Perceptions of Mentorship Among Beginning Teachers and Educational Leaders: Aligned or Divided? A Synthesis and Overview

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  • A large body of literature suggests mentorship can play a significant role in the successful induction process of beginning teachers. With high attrition rates in the teaching profession, ensuring effective supports are in place to support new teachers is imperative to the continuity of education. There are several varieties of mentorship frameworks and Hellsten et al. (2009) describe three common pairings forming the basis of their conceptual framework: assigned vs. unassigned mentors, engaged vs. disengaged mentors, and single vs. multiple mentors. These pairings form the foundation for this qualitative study, with the goal to determine whether perceptions of mentorship among beginning teachers and educational leaders are aligned or
    divided. Drawing on phenomenological and grounded theory methods, a purposeful sample of beginning teachers and educational leaders was selected to share their perceptions of mentorship. Three beginning teachers, and two educational leaders were interviewed and the data was
    transcribed, analyzed, and coded to identify common themes found in the responses. Four key emerging themes were synthesized from the data: theory to practice gap, enhanced efficacy, building trust, and the challenge of time. Alignment was found, to varying degrees, among beginning teachers and educational leaders for each of these themes. Recommendations for practice are suggested, focusing primarily on enhancing relationships and consistency of mentoring frameworks. The paper concludes with a personal reflection looking at first-hand experiences highlighting the implications consistent and collaborative mentorship can have on beginning teachers and entire school cultures.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International