers of color may be less likely to receive sufficient mentoring and induction support; (5) Beginning teachers feel professionally isolated; (6) Beginning teachers feel personally isolated; (7) A lack of educator preparation options makes it difficult to create a smooth preservice to inservice transition for beginning teachers; (8) Youth from rural areas frequently leave their communities in search of other career opportunities; (9) Rural schools lack resources to provide consistent, coherent professional development experiences for beginning teachers; and (10) Teachers need pathways for leadership and professional growth.
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. Available from: American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW Washington, DC 20007-3835; Tel: 877-322-8700; e-mail:; web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research
Grant or Contract Numbers: S283B120021