Mentoring Teachers Programs – Improved Professional Competence and Educational Reform

Published: 18th July 2011
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Quite a few schools in the US have formalized the process of mentoring novice teachers as their way of inducting the new teacher into the teaching profession. They run Mentoring Teachers Programs, which enable a newbie to adjust to the new teaching career by means of the help of a veteran teacher. In these programs, the veteran teacher, the mentor, coaches the new teacher on many areas in teaching such as how to prepare lesson plans and execute them, how to manage students of diverse ages and characteristics, how to teach much more efficiently in various kinds of settings, how to resolve classroom conflicts and the like.

Positive aspects to the New Teacher

The program leads not only to improved teaching skills but also to increased job satisfaction on the part of the new teacher. According to Evenson in his book on mentoring teachers, the new teacher rewards in three approaches. 1st, the program permits the new teacher to very easily adapt with the school environment. Aside from helping the new teacher get acquainted with the school’s staff and facilities, the mentor also teaches him how to observe and cope with the school’s rules and regulations.

Second, the program allows the teacher to establish teaching competence. This is achieved as the mentor gives the new teacher with opportunities to observe, assess, and practice his and other teachers’ teaching. The procedure encourages feedback from and constant communication with the mentor.

Lastly, the program introduces the teacher to teaching as a continuously creating and a life-long profession. If the new teacher feels that he gets as considerably support as he can from colleagues and the school administration, he will likely stay in this profession and would gladly make himself out there as nicely for future teachers who would need his help.

Other Benefits of the Program

The positive aspects of mentoring programs are far reaching. It is not only the new teachers that benefit from the program but all the participants in the program which includes the mentor, the student and the school as a entire as well. Therefore, mentoring programs are observed not just as a form of assistance to the new teacher but as a vehicle for the improvement of the school’s entire educational program.

For the mentor, the program serves as yet another chance to share his wealth of experiences, understanding and skills. Considerably of these skills and information are not discovered in books or reference materials. They are accumulated by way of time through extensive training and professional practice. With out the mentoring programs, these experiences, information and skills gained and acquired by way of time may well gradually fade away.

In a way, the mentor also improves himself as a teacher in the process of mentoring. He does this as he reexamines his skilled experiences inside and outside the classroom and as he provides guidelines and guidelines to the new teacher.

Moreover, the mentoring program delivers him with an added source of income as mentors are commonly compensated for the extra services they render.

Students are directly and indirectly benefited with this type of program as their new teachers gain additional teaching skills and information, which are imparted to them. Ultimately, the students find out more items and appreciate their classes much more when the teacher is prepared and well versed with the topics he or she is discussing.

A research conducted by Southwest Educational Development Laboratory to study the mentoring programs in Texas reveals that lots of districts see mentoring teachers programs also as a important retention technique. The study recognizes that the attrition of new teachers is amongst the cause of shortages of teachers in some schools.

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