Teachers’ Motivations to Mentor: A Qualitative Exploration of Mentoring Relationships with First-year Teachers




DeGregory, Christine

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A teacher’s first year in the classroom is often described as a survival of the fittest experience. Understanding the demands of this first year, school districts have increasingly adopted induction programs, which often include a formal mentoring component to help provide needed support during a teacher’s first year of teaching. Despite formal mentoring support, first-year teachers (FYTs) may also receive assistance from informal mentors who unofficially provide support. The purpose of this study was to learn more about teachers' understandings of mentoring relationships with FYTs. Situated in Wanberg et al.’s (2003) mentoring dynamic process model, a constructivist qualitative exploration used semi-structured interviews with one high school’s formal and informal mentors to gain a detailed understanding of how participant antecedents, program antecedents, and organizational context contributed to mentors’ motivations. Findings indicate the act of mentoring fulfills mentor teachers’ professional disposition to continuously improve and reflect upon their teaching practice. Mentors are aware of and can identify mentoring supports and obstacles within their school context, yet their decisions to mentor formally or informally rely more so on opportunity to mentor rather than mentoring formality.



Education, First-year teachers, Induction, Mentoring, Mentor teachers, Motivation