Novice Teachers Navigating Mentoring Relationships in the United States
Keywords:teacher induction, teacher mentoring, teacher shortage, COVID-19 pandemic
Amid the national teaching shortage in the United States, it is now more critical than ever to sustain teachers. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to understand which mentoring experiences and induction support can aid in this objective. Framed by Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism, this study's longitudinal, qualitative nature explores the experiences of novice teachers (NTs) in elementary schools in the United States whose critical first years occurred amid a global pandemic. More specifically, we focus on the formal and informal support they experienced while becoming a teacher. Analysis of the data, which included in-depth interviews with the NTs revealed two key themes: 1) deprioritizing mentoring, and 2) inconsistencies in mentoring. The implications of this study aim to extend the existing literature, offering action-based evidence to improve mentoring and induction. Focusing on the retention of NTs via support and mentoring benefits the field now and into the future.
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