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Mentors and protégés: The impact of the mentoring relationship on beginning teachers and mentor teachers

Glenda Gray Dexter, Johnson & Wales University


The ordeals and challenges of the first year teacher have often been cited as reasons why up to one-third of new teachers become discouraged and even abandon their teaching careers within the first two years. This extraordinary turnover among new teachers should give us an indication that the induction process into the teaching profession needs to change. The threat of teacher shortages has prompted many districts across the nation to turn to formal induction in an effort to support new teachers in the classroom and keep them from leaving the profession. Mentoring programs are now being implemented as a professional development strategy for beginning teachers. Acclimating new teachers and easing their transition from the world of education theory to the world of education practice is a lofty goal of mentoring programs. The state of Connecticut established a mentoring program in 1989 entitled BEST (Beginning Educator Support and Training). This study examined the effects this formalized mentoring program had on mentors and protégés and also identified the qualities of successful mentor/protégé relationships. Focus groups were conducted in three different districts in Connecticut. The groups were comprised of beginning teachers and mentor teachers who have participated or are presently participating in the BEST Program. Interviews were employed as a means of studying individual perceptions. The results of the study will assist in documenting the impact of mentoring and make recommendations for a successful mentoring relationship.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|School administration

Recommended Citation

Dexter, Glenda Gray, "Mentors and protégés: The impact of the mentoring relationship on beginning teachers and mentor teachers" (2000). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI9999550.